Latest Advancements in CNC Machining Center

Any CNC milling or drilling machine is referred to as a CNC machine center. There machines tend to include an automatic tool changer along with a table to clamp the workpiece. The way it works is that a tool rotates while the workpiece stays in place. Most important characteristic of this machine is the orientation.

This machine makes use of Computer Numerical Control and allows precise control over a majority of the parameters like speed, location, coordination as well as the feed rate. It is possible for a single programmer to control the machine work using a computer console on a CNC machine. This is the equivalent of multiple operators working on other machines like lathes, grinders, routers and mills.

These computerized automated machines are usually more efficient as well. This article goes on to explain benefits of using this machine, how the horizontal CNC machining one is different from the vertical CNC and their applications.

Why CNC Machining Center?

The main reason for using CNC machine is because of all the automation features. Besides that, it is faster, has a higher production rate and is highly accurate as well. These machines have good cutting quality. These machines make the process of working on complex surfaces easier.
There are many other reasons of using these machines as per this list:

  • Labour safety
  • Lowers chances of going wrong
  • High accuracy
  • Ability to monitor process
  • Less need for test runs
  • Greater Flexibility
  • Higher cutting parameters
CNC – Vertical Machining Center

Past, Present and Future of CNC Machining Center

A lathe machine has been around since the 3rd century BC in ancient Egypt. Mycanean Greek implemented it during the 13th and 14th century BC as per various discoveries made. There is also a painting from the 3rd century of a lathe device and several artefacts from the 6th century. It was an important device during the industrial revolution and is the mother of all machine tools.

Prior to the late 19th century, this machine was mechanically driven however, it has been replaced with electric motors since then. Further advancements lead to the introduction of the computerized control panel. Precision level of these machines is expected to become better in the future.
Some of the next generation technology includes a next generation computer numerical controls (CNC), advanced CNC programming, implementing CNC intelligence along with automation & 3D printing as well as virtually reality.

How Horizontal & Vertical CNC Machining are Different?

The main difference between a vertical CNC machine and horizontal machine center is spindle structure; one has a vertical spindle and the other a horizontal. There is a difference movement pattern as well. The vertical machining center column usually does not move. Moveable ones will do so only in X and Y direction. On the other hand, the horizontal machining center is a moving column of type T. It moves along X direction, and the column of an inverted T type moves along Z direction.
A vertical machine is also easier to install and operate. The debugging process is also easier. Structural complexity of the horizontal one is higher, and production capacity is lower.

Industrial Application of CNC Horizontal Machining Centre

A Horizontal Machining Centre is best suited for heavy duty and high-speed machining as well as when machining is necessary on multiple sides. It is useful for big and small parts and applicable in a high or low production environment. It is useful for both low as well as high volume production requirements.

Industrial Application of CNC Vertical Machining Centre

Vertical machining centres are useful for die sinking. VMCs are known for milling and have several applications in many industries include the oil industry. There are many advancements in CNC machine tools and thus are useful in a greater number of applications.

All About Hydraulic Surface Grinder

A surface grinder as the name suggests is meant for grinding operations. This is one of the most common machines for grinding operations. The main purpose is to ensure a smooth finish on a flat surface. There are a several types of surface grinders like those of different orientation (vertical / horizontal). These are precision devices and are able to produce perfect ground surfaces. However, the degree of precision depends the type and usage.

Main features of a Hydraulic Surface Grinder

A hydraulic surface grinder is important equipment which meant for grinding of engine blocks, facing engine heads, etc. There are many advantages of using this is equipment since it has many good features as per this listed:

  • This has segmental grinding wheel which offers high accuracy for grinding.
  • All the settings and adjustments are easy to manage.
  • It is also easy on the pocket.
  • There is an option of a micro feed (with the wheel head) that is hand operated.
  • It is heavy duty and has a robust base structure.
  • It has a slide with excellent rigidity and is also capable of handling heavy jobs.
  • Offers high rigidity and z axis accuracy.
  • A magnet slide is immersed in oil bath. The other parts are lubricated with oil using a centralised lubrication pump.
  • Spindle is mounted on a spindle housing, which runs on bearings. These bearings are packed with grease to improve overall life. They make use of high precision and antifriction bearings for this purpose.
  • It provides a direct drive feature; hence this eliminates any vibration.

Common Accessories of Hydraulic Surface Grinder

The hydraulic surface grinder has several accessories as well; some of which are optional, and others are standard ones. The accessories extend the features of the equipment and make the tasks simpler and more flexible.

Here is a list of few accessories:

  • Grinding Wheel, Leaving Screws
  • Flange Puller, Spindle Locking Spanner
  • Wheel Flange, Diamond Dresser Block
  • Table Guards, Magnetic Clamp Boll
  • Diamond Dresser with Holder
  • Spanner for Wheel Change
  • Micro feed for Elevator, Electric Panel
  • Micro feed for Cross Slide, Electric Motor, Magnetic Chuck
  • Work Light, Coolant Pump with Tank & Flash Guard
  • Wheel Adopter Puller
  • Angle & Radius Dressing Attachment
  • Wheel Balancing Stand with Mandrel
  • Centralised Lubrication Pump

Tips on buying a Hydraulic-Surface-Grinder

The hydraulic surface grinders are for use on metallic and non-metallic materials. They provide such material with a more refined appearance. This is mainly due to the removal of an oxide layer and other impurities on the surface due to previous work done on it.

This equipment is the best to ensure a desired surface structure is achieved and that it is functional. This equipment consists an abrasive wheel, along with a work holding device (chuck) and a rotary table. The role of the chuck is to keep the material in place while it is being worked on.

There are several factors to consider when searching for a Hydraulic-Surface-Grinder:

  • The material of the grinding wheel itself.
  • Material of the piece being worked on.
  • Be informed that the workpiece materials include steel and cast iron.
  • Keep an eye out for corrosion when grinding at high temperatures since this tends to weaken the material. There is also a chance of magnetism if applicable.

In Conclusion

There are several types of surface grinders. The horizontal spindle surface grinder is the one where the periphery of the wheel is in contact with the workpiece. This ensures a flat surface. This type of grinding (peripheral grinding) is usually associated with high-precision work and is usually performed on a flat surface.

The other types include the vertical spindle surface grinder, disk grinders and double disc grinders. For the vertical one, the face of the wheel is for use on a flat surface. Such wheel face grinding is usually for fast material removal. The disc grinder has a larger contact area between disk and workpiece similar to the surface grinding and can be either vertical or horizontal.