An In-depth Guide to Industrial CNC Machining Centers

CNC machining centers are the backbone of industrial manufacturing, offering capabilities that transcend ordinary expectations. From crafting intricate metal molds to processing automotive components, these versatile machines can accomplish a multitude of tasks. Given the …

An In-depth Guide to Industrial CNC Machining Centers

CNC machining centers are the backbone of industrial manufacturing, offering capabilities that transcend ordinary expectations. From crafting intricate metal molds to processing automotive components, these versatile machines can accomplish a multitude of tasks. Given the diverse range of machining centers available in the market, each with unique capabilities and applications, it is crucial to comprehend your options to identify the optimal machine for your industrial needs. This comprehensive guide aims to elucidate the key factors to consider when investing in a machining center.

Understanding Your Requirements

Recognizing the intended applications of your CNC machining center is instrumental in making an informed choice. If your operations involve the creation of hydraulic valves or throttle control shafts, a turning center could be the ideal solution. Should your enterprise necessitate the production of billet water pump impellers, a five-axis or multi-axis machining center may be required. If your operations encompass the processing of diverse parts and shapes, a compound machining center could be the answer. It is imperative to consider all possibilities prior to making a purchase.

Defining CNC Machining Centers

A CNC machining center is a multifunctional, computer-controlled automatic machine tool capable of executing a variety of tasks such as milling, routing, boring, turning, drilling, tapping, and cutting. This high-efficiency automatic machine tool, composed of mechanical equipment and a numerical control system, is ideally suited for processing complex parts. It boasts a robust ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously with high precision, and its batch processing efficiency is 5 to 10 times that of ordinary machine tools. It is particularly suitable for single-piece processing with complex shapes and high precision requirements or small and medium batch production of multiple varieties.

Types of CNC Machining Centers

Boring and Milling Center

Primarily used for boring and milling, this type of center is ideal for multi-process processing of special curves and surface contours of boxes, shells, and various complex parts. The term’machining center’ generally refers to the boring and milling machining center, while other functional machines should be preceded by attributives, such as turning and drilling machining centers.

Drilling Center

Predominantly based on drilling, the tool magazine is primarily in the form of a turret head. It is suitable for multi-process processing such as drilling, reaming, and tapping of small and medium-sized parts.

Turning Center

An advanced version of a CNC lathe, it is equipped with a turret-type tool magazine or a tool magazine composed of a tool-changing manipulator and a chain-type tool magazine. Most CNC systems of machine tools are equipped with two or three-axis servo axes, that is, X, Z, and C axes, and some high-performance turning centers are equipped with milling power heads.

Compound Machining Center

Capable of completing multi-process processing such as turning, milling, boring, and drilling on one device, it is referred to as a compound working center. This method can not only reduce loading and unloading time and improve production efficiency, but also ensure and improve shape and position accuracy. The machine refers to the five-sided composite machining center, and its spindle head can automatically rotate for vertical and horizontal processing.

According to the number of motion coordinates and the number of coordinates controlled at the same time, it can be divided into three-axis two-linkage, three-axis three-linkage, four-axis three-linkage, five-axis four-linkage, six-axis five-linkage, multi-axis linkage linear + rotary + spindle swing. Three-axis and four-axis refer to the number of motion coordinates, and linkage refers to the number of coordinates that the control system can control at the same time, so as to realize the position and speed control of the tool relative to the workpiece.

Vertical Machining Center

This refers to the machining center, where the spindle is vertically oriented. Its structure is primarily a fixed column with a rectangular workbench that lacks indexing and rotary function, making it suitable for processing disc, sleeve, and plate parts. It generally has two linear motion coordinate axes, and one can be installed on the workbench along the horizontal axis. A rotating rotary table for processing helical parts can also be added.

This type of center is easy to operate, allows for observation of processing conditions, and simplifies program debugging. However, due to the height of the column and the tool changer, it cannot process overly tall parts. When processing a cavity or a concave surface, chip removal can be challenging. In severe cases, this can damage the tool and the processed surface, affecting the smooth progress of processing.

Horizontal Machining Center

This refers to the machining center, where the spindle is horizontally oriented. It usually has a rotary table with automatic indexing. It generally has 3 to 5 motion coordinates. The common one is three linear motion coordinates plus one rotary motion coordinate. It is most suitable for adding box parts to the processing of the remaining four surfaces other than the surface. Compared with the vertical types, it is easy to remove chips during processing, which is beneficial to processing, but the structure is complex. The price is higher.

Gantry Machining Center

Its shape is similar to that of a CNC gantry milling machine. Most of its spindles are set vertically. In addition to the automatic tool changer, it also has a replaceable spindle head attachment. The functions of the numerical control device are relatively complete, and it can be used for multiple purposes. It is especially suitable for processing large workpieces and workpieces with complex shapes.

Five-Axis Machining Center

This type of center has the functions of vertical and horizontal machining centers. After the workpiece is installed once, the processing of the other five surfaces, except the installation surface, can be completed. It has two forms: one is that the main shaft can rotate 900, and the workpiece can be processed vertically and horizontally. The other is that the spindle does not change direction, but the worktable rotates 900 with the workpiece to complete the machining of the five surfaces of the workpiece.

Multi-Axis Machining Center

This type of center has changed the structure of traditional machine tools in the past. Through the movement of the connecting rod, the movement of the main shaft with multiple degrees of freedom is realized, and the processing of the complex curved surface of the workpiece is completed.

Features of CNC Machining Centers

Fully Enclosed Protection

Most CNC machining centers are equipped with a protective cover, which can effectively prevent personal injury accidents by closing the protective door during processing.

Automatic Tool Changing

These centers have a tool magazine and an automatic tool changer. Before processing, the required tools are loaded into the tool magazine, and the tool can be automatically replaced by program control during processing.

Continuous Machining

These centers have multiple feed axes (more than three axes), even multiple spindles, and there are many linkage axes, such as three-axis, five-axis, and seven-axis linkage, so they can automatically complete multiple planes and multiple angle positions. Machining to achieve high-precision machining of complex parts. Milling, boring, drilling, expanding, reaming, tapping, and other processing can be completed in one clamp, and the process is highly concentrated.

High Automation, High Precision, and Efficiency

Their spindle speed, feed speed, and fast positioning accuracy are high. Through reasonable selection of cutting parameters, the cutting performance of the tool can be fully utilized, cutting time can be reduced, and the entire processing process is continuous, various auxiliary actions are fast, and the degree of automation is high. Auxiliary action time and downtime; therefore, the productivity is high.

Automatic Exchange Table

If equipped with an automatic exchange workbench, it can realize that one workbench is processing while another workbench completes the clamping of the workpiece, thereby greatly reducing the auxiliary time and improving the processing efficiency.

Multifunction

It has compound turning function, grinding and other functions. For example, the circular table can drive the workpiece to rotate at high speed, and the tool only performs the main movement without feeding, and completes similar turning processing, which makes it have a wider processing range.

High Investment

Due to its high degree of intelligence, complex structure and powerful functions, its one-time investment and daily maintenance costs are much higher than ordinary machine tools.

Pros & Cons of CNC Machining Centers

Pros

• The degree of automation technology is high, with high productivity. In addition to manually clamping the blanks, the entire production process can be automatically completed by the CNC machining center. If it is equipped with automatic loading and unloading means, it is the basic construction stage of unmanned processing plants. It alleviates the work intensity of the operator and continuously improves the working conditions; it saves the process of line drawing, multiple clamping positioning, inspection and other process and auxiliary control, which reasonably and effectively enhances the productivity.

• Strong applicability to production and processing targets. When changing the production and processing target, not only replace the tool and overcome the blank clamping method, but also only need to reprogram, without using other complicated adjustments, thereby reducing the production preparation cycle time.

• The processing precision is high, and the product quality is relatively stable. The dimensional precision of production and processing specifications is between 0.005 and 0.01 mm, and will not be disturbed by the complexity of parts. Considering that most of the manipulation is done automatically by the machine, the deviation of human factors is eliminated, and the uniformity of the specifications and dimensions of a large number of parts is enhanced. The precision is guaranteed.

• It is easy to establish communication with the computer, and it is easy to complete the group control system. Considering that a CNC machine is easy to connect with computer application design system software to form CAD/CAM integrated system software, and can establish links between CNC machines, which is easy to complete the group control system.

Cons

Its disadvantage is that it is expensive and requires a high level of operation and maintenance personnel.

Buyer’s Guide

Consultation:

We will recommend the most suitable CNC working center to you after being informed by your requirements.

Quotation:

We will offer you with our detail quotation according to the consulted CNC working center. You will get the most suitable specifications, the best accessories and the affordable price.

Process Evaluation:

Both sides carefully evaluate and discuss all the details (technical parameters, specifications and business terms) of the order to exclude any misunderstanding.

Placing Order:

If you have no doubt, we will send you the PI (Proforma Invoice), and then we will sign a contract with you.

Production:

We will arrange the CNC machining center production as soon as receiving your signed sales contract and deposit. The latest news about production will be updated and informed to the buyer during the production.

Quality Control:

The whole production procedure will be under regular inspection and strict quality control. The complete machine will be tested to make sure they can work well before out of factory.

Delivery:

We will arrange the delivery as the terms in the contract after the confirmation by the buyer.

Custom Clearance:

We will supply and deliver all the necessary shipping documents to the buyer and ensure a smooth customs clearance.

Support and Service:

We will offer professional technical support and free service by Phone, Email, Skype, WhatsApp, Online Live Chat, Remote Service. We also have door-to-door service in some areas.

By adhering to these guidelines, this comprehensive guide not only provides in-depth coverage and insights into CNC machining centers but also meets the high standards expected by readers seeking a thorough understanding of these technologies. This guide serves as a valuable resource for individuals looking to explore, reside in, or do business in the field of CNC machining, offering insights into various aspects of the technology and its applications.

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