Back in the 1700s, machinists used file tools and great skills to manufacture and produce quality parts. Thanks to Eli Whitney, the first manual milling machine was developed in 1818. Since then, there have been several revolutionary developments in milling machines to accomplish complex tasks effectively and efficiently.
Presently, milling machines execute complex tasks with speed and precision. They benefit you through the following:
- Savings from Costs
- Speedy and Accurate Machining
- Repeatability of Operations
- Material and Operational Versatility and Flexibility
- Safety and Security in the Workplace and Operations
- Business or Project Venture Productivity
Whether you’re into a business or have a hobby of manufacturing custom parts in industries like aerospace and automobile, milling machines will serve you well. Read on and cut through the benefits of milling machines in the manufacturing industry.
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Milling Machine: A Smooth Definition and Classification
Milling machines are a type of machine. They remove material from a workpiece using rotary cutters. Though their design is the same, milling machines’ sizes and specifications depend on their intended application.
Both vertical and horizontal milling machines are available for use. Their names were derived from the orientation of their cutting tools — vertical and horizontal.
Vertical mills are smaller than horizontal mills but are more flexible as they perform a variety of operations. Vertical mills use a cylindrical cutting tool on the arm above the workpiece. They work best in drilling and threading operations and can carry out almost any required milling process.
Horizontal mills have cutting tools like the saw or grinder, which are suspended above the workpiece. They are best used for surface milling, end milling, and slot cutting.
The Benefits of Milling Machines
Milling machines, in general, offer great benefits in the manufacturing industry. The use of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) in them further intensifies their benefits. Each classification also offers its respective benefits.
1. Savings from Costs
Milling machines offer this obvious benefit. Here are ways they help businesses and hobbyists save costs in the manufacturing industry.
Save Costs with One or a Few Operators
You can save on labor costs. However, it does not mean letting go of workers. You may assign them to worthwhile aspects of your endeavor that help you generate more income.
Save Costs with Reduced Time for Setting Up and Increased Productivity
If your milling machine uses CNC, you can efficiently change between machine technologies without changing tools, or you can switch between different pallets and parts quickly. Your time savings can be translated into savings from costs.
2. Speedy and Accurate Machining
Manufacturers benefit from the speed and accuracy of milling machines compared to manual production. These benefits increase, especially when using CNCs.
The speed of milling machines is due to their multiple cutting edges that rotate very fast. While performing at a high-speed rate, milling machines do not compromise accuracy. Their performance results in machined parts with precise cuts and measurements and a superior finished surface.
3. Repeatability of Operations
Your production of machined parts will be repeatable when you accomplish them in shorter periods with fewer mistakes. Manual machining products are prone to errors and take longer to complete even a single product.
Milling machines’ accuracy and tolerance make your tasks repeatable. It means that when a standard measurement is set up in the milling machine, you will have to perform fewer to no adjustments after a previous operation is done. This advantage is multiplied when using CNC mills since their tolerance is between 0.003mm to 0.01mm.
4. Material and Operational Versatility and Flexibility
Being able to machine different kinds of materials and operations, thanks to their various tools, milling machines are definitely versatile and flexible. If you’re looking into a wide range of large and small materials to work on, like metal, plastic, wood, etc., for your business or project, these machines are right for you.
Add to these machines’ versatility and flexibility their ability to machine flat, irregular, and contoured surfaces, slotting, gear cutting, and many more.
Who would worry about a pricier milling machine which can perform multiple tasks and produce varied outputs when you can plan, measure, and consider everything for your manufacturing company or project? You can even enter target markets other than your current market, such as aerospace, automotive, energy, or medicine, if you want to.
5. Safety and Security in the Workplace and Operations
Using milling machines decreases contact with specific tools in the operations. CNC milling machines give even more benefits because they need fewer operators and have built-in safety features like emergency stops to safeguard machine operators and observers.
Still, workplace safety training, procedures, and culture are of great importance for an efficient, effective, and productive business or project venture.
6. Business or Project Venture Productivity
Productivity is the result of savings, speed, accuracy, repeatability, versatility, flexibility, and safety combined. Your manufacturing business or project venture can accomplish more in a shorter downtime.
More productions and early deliveries of your manufactured parts will increase a client’s trust and grow your business relationship with them. With better customer service and experience, your business or hobby will surely spell success.
Spell Success for Choosing the Right Milling Machine
The milling machine, like your business or project venture in the manufacturing industry, is geared toward innovation, growth, and development. Don’t be the last to move forward.
So start assessing your business or project position and choose the milling machine that best fits it. Soon, you will be spelling success in the manufacturing industry for taking action!