When a company purchases a vertical machining center, they have to evaluate all aspects of the machine to determine if it’s a good fit with their needs. Here are some the features that companies should evaluate when choosing the best vertical machining center for their manufacturing needs:
- Metal cutting capability
Evaluating the spindle and its ability to cut metal well is important. Companies should look for a machine with a robust spindle design with wide-ranging characteristics. These include horsepower, torque and speed.
- Tooling support and capacity
Most companies need a machine that can produce a wide range of parts. Because of this, they should look for one that can change parts fast and check tool quality. The machine should also offer easy access to the tool magazine while the spindle keeps cutting.
- Chip and coolant management
If the chip and coolant tank size is inadequate the machine will need to be stopped frequently to clear chips from the work area. To minimize this issue companies should look for a machine with wide casting openings, robust coolant systems and chip conveyors.
- Control software
There are many operating systems to choose from. What companies should look for is software with the capability to fully support production and be easy for the operator to learn and begin using. The easier it is for the operator, the less frustration and more productive it will be.
- Fixturing and 4th-axis potential
Machines with the ability to apply fixturing and multi-axis tables can be extremely beneficial. They have the ability to both increase the machining surface area and improve productivity.