Your Guide To Milling Machines: What They Are and When To Use Them
Your Guide To Milling Machines: What They Are and When To Use Them24 Sep 21
A milling machine is one of the most underappreciated pieces of equipment in manufacturing. With computer numerical control or CNC, you can achieve serious precision, creating even the most complex parts. Modern milling machines also don’t require much oversight, so factories are saving thousands they’d have to spend on staff!
Perhaps you’re still unsure as to what a milling machine looks like and how they function. Not to worry! Here is your guide to milling machines, covering what they are and when to use them.
What Is A Milling Machine?
To put it simply, milling machines are cutting machines that work on all shapes and sizes of workpieces with different materials. There are both traditional, manual milling machines and computer-operated milling machines. CNC milling machines are automated versions of manual milling machines that operate with digital instructions to produce products on a large scale, with minimal human interruption.
Milling machines can also be calibrated horizontally and vertically. Horizontal milling machines can handle bulkier materials and deeper grooves. In contrast, vertically calibrated machines are better suited for shallow and intricate parts.
When Should I Consider A Milling Machine?
Any worthwhile, sturdy milling machine requires a considerable financial investment, so you want to be confident you’re buying at the right time. If you aren’t going to put your equipment to good use, it isn’t a sensible purchase!
A milling machine will suit your needs if:
- You’re mass-producing parts that require a sequence of different cutting processes.
- You’re trying to reduce the number of manual labourers you’re employing.
- Your products need to be perfectly precise to function, and you’re currently experiencing costly faults.
- Your products are currently taking too long to manufacture, and you need to speed up the process to remain profitable.
What Are Milling Machines Useful For?
Milling machines are widely used for cutting parts for the aerospace and automotive industries. Any manufacturing of complex products that require fashioning metal or wood can benefit from a milling machine.
Milling machines are used to create:
- Parts for aeroplanes. Aeroplane parts must be accurate and precise, or they won’t fit together correctly. Any gaps could be fatal since they’ll affect internal cabin pressure.
- Parts for vehicles like cars or motorcycles. Road vehicle parts also need to be accurate, or they won’t collaborate properly. Engines particularly are intricate.
- Parts for medical machinery. X-Ray and MRI machines are assembled with parts that can be cut using milling machines. CNC milled parts are incredibly precise.