All across the United States, the vertical machining center (VMC) ranks as the most popular mill type in machine and fabricating shops. With more than 260 companies building these devices, it is important to carefully assess what is available. It is also imperative to understand the various options when making a decision to purchase a machine for your shop. Only by critical analysis and exhaustive research can your company hope to purchase a machine that will work to improve both productivity and profitability.
Factors to Consider
Vertical machining is also referred to as vertical milling. It depends upon rotary cutters for removing metal from a component or workpiece. Before making a decision on what model to purchase from what company, it is important to ask what your shop needs. What work will be required of it? Consider the following:
* Metal Cutting Capability: How much can the machine cut and how quickly? * Accuracy: Precise accuracy is important if a machine is to produce the material to exacting specifications * Tooling Capabilities: A vertical machining center must have the capacity and ability to machine a variety of components. It must also be capable of quick part changeovers. A company does not need a machine that requires extensive periods of downtime with loss of production. * Low Maintenance: A vertical machine should require normal maintenance. It must not be demanding and be excessively out of commission because of the need to order parts. * Quality Construction: Always make sure the machine you purchase is of good quality. It needs to be able to withstand the demands you make upon it on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Look at the base of the machine and examine how the various parts fit together. * Help Availability: Make certain the builder has a readily available and easily accessible service support system. You need to be able to contact someone quickly in the event of something untoward going wrong e.g. the control software. * Operator Friendly: Whether or not the machine is CNC, it needs to be operator-friendly. This applies to both actual operation and design. Any interaction with the machine should not result in a worker feeling tired, exhausted and/or uncomfortable.
While other factors such as the budget do come into play, it is important to assess the machine in these terms.
Vertical Machining Center
If you are planning to purchase a new machine, be certain to investigate the options thoroughly. Talk to associates and other shops about what they use. Investigate the reputation of the manufacturer. Make sure you research all possible factors that will affect your company and its ability to produce quickly and efficiently quality components before you purchase a vertical machining center for your shop.