- Universal Machining Centres within Industry
- History and Background of Universal Machining Centres
- Applications of a Universal Machining Centre
The basic operations of a Universal Machining Centre includes drilling, milling, turning and boring. It facilitates the complex, precise and rapid production of metal components by using a range of different specialist tools, while various models and tools can also be adapted to allow the processing of other materials such as plastics, ceramics and wood. Unlike specialized machinery which operate on either a horizontal or vertical basis, machining centres are appropriately labelled “universal” due to a sophisticated design which allows them to perform a wide range of functions and produce a vast majority of parts regardless of size or orientation. Specialist tools are fed into the machine centre via a pre-programmed sequence which results in multiple workpieces being produced at the same time.
- Machining with a wide scope of functions
- Simultaneous processing of several workpieces
- Moving head with + 5 axes
The rapid development of new technology, combined with the increasing need for mass production methods, led to the initial development of universal machining centres. They were being constantly updated and modified in order to increase functionality and user-friendliness. Computer controlled Systems (CNC) were introduced in the mid-20th century, and now the vast majority of modern machining centres are almost all completely automated. Today, they have become one of the most popular and widely used machines within manufacturing, mechanical and engineering industries.
Universal machining centres are used in a wide range of industries which require the accurate processing of metal. For instance, the production of industrial machinery, complex metal parts and moulds, along with many other highly precise components. Universal Machining Centres are primarily used for the manufacture of engineering equipment, and also workpieces for the transport industries.
As highly functional machines, the number of axes to which you can attach tools for machining centres can vary. The spindle of the is located on a movable head which consists of at least 5 axes, and can facilitate the milling, water jet or laser cutting of a workpiece. It is possible to implement the axis of movement by adjusting either the table or the tool itself. Due to variations between machines, machines with the same number of axes can differ in the movements they can perform. Moving parts are generally hosed in a protective case to limit their exposure to chips and other kinds of damage.
In order to manufacture high quality workpieces, the joints and axles of the universal machining centre need to be extremely robust. A high level of maintenance, cleaning and checking should be carried out on machining centres at regular intervals. This should always be carried out by a trained professional and never by an amateur or assistant, as the risks of damaging the highly specialised and expensive equipment is very high.Therefore an already disassembled machine without a certificate always carries a certain risk, and it is always essential to ensure the condition of the machine being purchased has been fully evaluated by an independent expert. They will be required to last a long time and carrying out a lot of work, therefore, it is important to check that the necessary joints, axles and tools are of the highest possible quality and are in full working order, as machining centres are phenomenally expensive.
Recommended providers of Universal Machining Centres include GROB, HÜLLER-HILLE, HECKLER & KOCH, HOMA, HERMLE, MIKRON and LID.