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Milling equipment, what is it & why is it used?

Posted By  
10:34 AM

There are many different types of machines that are used in the manufacture of products and devices. The manufacturing and design industry is dependent upon equipment, such as the CNC machine. This device has gone from a simple punch press to help in drilling, lathes, and milling.


What Is Milling?

As mentioned, milling is one of the types of machines that is involved in CNC machining, but milling is not used exclusively in this way. These machines have been around since the 1780s, long before computerized technology was available.

Milling machines are used to remove material from a workpiece. The device uses rotary cutters and can drill, bore, or cut a wide array of materials. While some milling machines can be multipurpose, others are geared specifically toward performing procedures on specific types of materials, such as metals or plastics.

The milling machine is quite similar to a lathe but is different in one key area. The lathe rotates the workpiece while milling machines hold the workpiece still, using a fixture like a vice. The machine that does the moving, rotating around the piece to perform the work.


Types of Milling Machines

There are several different types of milling machines, but they fall into six primary categories: column, turret, C-frame, horizontal tracer control, bed type, and planar-style. Each of these devices can be used either manually or through a CNC (computer numerical control) device.

Each of these types of milling machines can be used to perform specific tasks, but some are multipurpose. For example, the current milling machine is used for the creation of many different types of parts. Because of the ability to reposition the machine in several ways, it gives workers a broader range of use.

For those looking to create a perfect replica of a piece, the tracer control milling machine is often used. This type of device is able to trace a master model, creating a perfect cut, groups, and contours on the surface to match the original piece.

Another multitasker is the traveling column machine. This milling device is able to handle large pieces, and is often used in industries such as automotive, defence, energy, aerospace, and oil. Because it can seamlessly create large pieces without issue, it is the ideal type of machine for these types of industries.


Used for Many Projects

The great benefit of milling machines is that they can be used in a multitude of ways. If one is looking to create small pieces that need intricate detail to the point of being a perfect match to the original piece, there are milling machines that will do this type of precision work. For example, the gantry milling machine is used for that type of precision engineering, and is used in both the aerospace and power industries to create small pieces where precision is mandatory.

Because this is such an essential industry and there are so many different tasks that can be performed on these machines, it is ideal for a person looking for the right type of career field. There are numerous opportunities for a trained person. Plus, several colleges, universities, and trade schools, as well as union shops will teach a person how to use a milling machine. This is an industry that is here to stay, and computerized technology has only made it more essential.