Horizontal Machining Centers have a spindle that is in a horizontal orientation. The tools will be protruding out of the side of the tool holder and it will cut the material without leaving metal chips in the way (gravity assists with this!). Instead of the chips accumulating in the way of the machine performing the cut, they will just fall off and keep the cutting area free from debris. VMC’s end up having the chips sit in holes at the bottom of the machine that have to be removed by the cutter’s helix or a coolant. Which will put a lot more wear and tear on the tooling. An HMC will have a much longer tool life and an even better surface finish!
HMC’s are typically enclosed and come with a 4th axis, although 3 is standard. Even if they do not come with a 4th axis, they still have the capability to have a tombstone on the 4th axis, if you decide to upgrade. They can also have a high pressure through spindle coolant added and a pallet changer.
These machines are usually bigger than VMC’s and take up more space in the shop. They are made to be bulky and withstand high production. This means the machines are going to be much more durable in the long run.
Another advantage to getting an HMC is that they deflect less and have less vibration than VMC’s. A disadvantage of an HMC is that they are more expensive than VMC’s because of their higher production rate. They can produce at the rate of about three Vertical Machining Centers! But just remember that they will end up paying for themselves with all of the money you save in the increased productivity.
Below is a quick pro list for HMC machines:
Revelation Machinery can always help you find what you need! If you have any questions about Horizontal Machining Centers or need to find a specific brand/type, please feel free to contact us ! If you need to sell your used Horizontal Machining Centers, do so here.