There are horizontal machining centers and vertical machining centers. Below are some descriptions of both.
Horizontal Machining Centers (HMC): This machine has 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. HMC’s typically are enclosed and will come with a 4th axis, although 3 is standard. These machines are usually bigger than VMC’s and take up more space in the shop. 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 are more expensive than VMC’s because of their higher production rate. They can produce at the rate of about three Vertical Machining Centers!
Vertical Machining Centers (VMC): This machine has a vertical spindle where the tools will point straight down from the tool holder and cut across the top of the material. Vertical machining centers are slightly less expensive than Horizontal Machining Centers. Their biggest disadvantage would be that the metal chips do pile up around the tool, which leads to interference with the cutting process. VMC’s are also typically enclosed and have a standard of 3 axes, although you can add more. These machines are more desired than the HMC’s primarily because gravity is working with you with the cutting process.
*Some more facts about these machines-
Which should you pick? That really depends on the amount of material being processed. They are very similar machines but it would be much more cost effective to get an HMC when mass production is a factor. You will have to invest more money into an HMC but they will pay you back tenfold with the amount they can produce in a much shorter time frame.
Revelation Machinery can always help you find what you need! If you have any questions about machining centers or need to find a specific brand/type, please feel free to contact us! If you need to sell your used machining centers, do so here!