Of course the kind of parts you make and the operations you perform play a major role in the VMC vs. HMC decision. If you typically work with large, flat workpieces or ones that require a single operation, a good quality VMC may well be all you need. However if you work with more complex, prismatic parts that require multiple operations, an HMC provides many advantages including:
Reduced labor cost-per-part. A 6-sided part machined on a typical vertical machining center requires the operator to move the workpiece from fixture to fixture and from machine to machine. This adds up to about 7 moves per part. A horizontal machining center, on the other hand handles the part with only 3 operator touches, so your workers are more productive.
Fewer CNC machines and fixtures needed. A single HMC machines a 6-sided part in one cycle while it would take 4 VMCs and 4 cycles to perform the same operations. So you save time, floor space, investment in multiple machining centers and additional fixture costs.
More spindle usage. Studies show that spindle run time for HMCs is 85% versus 25% for VMCs. This means your HMC is making parts while 3 of 4 VMCs stand idly by waiting to begin the next part of the machining process.
Less human error. Every time an operator moves and sets up a part is an opportunity for problems to creep in. Because an HMC requires only one setup there’s fewer chances for material waste, rework and out-of-tolerance parts.
You’ll learn much more about Horizontal Machining Centers in this White Paper, Then talk to the Gosiger CNC machine experts about your specific applications. They’ll help you choose the equipment that best suits your needs.