Greater spindle utilization: Studies conducted by The University of Michigan and American Machinist find that the average Vertical Machining Center utilization, as measured by spindle run time, is only 25% versus 85% for Horizontal Machining Centers. This means greater productivity as your Horizontal Machining Center is cutting metal while 3 of 4 Vertical Machining Centers sit idle.
Reduced labor costs: An operator machining a six-sided part on a Vertical Machining Center must move the part seven or more times – in and out, and from fixture-to-fixture. On the other hand, a Horizontal Machining Center will handle a six-sided part with no more than three touches by the operator. The fewer times an operator touches a part, the less operator-cost-per-part.
One cycle versus several: To machine a multi-sided part as described above typically requires 4 Vertical Machining Centers running 4 cycles. With a Horizontal Machining Center, all the machining functions are performed in one cycle and in one place. This means one operator instead of 4, less setup time and greater throughput.
Fewer fixtures: Because a Horizontal Machining Center completes complex machining in one cycle, you eliminate the need to invest in additional, costly fixtures.
Less opportunity for human error: The more times an operator sets up a part and the greater the number of fixtures involved, the greater the chances of human error. With a Horizontal Machining Center, one setup and one cycle means less material waste and rework, and better quality parts.