Vertical VS Horizontal Machining Centers

5 Reasons to Invest in a Horizontal Machining Center

September 10, 2013

investChange is often difficult. We tend to get comfortable in the way we’ve always done things. Then there’s the fear of making a bad decision, which can cloud our judgment. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages when expanding or upgrading your CNC machine capabilities.

If you’ve always relied on Vertical Machining Centers (VMC), it may be difficult to justify the higher purchase price of a Horizontal Machining Center (HMC) unless you know all of the facts. Of course, if you never intend to machine anything other than large, flat workpieces that require a single operation, a quality VMC may be all you need. On the other hand, if you plan to work on more complex, prismatic parts of various sizes, here are 5 reasons why an HMC is the most cost-efficient solution in the long-term.

  1. The amount of part handling associated with a VMC is significantly reduced on an HMC. For example, when machining a six-sided part on a VMC the operator typically moves the part six or more times, from fixture-to-fixture and in and out of the machine. Not only does this increase labor costs and slow production, it also increases the possibility of human error that can produce scrap and rework.
  2. Because HMCs require less part handling, they allow for greater spindle run time. In fact, studies show that the spindle on a VMC operates only about 25% of the time, while an HMC typically produces 85% uptime.
  3. Every time an operator touches a part it adds cost, thus reducing potential profitability and the ability to compete for more business. Typically, an HMC machines a six-sided part with only three touches by the operator, so the cost-per-part is significantly less.
  4. Because of its ability to handle many kinds of parts more efficiently, HMCs can replace three or four VMCs. Not only is this a savings in initial machine cost, it also frees up valuable floor space for other uses.
  5. Using one HMC instead of multiple VMCs means fewer fixtures, reduced setup times and greater throughput – all adding up to lower cost-per-part.

With today’s competitive environment and the need to generate greater income per job, moving up to a quality Horizontal Machining Center is a change for the better. To learn more, contact the manufacturing technology experts at Gosiger. They can help you determine which CNC machine is right for your needs.

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