How Vertical Boring Mills Compare with Other Machining Equipment

How Vertical Boring Mills Compare with Other Machining Equipment

In machining shops, horizontal and vertical boring mills see a lot of work because of their capability to perform a variety of drilling and boring operations. The two types of boring mills have the same functions but they differ in machine setup, workpiece setup, and tooling configuration. The horizontal boring mills are more suitable for boring very large parts that can be efficiently placed on the table while the vertical boring mills are more applicable to machining water turbine runners, turbine casings, ring gear blanks, large pipe flanges, locomotive tires and machine tool tables.

Vertical boring mills or vertical turret lathes?

Vertical boring mills are sometimes called vertical turret lathes because they can perform almost all common lathe operations. Vertical boring mills can perform turning, boring, facing, tapering and cutting of internal and external threads. The traditional boring mill is distinguished from the vertical turret lathes through an Indexable tool turret head. However, the difference ends there because both machine designs have a rotating table that supports the work piece and uses a bridge-like construction that carries the X axis. The ram traverses the X axis guides and delivers the cutter. An advantage of the vertical turret lathe is the ease with which large and heavy work pieces can be placed and held for machining. Generally, a minimum amount of heavy clamping is required because the part is held through the force of gravity.

Vertical boring mills vs. horizontal boring mills

There are characteristics unique to vertical boring mills that include:

  • The workpiece being rotated around a Y axis while the boring head moves linearly
  • The workpiece is held on a horizontal table that rotates along a vertical axis
  • Tools that are non-rotating are fed either horizontally or vertically using a cords rail mounted on the turret slide
  • The side head can be fed either horizontally or vertically

On the other hand, the horizontal boring mill is used for machining operations that include facing, boring, shaping, tapping, reaming, drilling, milling and contouring. The versatility of the horizontal boring mill makes it very popular equipment for industries and machine shops alike. For large parts, the most obvious choice is the horizontal boring mill. Parts can be fabricated by placing the workpiece on top of the table while the boring head rotates along an X axis. The setup of the horizontal boring mill is closely similar to that of a lathe and standard milling machines.

Making a choice between the horizontal boring mill and vertical boring mill requires a careful look into your application. The horizontal boring mill will not limit the size of the part that has to be machined. Boring mills have evolved because they are now being integrated with CNC controls including motors and drives that improve speed and quality. A machine shop can upgrade to CNC boring mills to cope with the demand of more customers for increased productivity and accuracy. 

I thought vertical boring mills and vertical turret lathes are completely different machines..
Posted by: Drew C. | May 23, 2016, 2:38 pm
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