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What is Vertical Machining Center?

Vertical Machining Center

If you’re new to the machining world, you may wonder what a vertical machining centre is and how it differs from other machining centres. Vertical machining centres are designed for precision milling and drilling operations and can machine various materials, including metals, plastics, and composites. This blog post will give you a brief overview of vertical machining centres and their uses.

What is Vertical Machining Center?

A vertical machining centre (VMC) is a type of machining centre that employs computer numerical control (CNC) to direct the movement of the spindle and cutting tools. VMCs are generally classified according to their table sizes—the size of the material that can be mounted on the table for machining. The three most common table sizes are small (up to 500mm x 500mm), medium (up to 1,000mm x 1,000mm), and large (1,000mm x 1,000mm or larger).

VMCs can also be classified according to their spindle orientation—how the spindle is positioned about the table. The three most common orientations are horizontal, perpendicular, and angular.

Horizontal VMCs have spindles parallel to the ground and perpendicular to the table. These machines are well-suited for heavy-duty applications such as milling large workpieces made of tough materials.

Perpendicular VMCs have spindles that are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to the table. These machines offer more clearance than horizontal VMCs and are better suited for lighter-duty applications such as milling small workpieces made of delicate materials.

Angular VMCs have spindles positioned at an angle relative to the ground and the table. These machines offer even more clearance than perpendicular VMCs and are best suited for light-duty applications such as drilling tiny holes in delicate materials.

Vertical Machining Centers Uses

VMCs can be used for various tasks, including milling, drilling, tapping, boring, reaming, counter sinking, and threading. They can also perform grinding, broaching, sawing, turning, and ultra-precision machining. When equipped with the proper tooling, VMCs can perform these tasks quickly and efficiently with high accuracy.

Vertical Machining Centers vs Other Types of Machining Centers

As we mentioned earlier, several different machining centers are available today. So what sets vertical machining centers apart from other types of machining centers? Let’s take a look at some of the key differences:

Workpiece Orientation

One key difference between vertical and other machining centers is how the workpiece is positioned around the cutting tool(s). In vertical machining centers, the workpiece is always positioned vertically about the cutting tool(s). This allows easy access to all sides of the workpiece during Operation and results in shorter cycle times. In contrast, horizontal machining centres position the workpiece horizontally about the cutting tool(s), while universal machining centres allow horizontal and vertical positioning.

Cutting Tool Arrangement

Another key difference between vertical and other machining centres is cutting tool arrangement—the way cutting tools are positioned on or around the spindle. In vertical machining centres, cutting tools are typically arranged in a linear configuration along the length of the spindle (i.e., one behind the other). This linear configuration allows for efficient chip removal during Operation by providing plenty of space for chips to fall away from the workpiece without interference from other tools. In contrast, horizontal boring mills have cutting tools arranged in a circular configuration around the circumference of the spindle (i.e., side by side), while CNC lathes have cutting tools arranged in an off-set configuration (i.e., one above or below the other).


Vertical Machining Centers offer many advantages over another machining Centers, including shorter cycle times, higher accuracy, and increased safety. If your business frequently performs precision milling, drilling, or tapping operations, it may be time to consider investing in a Vertical Machining Center!

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