Lateral Milling Machines

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CNC milling machines with vertical workpiece arrangement

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  1. Explanation of the term ?lateral milling machine?
  2. How it is different to a CNC-milling machine
  3. The structure of a lateral milling machine
  4. Working with a lateral milling machine
  5. Suppliers of lateral milling machines

Explanation of the term ?lateral milling machine?

A lateral milling machine is a type of CNC-milling machine used mainly for large workpieces. The special characteristic of lateral milling machine is the vertical positioning of the workpieces. Lateral milling machines are mainly used for the processing of bulky aluminium profiles.

How it is different to a CNC-milling machine

The first difference between a lateral milling machine and a CNC milling machine lies in its size. Lateral milling machines can process large workpieces with high levels of accuracy, which is what CNC-machines can do with small workpieces. The vertical positioning of the workpieces has the advantage that the chippings resulting from the processing of the workpiece can quickly fall away. Thereby, they do not need to be additionally blown away or transported away using cooling lubricants. Nevertheless, some milling and drilling operations using a lateral milling machine have to be cooled, in order to avoid excessive wear on the tools.

  • Milling machines used for large workpieces
  • The processing of aluminium profiles
  • Vertical positioning of workpieces
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The structure of a lateral milling machine

A lateral milling machine is made out of a very stable mounting table and a column, where the milling head is attached. The column can move along the x-axis and the milling head along the y and z-axes. The milling head on high-end lateral milling machines has a slewing capacity. Depending on its dimensions, a lateral milling machine usually also has a cover. Some lateral milling machines are so big, that the column holding the tool requires its own operator?s cab. For machines with these dimensions, a separate hall for the operation of these machines is necessary. It is necessary, in all cases, that the lateral milling machine has its own foundation. Lateral milling machine need to have easy access to cooling lubricants, high-voltage currents and compressed air, to get rid of chippings around the machine. A comprehensive security notice in the form of warning signs in the close vicinity of lateral milling machines is useful.

Working with a lateral milling machine

Working with a lateral milling machine should only be done by specialist staff. Lateral milling machines are cost intensive machines, where damage could easily occur through negligence or insufficient knowledge. Even the loading and cleaning of the machine should be undertaken by trained staff. Because lateral milling machines are not so different from CNC-milling machines, in terms of their basic composition, they are suitable workplaces for cutting machine operators.

Suppliers of lateral milling machines

Lateral milling machines are not a standard product, but regarded a special machine. Therefore, they are only produced by a small amount of manufacturers that are specialised on manufacturing milling machines. As the lateral milling machine must produce workpieces to the same quality as the CNC-milling machine, they are manufactured to the same quality. Established suppliers of lateral milling machines are FOOKE, KINKELE, SHW, MECOF and CME.