Understanding the Milling Process
Milling is a critical part of the manufacturing process, and it essentially refers to metal removal from a work piece, which is done under the right cutting condition and with a complex tool that rotates on its axis. The milling tool usually has a couple of cutting points, with each point removing a small part of the metal work piece. This process happens at a very fast speed such that the whole removal process occurs within seconds.
The major advantage of using milling machines is that they can be easily used to perform a wide range of operations, with a very high level of accuracy. It is this reason that makes these machines indispensable to complex manufacturing processes. Nowadays, milling machines come in an array of flavors, like vertical, horizontal, universal and drum among others.
Tooling of Milling Machines
Depending on the milling work you want to do, there are many tool heads that you can use to achieve your machining needs. These tool heads range from cutters and rounding mills to ball end mills and fluted mills among others. Some machines use rotating tool heads that change based on the task at hand, which is down through computer programming to enable the machine use the right tooling.
It is very important to use the right tool bit during the milling process. This will not only ensure a longer tool life CNC machines, but it also protects your machine from being damaged. If you use a weaker tool bit when machining steel, you risk damaging both the tool bit as well as the machine itself. Likewise, when you install very strong tooling to work on softer materials, you can end up damaging the work piece.
Determining Tool Life CNC Machines
The tool life CNC machines refers to the overall cutting time period after which the tooling bit is not usable any more. There are several ways of determining this tool life, with a common method by setting a limit on maximum acceptable tool wear. However, the “acceptability” of the flank wear is subjective and varies from one process to the next. For instance, the level of acceptable wear on rough milling inserts will be much more as compared to that on the finish inserts that require a finer cutting condition.
Tool wear does not usually occur uniformly through the lifespan of the tooling head. Initially, the wear is rapid and then it settles down uniformly, before finally accelerating at a high rate till there is catastrophic failure and the tool fractures. It is, therefore, critical to measure tool life CNC machines when milling to ensure an optimal cutting condition in the machining process.