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What is successful milling?

What is successful milling?
 

Milling has been evolved into a method that machines a very broad range of operations. In addition to all the conventional applications, milling is a strong alternative for producing holes, threads, cavities and surfaces that used to be turned, drilled or tapped.

 

Different types of milling operations


  • Shoulder milling
  • Face milling
  • Profile milling
  • Groove milling and parting off
  • Chamfer milling
  • Turn milling
  • Gear machining
  • Holes and cavities/ pocketing
 

Initial considerations for milling operations

1. The milled configuration



The features to be milled have to be carefully considered. These can be located deep, requiring extended tooling, or contain interruptions and inclusions.

2. The component



Workpiece surfaces can be demanding, with cast skin or forging scale. In cases of bad rigidity, caused by thin sections or weak clamping, dedicated tooling and strategies have to be used. The workpiece material and its machinability must also be analyzed to establish optimal cutting data.

3. The machine



The choice of milling method will determine the type of machine needed. Face/shoulder or slot milling can be performed in 3-axis machines, while milling 3D profiles require alternatively 4- or 5-axis machines.

Turning centres today often have milling capability due to driven tools, and machining centres often have turning capability. CAM developments mean that 5-axis machines are increasingly common. They offer increased flexibility, but stability can be a limitation.

 

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