Working area vertical

On some CNC-machining centres, the machine table is arranged strongly inclined, almost vertically, for spacial reasons.

Until the mid-2000's CNC-machining centres with vertical work surfaces were a complete niche product. They were mostly based on the construction principles already known with machines with horizontal work surfaces and have hence shown grave disadvantages.

Already in the 90's the company Bre.Ma began constructing machines which process the workpiece upright and whose machine base unit and processing type have been completely new and constructed exclusively for vertically standing workpieces. In the process the workpiece had been held and transported with rollers and chains. It's a very efficient industry machine which were accordingly expensive and hence only a niche product as well.

Mid 2000's a variation of machining centres appeared at which the workpiece were held by gripping pliers This machine was small, flexible and cheap. All bigger manufacturers soon offered at least such model. Thus from about 2010 they made a construction type of CNC-machining centres out of this niche product, which also has its fair share of the market.

Advantages

  • Machines with vertical working tables have less demand on space than horizontal machining centers, while having the same working dimensions.
  • The manual support of larger plates is much easier, since these are most often transported vertically by hand. Especially, if a vertical panel saw is used for cutting, a significant advantage in mechanization can occur.

Disadvantages

  • The feed is generally more complicated, because the workpieces do not lie by themselves and have to be secured by an additional device without vacuum. Therefore, the workpiece´s reference point is most often located in one of the lower corners and the stops work as a support until the vacuum is turned on. However, this only works for rectangular plate-shaped workpieces.
  • The weight of the workpiece always creates a shear force that the vacuum cups have to hold in addition to the cutting forces. Therefore, workpiece weight and cutting forces are limited on vertical CNC machining centers or they would have to be offset by expensive designs.
  • When using suction cups, they have to be secured against falling down. Thus, the machine table is often designed as a hole grid, into which the suction cups can be plugged.
  • Technically seen, this type of construction is less susceptible to vibration and less stiff than machines with horizontal machine frame.

Alternative terms

  • Vertical CNC
  • Standing CNC

Images

Weeke BHX 200: Maschine mit vertikaler Arbeitsfläche und Greifzangen
WEEKE, 2014
Vertikales CNC-Bearbeitungszentrum
THEOREMA, 1999
Fixierung der Blocksauger mittels Lochplatte