The global market for milling machines is set to grow at a steady rate of approximately 6% CAGR by 2021. A few factors are touted to come together to lead this market towards steady growth. One of the main drivers for this market is the constantly rising demand for computer numerical control (CNC) machines.
Universal milling machine (Horizontal versus Vertical)
There are two main types of milling machines: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal milling machines were more popular and made up a greater part of the overall market share in 2016. The reason for their popularity is their cost-effectiveness and their ability to produce high-quality products. These types of machines reduce the need for human intervention and are also compatible with various materials.
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has seen the greatest demand for milling machines recently and this is expected to continue until 2021. This region saw significant increase in investments by automotive and industrial automation industries. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region which are going to see growth in the automobile market in the next few years are Malaysia, India, Indonesia and South Korea. This will have an indirect effect on the milling machine market because these machines are used in the automobile manufacturing process.
Although the current CNC machines market is flourishing in the Asia-Pacific region due to increased industrialization in India and China, this was not always the case. North America was one of the earliest countries in the world to adopt CNC machine technology. However, the market is now highly-saturated and Asia-Pacific is growing much faster and with greater demand for milling machines.
Although 3D milling technology has existed since 2009, its popularity has begun increasing only in 2016. According to construction professionals, more 3D units were sold in 2016 than in 2013 and 2014 combined. For example, in some parts of the United States like Oregon, the concept of 3D milling is being implemented throughout the state.
This technology is also known as Automated Machine Guidance (AMG) and involves the use of milling machines equipped with computer technology, which controls the vertical position of the milling motors. This equipment can be adjusted to change elevation and slope, depending on the data sent from a total station, eliminating the need for excess labour and reducing overall costs. Usually a surveyor places the stakes and equipment operators adjust the mill’s depth.
Advantages of Automated Machine Guidance (AMG)
AMG technology has been in use for several years but has seen increased use among manufacturers only recently. It plays a vital role in every phase of the construction process. It is also popular because it can work with different equipment types. It uses satellite positioning to help with essential activities including excavating, milling, paving and grading. All of these make the construction process as accurate as possible, something which manual labour can simply not match.
Satellite positioning allows AMG equipment in the following ways:
It allows the equipment to locate excavator buckets through the use of horizontal and vertical positioning in order to help the operator in charge of the equipment.
These machines offer other advantages to operators. They can be used to produce the correct profile for a road without the use of an external reference such as a stringline, which is not always accurate. For a stringline system to be accurate, the surveyor must constantly monitor each pin that he sets, while noting factors which can displace the pin, such as wind.
Using 3D milling allows the machine to follow the design instead of using inaccurate pins for reference. This technology is also helpful when working with multiple milling machines. Setting up stringlines for three different machines is difficult, but with 3D milling, you can work with multiple machines without worrying about not following the design correctly.
Reproducing an engineer’s specifications to accurate levels is also possible with the 3D system; and this type of milling can help you with more complex designs, such as elevated curves and transitions. If this technology is to remain popular in the near future, then its setbacks must also be addressed. These include machine speed, radio communications and the availability of design data.
6-Axis Milling Machines
Milling machines are efficient and productive, and allow new technologies to be incorporated into the established work. These machines are also popular because the smaller milling machines are capable of performing specific functions such as milling and drilling. This is one of the reasons for the projected growth of the milling machine market globally in the coming years.
6-axis machines are a big attraction in the milling machine market. These machines convert a raw metal bar into a finished product by turning the material from both ends of the fixture. This eliminates the need for multiple fixtures. The overall process is made faster because there is no need to wait during the process of moving the workpiece from one machine to another. This method also prevents batch queuing because it concentrates solely on making the manufacturing process as simple as possible.
6-axis machines can also be used to complete complex work, such as drilling holes of varying diameters and shapes or switching the cutting speed and pattern type. These attributes make the 6-axis CNC type of machine desirable for manufacturers who want great quality and minimal errors.
Until now, the tendency of mechanical and molding processing development in the world need the high speed and effectiveness working center for cutting, but actually in 6-axis working center,the high accuracy and high speed factors would not be combined by the cutting strength, so it is not convenient for processing in industry. If resolving this problem, i.e. high accuracy and 360 degrees angles have to be in high-speed universal milling machine, but now the present universal milling machine has not enough high speed knife head. The present construction of universal milling machine knife head using the umbrella gears for jointed with power delivery, this upgrade face the issue: traditional swivel umbrella gear own large cutting- torque and can produce high temperature easily, this results made a low cutting head development. If in technologies to improving this traditional construction, we need discuss with the R&D. we image the improved turning speed from10,000r/min to 20,000r/min in the future.
Milling machines developed in the previous years used levers to operate, but the modern ones operate with the help of computers. CNC machines are seeing an increase in demand due to the increased use of CNC for cutting, which has led to reduced human error and faster cutting time.
CNC machine manufacturers have successfully integrated 3D printing technology and this has led to far superior product designs than were previously possible. It has also greatly reduced wastage of resources.