The evolution of Boring Mills
Boring Mills used to be gear driven, mechanical machines where the operator would throw levels to engage clutches and change feed rates or crank large wheels to move on an axis. Today, Boring Mills have been integrated with computer numerical control (CNC) technology where the operator merely sets the workpiece and allow the machine to do the work that has been programmed on a computer. With the integration of CNC, quality and speed have been maximized. The demand for Boring Mills has remained to be consistent even if the machine is significantly expensive because Boring Mills perform machining operations that are required in the global manufacturing market. The boring mill is used in a wide range of applications in the energy industry, oil and gas production, windmill manufacturing, mining, chemical processing, aerospace, ship building, communications and construction including the manufacture of the machine itself.
Advantages of Boring Mills
Boring Mills are machines that are precise, intricate and versatile that is why they are considered over other flashier machine tools. Since the boring mill has a larger configurable envelope for a part, large parts with dimensions beyond 60” envelope can easily be machined on the boring mill which is not possible in the traditional machining centers. Another advantage of the Boring Mills is the spindle that advances out from its headstock to allow the operator to reach into small cavities. With the live spindle, there is an opportunity to keep the tooling short from the cutting point to where it fixes to the spindle so as minimize deflection. In spite of the bulk of the boring mill, it can be transported to different locations since a good deal of boring jobs are done offsite. Boring Mills are usually contracted for offsite repairs because of the investment required to own such machine.
The two types of Boring Mills
Boring Mills come in two types, the horizontal boring mill and the vertical boring mill. The main difference between the two types of Boring Mills is the way the spindle is mounted. In the horizontal boring mill, the spindle is mounted horizontally while in the vertical boring mill, the spindle is mounted vertically. In the horizontal boring mill, the workpiece is stationary while the tool turns while in the vertical boring mill, the tool is stationary while the workpiece turns. When choosing between the two types of Boring Mills, the shape of the workpiece will determine the kind of machine. The horizontal boring mill is usually more versatile because it does not limit part size and you can work with a 10’ tall part on the table.