From manufacturing and metalworking to aerospace and engineering, milling machines are used across industries. They come in various types, and each type of milling machine is designed for a particular purpose within an industry. These machines help companies complete projects with greater efficiency and produce more accurate results.

Once you choose the right type of milling machine for your intended applications, you’ll need to invest in the proper power source. Phase converters are the best tool for the job. That’s because they provide a steady stream of electricity from start to finish, ensuring a project is never interrupted. But first, let’s take a closer look at the different types of milling machines, how they work, and what they’re used for.

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What Is A Milling Machine?

Milling machines use high-speed, rotating cutting devices to remove smaller metal pieces from a larger whole—also called the workpiece. This removal process is called milling. An individual milling machine can use just one cutter or multiple cutters at a time. It varies between milling machine types.

Knee & Column Milling Machines

Knee and column milling machines are the most commonly used type of milling machine on the market. They’re characterized by a vertical column that’s attached to a foundation, which facilitates the machine’s rotation. The knee is responsible for rotating the workpiece—which is at the machine’s base—in a vertical direction.

Knee and column milling machines are available in the following sub-types.

Vertical Milling Machines

Vertical milling machines feature a vertical spindle that runs perpendicular to the work table. The column—to which the spindle head is attached—rotates at an angle. Although the cutter is attached to the spindle, it can be adjusted up and down in some cases.

The cutting tools attached have edges that remove material from metal, wood, and plastic workpieces. As a result, vertical milling machines are designed to machine grooves, slot keyways, produce flat surfaces, and drill and bore holes.

Horizontal Milling Machines

Unlike the spindle on a vertical milling machine which runs perpendicular to the table, the spindle on a horizontal milling machine runs parallel to the table. The workpiece lies horizontally while the cutting device moves vertically. This milling machine type is meant to make rougher cuts on larger workpieces.

Universal Milling Machines

Universal milling machines are the most versatile knee and column milling machines. That’s because they can be used vertically or horizontally and have attachments that can be added to maximize operational capacity, including the following:

  • Slotting attachment
  • Rotary attachment
  • Vertical milling attachment
  • Index head or dividing head

The table can even swivel up to 45 degrees on both sides. Universal milling machines are used primarily to make tools like milling cutters, reamers, drills, and more.

person using milling machine

Fixed Bed or Manufacturing Milling Machines

Fixed bed milling machines—also known as manufacturing milling machines—feature a bed that’s fixed. While the saddle and knee cannot be adjusted, the spindle is moveable.

Here are the three types of fixed bed milling machines along with what makes them distinct.

  • Simplex milling machine: The spindle only moves in one direction, usually vertically.
  • Duplex milling machine: The spindle can move vertically and horizontally.
  • Triplex milling machine: The spindle can move in three directions.

Plano Millers

Plano millers are large in size and durable, which makes them ideal for heavy-duty tasks that other milling machines are capable of handling. These milling machines are characterized by an adjustable spindle head and cross rails that raise and lower the cutting devices.

CNC Milling Machines

While the milling machines described above all require manual operation, CNC milling machines are computer-controlled. CNC stands for computer numerical control.

man programming a CNC milling machine

This milling machine type requires minimal human control. All you have to do is provide the computer with a sketch of the workpiece, and the machine will do the rest of the work for you based on the computer’s instructions. This advanced technology increases operational efficiency and reduces material waste.

CNC milling machines are the most versatile type of milling machine. The table has 360-degree rotation capabilities, the spindle can move in three different directions, and the cutters move across axes. CNC milling machines are ideal for work in the production industry as well as to create custom-designed parts.

Benefits of Using a Phase Converter for Your Milling Machine

We recommend using a rotary phase converter to power your milling machine because it provides a continuous supply of reliable power for every project. That means no interruptions, which results in less downtime and enhanced production efficiency. Rotary phase converters are also highly energy-efficient, which will reduce your monthly electricity bill.

Buy Phase Converters With Confidence

Do you need a phase converter you can count on to power all your milling machine applications? Phoenix Phase Converters is the name you can trust. Our single-phase to three-phase converters are the highest-quality, best-priced ones on the market—guaranteed. From design and development to manufacturing and distribution, we handle everything in-house to ensure the highest quality. We even customize the phase converter to meet your intended application.

When you need the right power source for every job at an unmatched value, look no further than Phoenix Phase Converters. Shop our collection of phase converters to find the right one for your business.

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