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Horizontal vs. Vertical Milling

Planner Milling & CNC Vertical Milling

Technox Machine & Manufacturing Inc. is a full-service machine shop that specializes in high-quality machined parts and metalworking operations. We offer turnkey solutions for your machining needs, ranging from low- and high-volume productions of small goods to the production of oversized assemblies.

As part of our capabilities, we offer horizontal and vertical milling services. Milling processes use rotating cutters to remove excess material from a workpiece. Here, we’ll go over the differences between horizontal vs. vertical milling to ensure you choose the right option for your needs.

What Is Horizontal Milling?

For horizontal milling processes, the CNC machine has a spindle that’s oriented in a horizontal position. The affixed cutting tool on the spindle will then move from side to side across the length of the available space, removing excess material from the adjacent workpiece. Horizontal milling machines typically use a disc-shaped cutter resembling a saw blade.

Because of the spindle’s orientation, the mill can create deep, heavy cuts in the workpiece. This makes horizontal milling ideal for creating slots, grooves, and angled cuts. Horizontal milling machines are often the preferred choice for heavy-duty or large components because they have large beds and more powerful motors. Other key benefits of horizontal milling machines include:

  • Versatility. These mills can be used at a wide variety of speeds and with different cutting tools.
  • Chip evacuation. One common problem with cutting deep grooves and narrow cuts into workpieces is that chips can build up in the cuts and between moving pieces. Horizontal mills are oriented for simple chip removal, resulting in cleaner surface finishes.
  • Milling on multiple sides. Horizontal mills can cut and machine multiple sides of a workpiece rather than focusing on just one side.


What Is Vertical Milling?

Vertical milling machines also feature rotating cutting tools attached on a spindle. In these machines, the spindle is oriented vertically and moves up and down to make cuts into a workpiece. There are two main types of vertical milling machines: turret mills, which are small, versatile options with a fixed spindle, and bed mills, which have a moving bed to allow for a full, 3-axis range of movement.

Some of the key benefits of vertical milling processes include:

  • Cost-effectiveness. The machines are more affordable than heavier horizontal milling machines, making the process cheaper both for manufacturers and their clients. 
  • Available expertise. Vertical mills are the default option for most manufacturers. This makes it easier to find expert operators who can manage complex designs or unique projects. 
  • Reduced risk of error. The vertical spindle orientation makes it easier for operators and monitoring systems to detect potential errors or misalignment. This results in higher product quality, less material waste, and faster production overall. 


Which One Is Right for Your Application?

Both horizontal mills and vertical mills offer several key benefits, and the best option depends on your project’s particular requirements. Crucial factors to consider when choosing the right process include:

  • Size and shape of the piece
  • Number of planes on which the piece needs to be worked

Heavier workpieces or items that need to be worked on several sides are most suitable for horizontal milling, whereas projects like sinking dies are ideal for vertical milling. 


Horizontal and Vertical Milling Services at Technox

At Technox, we specialize in both horizontal and vertical milling. We have the equipment and the expertise to create a diverse array of custom parts with different machining techniques. For help determining the right milling process for your needs, contact us today, or request a quote to get started.

CNC Milling Services for Large Parts

Planner Milling & CNC Vertical MillingAn integral process in modern machining, computer numerical control (CNC) milling is capable of much more than generating small parts. In machining, large parts are considered to be any component with size requirements that exceed standard CNC milling equipment or weights that surpass a single employee’s capability to carry. Projects of this size or weight mean that manufacturers must have specialized equipment to handle production on such a scale, backed by a team of experienced operators. 

Technox Machine & Manufacturing Inc. is a one-stop shop for all your fabricating and machining needs. With nearly endless options for part size and weight, our team manufactures large-scale parts at the highest levels of quality and precision, customizing our products to fit any application or industry.


Large Part CNC Milling 

CNC milling is a subtractive machining process that relies on computer-controlled tooling and instructions to selectively cut and drill materials away from a larger workpiece, ultimately shaping a custom component. CNC milling machines can rotate tools along multiple axes to mechanically remove material from varying planes of the workpiece. 

Large CNC milling machines follow similar steps as those in other CNC machining processes, including: 

  •     Design creation through computer-aided design (CAD) software
  •     Conversion of CAD files into numerical codes the CNC equipment can digitally read
  •     Preparation and positioning of the tooling and workpiece
  •     Automated part generation

Manufacturers can use CNC mills for a wide array of large parts with numerous material options. However, they should select an effective material best suited for the specific end-product. Brass, aluminum, stainless steel, and strong high-temp alloys are ideal metals for the process, as are several plastic options.

CNC milling offers numerous benefits for even large-scale components, including:

CNC Milling Benefits

  • Accuracy. CNC milling machines operate with minimal human intervention, bypassing the possibility of employee error in the manufacturing process. These machines rely on software codes, thus delivering consistent and repeatable precision without flaws. These automated machines can also operate for long hours without compromising the quality or tight tolerances of jobs.
  • Speed. The automation of the CNC milling process and the ability for simultaneous cuts allow for faster and more efficient production, as well as increased productivity overall. Machines can operate rapidly to match the demand for products without breaking or tiring.
  • Versatility. In addition to the wide array of material choices that this process offers, once the CAD software translates a design into programmed instructions for the CNC mill, the equipment can produce parts for even the most complex of components. 
  • Safety. CNC mills isolate machines from most human contact, reducing the risks that result from direct interaction between humans and traditional milling machines. Also, modern CNC machines can automatically change tools during processing, which can potentially eliminate the human aspect from the tooling preparation stage. This allows employees to execute software program updates and utilize preventive measures to keep the machines running.
  • Cost-effectiveness. When you combine the above benefits, it’s clear that CNC milling machines can significantly cut down on production costs, all while maintaining high levels of quality and performance. For instance, they improve productivity, with higher output in less time than manual or standard operations. CNC milling services also offload financial liabilities and downtime costs incurred through common accidents with machines that rely on human-machine interaction.


Planer Milling & CNC Vertical Milling Capabilities

At Technox, we can help you mill any large part up to 113″ x 336″ x 84″ with tolerances of ±0.0005″ of the design specifications. We’re also capable of milling all kinds of materials, including copper, cast iron, bronze, aluminum, plastics, and wood. Our three facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art machines such as:

  •     Planer milling machinery
  •     3- and 4-axis CNC vertical milling equipment
  •     35 high-capacity forklifts, cranes, and hoisting machines for lifting up to 15 tons

Technox also offers planer milling services. In this process, the mill shapes the outer profile of a component by making linear cuts to achieve grooves and notches. This works differently than CNC milling since the planer mill moves a workpiece back and forth against the tool, whereas CNC mills rotate the cutting tools against the workpiece. Planer milling processes often create end-products such as rings, castings, segments, shafts, and dial plate drums.

Industries Served 

CNC Milling Industries Served

Our cutting-edge large CNC machining and planer equipment can handle the manufacture of large parts for a variety of industries. CNC milling services work well in the following industries:

  •     Aerospace
  •     Automotive and transportation
  •     Consumer goods
  •     Electronics
  •     Healthcare
  •     Military and defense
  •     Robotics and automation

As for planer milling, the process has applications in the following sectors:

  •     Automation
  •     Bulk conveying
  •     Food handling
  •     Packaging machinery
  •     Oil & pipeline equipment
  •     Plastic and steel processing
  •     Printing machinery

Types of Large Milled Parts

Types of Large Milled Parts

While milling machines can produce smaller components for the above industries, large parts are also highly valued in these sectors. For example, the aerospace industry requires large, high-performance parts for turbines, satellites, and airplanes. The power generation sector also utilizes gas and wind turbines. In automotive and transportation applications, trucks, tractors, cranes, bulldozers, ship components, and other heavy-duty equipment require large and heavy fabricated parts. Machine tables or bases, fixture plates, and other components also necessitate services for oversized workpieces. Once again, versatility is a definite advantage in milling processes.

Large Part CNC Milling 101

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Why Technox? 

We believe that our clients deserve the best quality in their products, and we’ve built a repertoire of comprehensive fabrication services to meet your exacting design needs. In addition to planer and CNC vertical milling, we also offer turning, boring, countersinking, knurling, tapping, and threading. Technox also provides secondary and finishing services including welding, assembly, heat treating, saw cutting, shot blasting, part repair, painting, plating, and powder coating to meet all our customers’ needs.

Our team can assist you in choosing the material and machining process that best fits your application while also providing access to our expertise in oversized and complex parts. Coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) assist us in assuring that completed components match up with the initial design specifications for superior accuracy. We aim to reduce manufacturing costs without sacrificing quality, and so Technox is in compliance with all industry standards.


Technox is committed to strict quality management, and so we ensure that our processes are compliant with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, maintaining an ISO 9001:2015 certification. As an Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA)-compliant company, we also value a safe working environment for our team of experienced machinists. Finally, Technox’s American Welding Society (AWS)-certified professionals thoroughly inspect and test your welded products to guarantee optimal quality.

Contact Technox, Your ​​Trusted Large Part Fabrication Partner  

CNC milling machines have undoubtedly revolutionized large part fabrication processes. However, the quality of your large parts depends on the manufacturing team that you trust. Technox offers superior, customizable CNC and planer milling services to best meet our customers’ exacting specifications. Contact us today and let us help you maintain the highest quality with your large part fabrication project, or request a quote to get started.

Horizontal Boring: All You Need to Know

For applications requiring holes drilled in workpieces of various sizes, horizontal boring services may apply. Horizontal boring machines are compatible with many types of workpieces and can efficiently drill into workpieces while achieving tight tolerances.


Horizontal Boring & CNC Horizontal Boring

Horizontal Boring 101

Boring enables operators to further process cast, forged, or drilled holes that exist within a workpiece, enlarging them, improving their dimensional accuracy, or increasing the diameter of the hole. These processes can also increase surface smoothness and ensure the original hole axis’s deviation is correct.

This process relies on horizontal boring machines, which include a column, bed, spindle, saddle, and ram. The machine travels horizontally on the X-axis along the bed. Meanwhile, the saddle travels along the row vertically on the Y-axis. The plunger and boring tool then move inward on the Z-axis and outward on the W-axis. The machine then cuts around a stationary workpiece installed on the front side of the boring machine. This is what makes horizontal boring different from vertical boring, in which the workpiece turns while the tool remains stationary.


Advantages of Horizontal Boring

Horizontal boring manufacturing offers many benefits, such as:

  • The Ability to Produce Large-Format Elements: The right horizontal boring equipment works with large workpieces, enabling the production of large-format parts for various industries. This is especially useful for industrial and agricultural applications.
  • The Ability to Produce Large Numbers of Parts: Due to their ability to make multiple cuts simultaneously and their high speed of cutting, horizontal boring machining can produce many parts for applications requiring a high volume of components quickly.
  • Minimized Tool Deflection: If a tool faces more resistance than it can handle, deflection may occur. As a result, the tool may initiate an improper drilling angle due to the application of excessive force. However, horizontal boring machines help prevent this because they maintain a closer distance between the drill and the anchor point during drilling.
  • The Ability to Apply CNC Boring Technology: Computer numerical control (CNC) is a type of technology that controls certain machining tools through software programming. This enables operators to enter specific commands that machines must follow, including horizontal boring machines. These CNC machines help maximize precision while minimizing the risk for human error during the boring process.

Horizontal Boring Services from Technox

At Technox Machine & Manufacturing Inc., we provide reliable horizontal boring services to help ensure accurate, high-quality, and timely component orders. We perform these services with some of the best horizontal boring equipment, including machines with a maximum of 120″ x 152″ x 70″ work envelope, along with a five-axis capacity. These capabilities enable us to machine some of the most complex parts at consistently fast speeds. At the same time, we can maintain precision with tolerances of ± 0.0005″. 

We have the equipment and skills required to complete many machining processes and work with a wide variety of materials, including engineering plastics, high-performance alloys, and standard metals.

Contact Our Experts for Premium Horizontal Boring Solutions

If you require horizontal boring services, turn to the professionals at Technox. We’ve provided premier horizontal boring services and more to customers since 1976. With customers across a wide range of industries, including steel mills, fluid power, oil and gas, and equipment, we have a reputation for delivering quality products.

For more information about our services, contact us today or get started on your next project when you request a free quote.

Boring vs. Turning – All You Need to Know

Since our humble beginnings in 1976 as a job shop and repair company, Technox Machine & Manufacturing has grown into one of the largest complete metal fabrication operations in Chicago. As a one-stop shop, we offer machining, fabricating, grinding, and welding services for a wide range of industries, including steel, food, oil and gas, plastics, paper, textiles, and recycling.

Two of our most popular services are boring and turning. Both processes cut material away from a workpiece to create a new shape, but they do so in different ways. To select the right method for your application, learn more about each process here. 

Boring vs Turning comparison

Horizontal Boring & CNC Horizontal BoringBoring

In boring, a non-rotating cutting tool—like a drill—removes internal material from a workpiece to create or enlarge holes. Boring must achieve tight tolerances and precise results, requiring the expertise of a skilled technician. The process is performed on a lathe, boring miller, or conventional milling machine.

There are horizontal and vertical boring processes, but horizontal boring is generally more versatile. Vertical boring requires the workpiece to move while the tool is held in place, which translates to limitations in workpiece size. In horizontal boring, the workpiece is kept stationary, enabling larger part sizes, increased production speed, reduced tool deflection, and compatibility with CNC machining. With complex projects, these benefits add up to faster turnaround times and lower price points. 


Turning - Horizontal, Vertical & CNC TurningTurning

Like boring, turning uses a stationary, non-rotating cutting tool. However, instead of removing internal material and increasing inner diameter, turning removes external material from the workpiece, thereby reducing the outer diameter.

CNC turning centers are available in 3-, 4-, and 5-axis varieties. The more axes, the more complex geometries the machine can produce. All turning subtypes—tapered, hard, and spherical—require a cutting tool to remove material. Lathes are best for simple turning projects, while CNC turning centers are ideal for more complex capabilities that require multiple tool changers and chip conveyors.

Premium Boring and Turning Services from Technox

At Technox Machine & Manufacturing, we provide many types of boring and turning services. Our state-of-the-art facility houses cutting-edge machinery and technology, including 15-ton lifting cranes to manage especially large parts. Our horizontal boring and CNC horizontal boring machines offer 5-axis capacity and a maximum work envelope of 120” x 152” x 70”, allowing us to produce complex parts with tolerances of ± 0.0005”. We work with a vast array of materials, including:

  • Steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Nickel
  • Cast iron
  • Inconel
  • Hastelloy
  • Plastics

Our horizontal, vertical, and CNC turning capabilities include 3- and 4-axis equipment that can produce parts with diameters up to 152” and lengths up to 240”, with tolerances of ± 0.001”. 

Through stringent testing and inspecting during all phases of production, Technox consistently demonstrates a commitment to high quality with every project. We work closely with our clients to deliver complete metal fabrication solutions and finishing services, which include painting, powder coating, plating, and more. From prototypes to high-volume production runs, we manage everything in-house to keep your costs low and ensure quick delivery. Contact us to learn more about our services, or request a quote to start your project today. 


MIG vs TIG Welding

Welding is a fabrication process that involves the use of heat and/or pressure to form a durable joint between two separate pieces of material. Depending on the part and production specifications, industry professionals employ different welding techniques to create the desired assemblies. Two of the most common welding methods used are MIG and TIG welding. The following blog post provides a comparison between the two, outlining what they entail, advantages and disadvantages, materials utilized, and typical industrial applications.

Types of Welding Methods

Numerous techniques and technologies have been developed to optimize the welding process for different materials and products, including:

  • Arc welding uses an electrical current to weld metals. Types of arc welding include metal inert gas (MIG) welding and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, among others.
  • Friction welding melts the bonding and base material through mechanical friction. This process can be used with thermoplastics and metals.
  • Electron beam welding uses a stream of electrons to melt materials into a joint. This process must be completed in a vacuum and is typically used for thicker components.
  • Laser welding is a high-speed process that employs a laser to melt and join metals and/or thermoplastics together.
  • Resistance welding uses heat generated between electrodes or rotating wheels to melt and join the base materials. Types include spot welding and seam welding.

MIG vs. TIG: Which One Is the Best for Your Application?

MIG welding and TIG welding operate under a similar principle; heat generated by an electrical current melts the base materials and/or bonding materials, which, when cooled, form a solid joint. Despite similarities between the two processes, they remain distinct in their benefits and best use cases.

TIG Welding: Benefits and Applications

tig welding process illustration

TIG—i.e., tungsten inert gas—welding is highly versatile, enabling industry professionals to join a wide range of small and thin materials. It uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to heat the metal and can be used with or without a filler.

Compared to MIG welding, it is much slower, often resulting in longer lead times and greater production costs. Additionally, welders require highly specialized training to ensure they achieve proper precision and accuracy. However, it also offers greater control during the welding operation and produces strong, precise, and aesthetically pleasing welds.

MIG Welding: Benefits and Applications

mig welding process illustration

MIG—i.e., metal inert gas—welding is generally used for large and thick materials. It employs a consumable wire that acts as both the electrode and the filler material.

Compared to TIG welding, it is much faster, resulting in shorter lead times and lower production costs. Additionally, it is easier to learn and produces welds that require little to no cleaning and finishing. However, its welds are not as precise, strong, or clean as those formed by TIG welding operations.


Typical Materials Used in MIG and TIG Welding Operations

Both MIG and TIG welding can be used on a wide range of metals, with MIG welding more suitable for thick materials and TIG more appropriate for thin materials. Typical weld materials include aluminum, carbon steel, and stainless steel.

Why Choose Technox for Your Welding Needs?

At Technox Machine & Manufacturing, we are a full-service job shop and repair company specializing in manufacturing large assemblies and subassemblies in prototype to full production quantities. In addition to our machining and grinding capabilities, our secondary services range from fabrication and welding to complete repair, replacement, and reassembly.

Our fully certified welders are well-versed in MIG and TIG welding and accommodate aluminum, carbon steel, and stainless steel materials. Some of the typical products we assemble and repair in our welding department include bearings, bearing housings, and bushings. All of our welded products adhere to ISO 9001:2015, AWS, and OSHA standards.

To learn more about our welding capabilities, contact us or request a quote today.