Horizontal Machining Center

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About Horizontal Machining Center

A Horizontal Machining Center (HMC) operates with its spindle in a horizontal position instead of a Vertical position like a VMC.  The CNC horizontal milling machine model allows constant load and unloading of production work with 2 or more pallets.

The main reason production machine shops prefer CNC Horizontal Mills is the horizontal spindle orientation uses gravity to assist removal of metal scraps to fall away during cutting so they don’t have to be moved by man or the machine. However, the HMC is typically more expensive and takes up a larger footprint compared to a VMC. Our experts and can help answer any questions or concerns you might have to see which machining solution (either CNC Horizontal Mills or Horizontal Machining Center) will be a perfect fit for your next manufacturing project.

Why buy used Horizontal Machining Center VS New?

Most horizontal machining center machines are purchased for production and in most cases run 2-3 shifts daily for multiple years. We see in most cases production needs change and process can shift allowing great opportunities for buyers to pick up quality used horizontal cnc mills and save many tens of thousands even hundreds of thousands.

A good quality used Horizontal cnc machining centers start in the hundred thousand range and top out around a half a million depending on brand and options. We see quality used cnc horizontal mills ranging from $40k to low 100k’s with plenty of life for years of quality and reliability. Just depends on your budget and patience because horizontals hit the used cnc market less than verticals.

Some options we suggest you consider is thru spindle coolant, tool eye management with a probe, full 4th axis and minimum of 40 tool changer. Horizontals are designed for unattended manufacturing and having the right configuration lets you produce at full capacity.

7 Things you must look for buying a used horizontal machining center:

  1. Call the local CNC brand distributor to see about service and support.
  2. Inspect mechanical and electrical parts for any crashes and major damage.
  3. Look up operating hours and maintenance records.
  4. Ask the owner why he’s selling or trading the machine.
  5. Have a tech check repeatability and accuracy.
  6. Check control and machine options and functionality.
  7. Talk with other shops that have experience with the brand.