Horizontal Machining Centers' Enhanced Capabilities Shorten Payback Periods

: At roughly twice the price of a vertical machining center, do horizontal machining centers make sound financial sense? Absolutely, according to Scott Baldus, product specialist at Okuma America Corp. The Charlotte, N.C., machine builder offers both VMCs and HMCs, yet, Baldus noted, HMCs provide, on average, more than three times the spindle utilization of VMCs. “There are a number of reasons for this,” Baldus explained. “Number one is that horizontals generally come standard with a pallet changer. While the parts on the first pallet are being machined, the other pallet can be loaded with more parts. When the cycle finishes, the pallet automatically changes. There’s no time lost.”