What is machining center in CNC

CNC machining center

The term CNC machining center describes stationary, CNC-controlled machine tools. A wide variety of designs are possible depending on the type and direction of workpiece processing. Often the designation is abbreviated as "CNC" or "BAZ".

Although there are also CNC-controlled panel saws, edge banding machines and many other types of machines with CNC control, "CNC" is usually equated with "CNC machining center".

Construction of a CNC machining center

A CNC machining center basically consists of two elements: a machine bed with machine table, and the support or machine structure on which the unit carrier is located.

Machine table:

Basic designs of machine tables:

There are many other special solutions and clamping systems, but these are the most common.

Machine construction / support:

CNC machining centers can be divided into 2 basic designs:

Here, too, there are various special forms.


The actual units required for processing are located on the subframe. This can be, for example:


Today's CNC machining center developed from two types of machine tools: the CNC router and the PTP drilling machine.

The CNC router developed from the classic router machine, with which one could produce freely shaped workpieces using templates. In the 1960s, the Japanese company Shoda Ironworks launched the first CNC-controlled router for woodworking. The first European CNC machine was introduced by Bulleri a short time later.

At the same time, various companies have been developing PTP-controlled drilling machines since the early 1970s. In some countries the term "PTP machine" or "point-to-point" has become so established that it is sometimes used instead of "CNC machining center".

In the mid to late 80s, computer technology fell sharply in price due to the massive spread of home computers, which also had a considerable influence on computer-controlled machines.

During this time, many other manufacturers introduced new generations of machines to the market, where it was no longer possible to differentiate between CNC routers and PTP drilling machines.

The manufacturers of PTP drilling machines now offered milling spindles and possibly other units (e.g. Biesse, Morbidelli, Weeke). The manufacturers who specialize in CNC routers (e.g. Maka, Reichenbacher, SCM) now also equip the machines with drilling units and other units (e.g. lock case unit).

Due to the necessity of integrating several functional units in one machine, the use of subframes prevailed.

At the end of the 1980s, Homag and IMA brought CNC stationary machines with edge banding units to the market at almost the same time. The term "CNC machining center" was used here in brochures and machine descriptions.

Shortly after the first introduction of the term and the simultaneous spread of CNC-controlled multifunctional machines, the term "CNC machining center" established itself for all stationary CNC-controlled machine tools in woodworking.