You may have come across the terms hog mill, hogger, hog grinder, and possibly even just hog. No, these terms are not referring to the cute, plump, squiggly-tailed farm animals that go "oink." They actually refer to various kinds of manufacturing equipment. Despite the silly name, these machines are essential to many manufacturing functions and have a history that explains their off-putting title. Below, you can learn where the name comes from and what a hog mill can do.
What Is A Hog Mill?
A hog mill is one of many terms used to describe a variety of manufacturing machines. Essentially, these machines will mill, grind, and hammer the desired input material. Hog mills are ideal for larger operations as they quickly remove large amounts of material. When using a hog mill the finish does tend to be rougher.
These materials can include just about anything except metals. While the materials used over the years have evolved, today's manufacturers typically use hog mills to process plastic, organics, biological materials, textiles, plastics, and non-ferrous metals.
The hog mills rotor is a critical component of the machine's versatility. Because they are moisture tolerant, they can work under some of the most temperamental and rough conditions. Believe it or not, the design of today's hog mill does not differ much from its predecessor.
Where Does The Name Originate?
Today's hog mills are pretty similar to those produced and sold during the early 1900s, but their original intended use was much different than that of today's machines. Hog mills originally intended to mill – well, hogs. Yes, the animal kind.
Hog mills originally served both the rendering and tallow industries. At the rendering plants, hog mills reduced the cooking times while preparing large carcasses, meats, and other pig parts.
Due to the machine's versatility, it was not long before the hog mill made its way into different industries. Even though the name stuck with these machines, their design changed slightly. These hog grinders expanded into many other industries and became a cornerstone of modern manufacturing with a few necessary enhancements.
Thanks to today's enhancements, modern-day hog mills allow personnel to change screen sizes quickly, access necessary cutting areas, and simplify its operation while maintaining its durability. Hog mills are rough, tough, and nearly indestructible by design.
What Is A CNC Machine?
One type of hog mill or end mill that you may be most familiar with is a CNC machine. While the CNC machine isn't technically the mill, hog mills and end mills work within a CNC machine. CNC machines use specialized software to send automatic milling instructions, sometimes referred to as a toolpath, to the machine. The machine then uses these instructions to cut the preferred design into the stock material.
Even if you aren't in the manufacturing business, you may be more familiar with milling machines than you think! Plenty of people are adopted mini-milling machines into their homes for various crafts and DIY projects. Because of their high precision, individuals use milling machines for engraving and carving.
What Are End Mills?
Many people use the terms hog mills and end mills interchangeably. Essentially, end mills and hog mills rotationally cut stock materials in a horizontal or lateral direction. They also come in a variety of diameters, flutes, types, and lengths. The mill you use depends on the material you are cutting, and the required surface finish for the project.
Industry experts call end mills the cutters of the milling industry. They are often used for contouring, counter-boring, reaming, and slotting. There are many different industries and uses related to hog mills and end mills, including:
- Cutting machine parts
- Wood engravings
- Jewelry design and engravings
- Sign making
- Mold making
- Circuit boards
- Plastic cutting
End And Hog Mill Flutes
What are hog mill flutes? The spiral-shaped cutting edges located along the side of the end mill are known as flutes. The flutes create an empty path in which the cutting material can escape as the end mill rotates through stock material or a workpiece. There are often two, three, or four hog mill flutes and the end of a mill. Mills with two or four flutes tend to be the most popular.
It is hard to believe that a milling machine created over a hundred years ago still has so many uses today. Despite its slightly unsavory history, hog mills make it possible to create many different tools that we use today!
If you have any questions about carbide cutting tools, end mills or turbo mills, be sure to reach out to us @ sctools.co/Home or call us at (877)737-0987. We help you machine better!