Milling is the machining process of using rotary cutters to remove material from a work piece, advancing in a direction at an angle with the axis of the tool. It covers a wide variety of different operations and machines, on scales from small individual parts to large, heavy-duty gang milling operations. It is one of the most commonly used processes in industry and machine shops today for machining parts to precise sizes and shapes. Milling can be done with a wide range of machine tools. The original class of machine tools for milling was the milling machine. After the advent of computer numerical control (CNC), milling machines evolved into machining centers (milling machines with automatic tool changers, tool magazines or carousels, CNC control, coolant systems, and enclosures), generally classified as vertical machining centers (VMCs) and horizontal machining centers (HMCs). The integration of milling into turning environments and vice versa, begun with live tooling for lathes and the occasional use of mills for turning operations, led to a new class of machine tools, multitasking machines (MTMs), which are purpose-built to provide for a default machining strategy of using any combination of milling and turning within the same work envelope.
Milling operations are essential in the oil and gas industry to protect equipment damage, injury or death of any employee and loss of natural resources. Therefore, the market for milling equipment is driven mainly due to the growth of the oil & gas industry to provide a safer environment to work. Additionally, governmental organizations such as occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Labor have imposed some regulations in the oil & gas industry in order to reduce the number of fatal accidents. Thus, such factors are spurring the oil milling equipment market. However, installation of this equipment requires high amount of capital which may act as a restraint in some areas. Further, the market is coming up with new technologically advanced products, amid growing research investments in this market. Moreover, technically expert professionals are required to survey and provide tangible evidence of the well pressure and extraction methods in order to ascertain the requirement for the appropriate milling tools.
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There are various components used to conduct milling operations, thus the milling equipment market can be segmented on the basis of type such as end mill, roughing end mill, slab mill, thread mill, hollow mill, shell mill, cement mills, taper mills and pilot mills. Milling equipment market is solely dependent on the growth of the oil & gas industry. Growth trends of the oil & gas industry can be seen in the milling equipment market. New explorations in the offshore field create the demand for these equipments as a safety measure. Thus, the North America and Europe have dominated the market of these equipments whereas Asia Pacific and RoW are expected to grow at healthy growth rates. This is mainly attributed to the growing offshore exploration activities in Asia Pacific and RoW.
The market has been dominated by some big players; however, there is a presence of small players across the globe. Strategic alliances can be seen in this market in order to share the technology and to provide business development representative in various regions. Some of the key players in milling tools market include: ISCAR Ltd., Schlumberger Limited, SECO Tools India (P) Ltd., BIG KAISER Precision Tooling Inc. and Sandvik Coromant.
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