With milling, part of any speed increase can be offset by taking lighter and more numerous cuts, relaxing the strain on the overall process. Unfortunately, this method is unavailable when performing drilling operations: Whatever the drill speed is, the tool path will remain the same and one pass results in one hole. The upshot is that any challenges inherent to the slower process grow more pronounced as spindle speeds and feed rates are increased. Chief among the challenges is the need to remove heat and chips as the drill feeds further into the hole.

The dilemma, of course, is that machine shops want speed. They want high productivity without any detriment to process repeatability or hole quality, both of which increasingly are taken for granted. The bottom line is velocity — literally— because drilling going faster results in greater productivity and higher profit potential.