There’s no simple way to describe the benefits of high-quality, precision machining and its importance in today’s economy.
Just about any industry that relies on precision machined parts uses CNC machining services to create custom machined parts from raw materials, fabrications, or castings into individual components.
CNC machining, or computer numerical control machining, is a type of precision machining that’s automated, enabling high accuracy and extreme precision. Not only can CNC machining attain a degree of complexity and intricacy that traditional precision machining technology can’t, it’s also cost-effective, especially when producing complex parts.
Standard CNC machining processes may include the following machining techniques:
In addition to advanced machining, a CNC machine shop may provide additional services that elevate a project:
There are two main spindle orientations in CNC machining. In vertical CNC machines, the spindle axis, which is called the z-axis, is oriented vertically. In a C-column configuration, the spindle travels in this direction, and the table which holds the workpiece moves in both x and y horizontal directions. Vertical machines are perfect for projects milled from one side, such as covers and brackets.In horizontal CNC machines, the spindle z-axis is horizontal and typically parallel to the length of the machine. The spindle travels the vertical y-axis and horizontally in the x-axis. The pallet and fixtures hold the workpiece and move in the z-axis, and the B-axis rotates. Horizontal machining has several advantages including accessing machining from four sides and better chip evacuation. Typically, heavy workpieces are a better fit for horizontal machines the machines are more sturdy, include pallet changers, hold more tools, and can be more easily loaded and accessed by the spindle using B-axis rotations.
Simply put, a CNC machine operator transforms metal castings into working machined parts. Sounds easy, but it requires a unique mix of brains and hands-on attention to shape a metal casting into a part that meets exact specifications.
Specific responsibilities include:
An operator also listens to the machine during use, paying attention to anything that sounds different than normal and hearing the machine’s alarm for tool life being met. Want to see what else a CNC operator does? Review our blog, Day in the Life: What Does a CNC Operator Do?
CNC machinists can become operators of any number of machines, from a CNC lathe to a CNC robotic cell to many others (see “Types of CNC machines” mentioned above).
There are three methods of casting that are more common and cost-efficient than others:
You may have seen this stat: 80% of the cost to manufacture a product is determined in the design stage. Modern designers use design for manufacturing (DfM) guidelines to reduce costs while simplifying how a product is produced, reducing design rework, and maintaining overall quality. DFM is the merging of product design and its production method and can apply to designing parts or components.