How to Overcome Precision CNC Machining Challenges

At Glenn Metalcraft Inc, we take pride in serving the OEM industry under the direction of our parent company, Elemet Group. We have the privilege of working alongside other companies in the Group that specialize in a variety of manufacturing processes, including precision CNC machining.

Glenn Metalcraft is unique. We are one of the only companies well-versed in precision CNC spinning. The acronym CNC stands for computer numerical control, a method for automating control of machine tools through microcomputer software located in the tool. 

Precision CNC spinning is an extremely effective and accurate way to approach metal fabrication projects. As with any approach, CNC spinning presents challenges. However, these challenges are also solvable. We have composed a list of possible challenges and remedies that you may face when utilizing CNC machining. 

If you have a project in mind and want to take advantage of our efficient and accurate technique, fill out an estimate request now for a free consultation.

5 Common Challenges of Precision CNC Machining 

The most common issues with machined parts arise with improper maintenance and usage. Below are 5 of the most common errors you may encounter when using CNC machinery. 

1. Applying Wrong Settings and Tools 

Using an inappropriate cutting tool or setting will present challenges and errors. If the cutting tool is not sharp and there is not an appropriate cutting coolant used, a poor surface finish will result. Additionally, this causes a cutter mark on your material and unnecessary wear on your tool. 

Damages occur when the machine settings are wrong. When the feed rate is too high, rough edges and marks appear on your piece. Setting the feed rate too low will burn your workpiece. Wrong settings may even burn your tools. 

2. Machine Vibrating and Chattering 

CNC Machine vibration and chatter are related to tools and settings. If your CNC machine is vibrating or chattering, something needs changing. When the issue goes unfixed, tools will lose durability, the accuracy of dimensions will be affected, and the quality of the workpiece will diminish. 

rack of different metal tube profiles

3. Choosing Inappropriate Raw Material 

The material chosen for your project is an important factor. Some machinists will have an easier time working with certain metals. Moreover, some materials require certain strengths when used for specific functions. 

Each metal responds differently to CNC machining. Some metals need extra steps to produce high-quality products, such as deburring. Note how CNC machining affects different metals and parts. 

If you do not take time to consider what metals are best for your project, you may face avoidable issues had you used a different type of material. 

4. Processing and Programming Data 

CNC machining relies on software. This software can easily affect a machine’s performance. Sometimes, issues may arise when the computer software is not productively communicating with the device. For example, the software may dictate machine instructions too slowly. 

CNC machines are programmed and have a programming language. Lack of knowledge of coding and programming data will lead to errors in production and problems with the machines. 

5. Purchasing and Repairing CNC Machines 

CNC machines are expensive and require a hefty investment. CNC machine repairs are also costly. The machines are notoriously complex and require specific mechanical and programming knowledge to repair. The knowledge required takes years to develop and does not come easily.

metal part being fabricated using precision CNC machining

Remedies for Common Precision CNC Machining Challenges

Fortunately, each challenge has a corresponding remedy. Most of the solutions require educating yourself on how CNC machinery works. Knowledge will allow you to take preventive measures to avoid precision CNC spinning errors. 

Deal with Setting and Tools 

Setting and Tool issues are relatively easy to fix. Consider the following solutions: 

  • Examine the material and decide what tool and setting is appropriate 
  • If a tool is blunt, replace the tool with a sharpened tool 
  • Examine the tool type and adjust the settings accordingly 

Listen for Chatter and Vibration 

When these noises appear, something is wrong. Check these areas if you notice chattering or vibrating: 

  • Adjust the RPM 
  • Use tool holders that are balanced 
  • Check if there is enough lubricant 
  •  Look at CNC machine part positioning
  • Check hydraulic pump and pressure 

Know the Correct Material to Use 

Knowing your metals will help you avoid issues linked to the material. To avoid issues: 

  • Know what material you and your staff can machine well 
  • Know the project 
  • Consider what material will be most efficient based on part function 

technician programming precision CNC machine

Address Process and Program Issues 

Processing and programming pitfalls are not easy for new operators to address. An experienced operator that knows coding is best at fixing data issues. However, there are some steps you can take yourself: 

  • Make sure the machine is aligned mechanically 
  • Try turning off the machine and reboot 
  • Technical upgrades
  • Invest in programming training 

The most beneficial fix for an ineffective CNC machine is to upgrade hardware and computer software. 

Take Preventive Measures to Reduce Repairs 

Upfront, CNC machinery is expensive. Small companies may struggle to adjust to the costs of CNC machinery. In the long run, investing in CNC machining will yield profit. 

Repairs are costly and require expertise. To reduce the cost of repairs, make sure you are proactive. Follow these suggestions: 

  • Invest in preventive machine maintenance programs 
  • Make sure technicians know how to operate CNC equipment correctly
  • Regularly check hardware and software 
  • Clean and perform regular maintenance on the machine, often 
  • Check airflow and lube levels 

Calipers, pen, and other tools laying on a precision CNC machining drawing

CNC Machining Solutions 

There are many challenges presented when operating CNC machinery. However, understanding possible difficulties will help you fix them.

It is feasible to operate precision CNC spinning smoothly. The right information and materials are needed. If you are interested in an in-depth review of the benefits of CNC machines, check out this article. 

To keep away from CNC machinery complications altogether, hire Glenn Metalcraft Inc for your precision CNC spinning needs. Our staff are adept at addressing issues that arise while operating CNC machines. Our highly skilled team is dedicated to fulfilling project needs and providing excellent customer service. Reach out to Glenn Metalcraft today!

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