At its bare bones, machining removes excess raw material from a bar stock, typically metal. High-precision machining uses high-performance cutting tools combined with sophisticated software and engineering talent to achieve highly accurate levels of machining.
Modern tools with incredibly tight tolerances reach mind-blowing limits of design feature creation. The materials used in these precise machining processes allow engineers to produce parts that meet specifications and tolerances. These high tolerance levels make high-precision machining stand out from every other machining process.
Learn more about high-precision machining methods from Glenn Metalcraft. The company is a leader in the precision machining industry.
Their collection of modern tools uses the latest software, and the manufacturing atmosphere is regulated to enable the production of precise prototypes and production parts. Some high-tech machining methods include robotic welding, metal spinning, cutting, and other machining tools in their extreme heavy metal spinning processes.
Defining High Precision in Machining
High-precision machining is critical in developing most machines, equipment, and parts today. In principle and execution, the process must ensure machined parts meet specifications and fit precisely. The quality of the machined parts forms the core parts of the process – perhaps even more important than the speed and volume of production and costs.
Modern CNC technology in high-precision machining has significantly evolved over the past decade. The industrial engineering tools required to produce high-precision parts use advanced software and are produced using ultra-precise tools. These machines follow particular engineering blueprints made using computer-aided design or manufacturing (CAD or CAM) programs such as TurboCAD and AutoCAD.
The sophistication of modern-day CNC and other high-precision machining tools makes it easy to produce parts by feeding the machine with a ready-design blueprint. The blueprints are typically 3-dimensional diagrams or outlines of the tools, parts, or objects to be machined. In some cases, engineers can feed hand-drawn sketches and rough designs of precision parts directly into the machine and still produce exact details.
Tools Used in High-Precision Machining
There are various types of milling and cutting tools used in precision machining. These tools are designed and made to meet strict tolerance stress resistance requirements.
The most common tools used in precision machining today are:
- Robotic welders
- Waterjet cutting
- Electrical discharge machines (EDMs)
- Milling machines
Modern precision machining is done using a heavy CNC machine. CNC stands for computerized numerical control. As the name hints, this is a computerized manufacturing process that uses programmable software and code to control the movement of machining tools. It is because of the computerization of the process that modern precision machining can produce high-precision results.
Common Applications of High-Precision Machining?
The subtractive process of precision machining is used to create a wide range of items, products, and parts from different materials. Since the parts require strict tolerance ranges, there is no room for error. The components of small and large objects we rely on in our day-to-day lives are prototyped and produced through precise processes.
Products, parts, and components that need incredibly tight tolerances are the driving forces for precision machining. The process of precision engineering and machining ensures that only parts that meet the set manufacturing tolerances are produced.
CNC high-precision engineering is also used to repair tools and components that wear out over time. For instance, machine components with moveable parts may wear out and get loose over time. Engineers may use re-calibration, welding, and grooving processes to restore the parts to their original state.
Another common application of high-precision engineering is producing automated production lines and test fixtures. This application is more prevalent in the electronics, medical machine production, and automotive assembly industries.
Quality Inspections on High-Precision Machining Methods
The primary reason to choose CNC high-precision machining is that it ensures high productivity and fewer errors than traditional machining. However, despite the system’s reliability and processes, quality inspection is still a necessary part of the process. Engineers must carry out inspection and quality control at all stages of the machining process.
There are three quality inspection levels in the production process:
- Checking machine tool accuracy – This includes optimizing the accuracy and centering of the machining tool. It also covers testing other tool parameters, such as the orientation of the axis and spindle.
- Testing part or product size and position – This test also includes checking geometric and dimensional tolerances and may vary based on the requirements of the tool or application.
- Monitoring and controlling the machining process to avoid errors – Many factors can influence the precision and accuracy of the machining process. Process monitoring must be carried out at every stage of the product lifecycle, from ideation and design to prototyping and mass production.
Note that quality control and inspection differ from quality assurance in machining. The latter refers to the efficiency of the quality inspection set by the company carrying out the machining process. Quality assurance often includes external non-machining factors such as related documents and product delivery.
What to do to Ensure Quality Precision Machining
Here are five critical things every engineer, designer, or company must do to ensure quality high-precision machining:
- Choose the best precision machining tools for the job at hand
- Use the right high-precision machining methods for the part
- Set and maintain a quality assurance system at every stage of production
- Establish tight tolerances in all operations from design to machining
- Check the raw materials before beginning the machining process
Get the Highest Quality Parts
The rapid evolution of CNC high-precision machining technologies has empowered manufacturers to put higher precision requirements for their prototypes and products in place. In recent years, the machining industry has been developing faster, making it possible for anyone with design software to access high-precision machining wherever they are.
Are you interested in high-precision machining? Need a prototype or a full production run that would benefit from high-precision machining methods? If so, go to GleenMetalcraft.com to get the right answers from the experts.