There is a vast array of high precision machines, such as EDM, Grinding, Turning, Drilling, and Milling machines, among others. And, depending on the ones your product needs, some of them will become a portion of the manufacturing line dedicated to the most meticulous tasks and meant to provide the accuracy you need when manufacturing your parts.
High precision machines require great maintenance to continue delivering high levels of quality over time, especially when performing in a high-volume production environment, as the increase in use without proper maintenance can translate into increasing tolerances and less precision in the final product.
By receiving input from CAD or CAM software, machines can translate the complex 3-dimensional diagrams or model of a piece, into instructions for the machine to work.
This is done through the usage of CNC (Computer numerically controlled) devices. A CNC machine keeps track of the exact dimensions and processes that are being developed through the run of a product, consequently executing pre-programmed sequences of machine control commands.
Most machines include 2 to 5 axes, to allow for a high range of customization, and sizes of products can go up to 80 inches in some machines and support weights of over 300 lbs.
Some of the machines that perform high precision tasks are:
Turning machines rotate the component, moving it against the cutting tool. These machines are used most frequently in reshaping and resizing original materials into customized components. This process requires large capacity machinery to process materials effectively.
Most turning machines can often produce parts with diameters from under 1″ to over 36″, on up to 10 axes. Turning machines can produce tolerances around 0.0001 inch.
CNC turning machines use multi-axis lathes as a cost-effective method for running production of medium to large size production lines while still meeting precise specification requirements and minimizing lead times.
Milling machines use a rotatory cutting tool following an axis to precisely cut and grind a material in order to reduce one of its dimensions.
CNC milling machines may have 2-axis vertical and horizontal capabilities, can handle up to 36” every direction of the workspace, and have two-pallet shuttle systems, so the parts can be machined on one pallet while the other pallet is being loaded with other parts in order to reduce production times.
Grinding machines are capable of doing cylindrical grinding on outside diameter (OD) and inside diameter (ID), as well as profile grinding, offering solutions for components on a wide range of sizes and shapes.
These machines use abrasive cutting technologies by employing a grinding wheel. This allows them to work within close tolerances (0.00005-0.00002 in).
Grinding machines can perform on hard materials, like steel or carbide, and are ideal on cylindrical grinding applications such as turbine rotors and vanes, high precision bearings and gears, hydraulic components, die plates, tool holding fixtures, fuel injectors, to name a few.
Some high precision machining processes may also require:
- EDMs (Electric discharge machining)
- Water jet cutters.
- Plasma cutters.
- Laser cutting.
- Surface grinders.
- Glass cutting.
As you can see – high precision machining is a huge industry requiring specialized knowledge. If you don’t know how or where to get started, call or talk to us and we’ll help you through every step of the way.