Technology has become an integral part of today’s industrialized world. With the advent of new technologies and machines, demands have increased. In a paradigm as such, where demand for machines is increasing at a rapid rate and are required in every field, there is no room for errors.
Technologies require the latest machines, and making these machines require calculations and precision. Remember using screw gauges for doing your physics experiments in school? Screw gauges help in determining the most accurate size of the object to be measured. As important it was to get the numbers right during the experiment, in an actual industrial set up precision becomes even more important as e deal with high-end machines.
Larger machines that need smaller parts to be assembled require meticulous measurement of the smaller parts for them to fit in. For example, while building a larger spacecraft, it requires many smaller parts like the engine, power system, and so on. These parts, like the engine, require even smaller parts that go down to parts as small as screws. To enable accuracy, methods like precision machining are applied, to produce precision machined parts.
Precision machining is the method applied in cutting larger machine parts to optimum dimensions to fit them in today’s modern machines. It is used for producing a huge number of smaller and larger parts that are a part of our everyday lives. All such intricate parts require some level of machinist’s expertise.
Almost all metal parts need precision machining to shape and size them. Materials like wood and plastic also employ the use of precision machining. Other materials like bronze, graphite, and glass also use the process.
Types of Precision Machining tools
Depending upon the material, a suitable tool is used for the process. Several tools depending on the need of the type, are used, like lathing, milling, or computer numerical control, to name a few more renowned ones.
Lathing- In this process, the material to be shaped is rotated about an axis of rotation to perform the desired task. The material is held in place by either one or two centers, out of which either or both can be moved horizontally. It can be used for processes including cutting, knurling, drilling, and so on to create an object symmetrically about an axis.
Lathes are used in various processes such as thermal spraying, woodturning, glassworking, et cetera. It is widely used in shaping pottery, and one of the finest examples of the same is the potter’s wheel.
Examples of objects made from this method are screws, gun barrels, baseball bats, musical instruments, to name a few.
Milling- It is a process by which excess material is removed from the object using rotary cutters. The object is moved around the rotary cutters in the desired direction or held at an angle relative to the axis of the tool.
It can be used for operations in small individual parts and also includes large, heavy-duty gang milling operations.
Computer Numerical Control- This method, which is widely used in today’s computer-savvy era. As everything around us is rampantly growing automated, the mechanical systems have also adapted to the same.
CNC involves the automation of machine tools using computers executed
pre-programmed sequences. The dimensions are designed using software known as computer-aided design (CAD) software. This, in turn, is translated into manufacturing commands using another software called computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Eventually, the resulting commands are directed to final commands necessary to produce the finished product and loaded into the CNC machine.
This is a hundred percent electronically controlled method and can be used for processes like laser cutting, ultrasonic welding, friction stir welding, et cetera.
Summing it up
Even though there are more methods for the production of precision machined parts, the ones covered above are the most widely used. One of the major reasons for this is the simplicity and efficiency of these methods over all others. Whatever the need may be, there is a solution for your business.