Machine shops have a variety of machines that help fabricate, cut and finish parts for everyday use. The people who work in machine shops are known as machinists and may be required to have specialized training and skillset depending on the work done at the shop and the parts being made. Companies that produce custom, new or test parts usually have an on-site machine shop. Additionally, there are research and educational facilities where people learn about fabricating and repairing machine. There are different machine tools and equipment used in these shops. Below, we discuss everything you need to know about machine shop services.
CNC is an acronym that stands for computer numerical control. CNC machining enables the fabrication of metal using written code controls during the manufacturing process. The code used determines the movement of the cutting head and every other machine part from the beginning of the manufacturing process to the end. Unlike additive processes, CNC machining shop services uses subtractive fabrication method to achieve the goal. Subtractive means that material is removed during the production process.
The first CNC machines were built from in the mid-20th century. They were based on existing machines with modifications. In the 50s, there was progress towards reducing the time spent on card production during milling. With an improvement in the milling machines, the time-saving capabilities resulted in more R and D work, after which programming languages specifically for CNC were developed.
CNC machining equipment is currently fully automated so that all that is needed is digital files with written instructions. These instructions guide users about how the machining tools and cutting trajectories.
Machining operations require different tools that produce a certain part. Machinists use machinery that can automatically switch tooling according to the digital instructions that interface with that particular machine, which makes machine shops manufacturing powerhouses.
The parts are designed in computer aided design software. The models are created in 3d according to the properties and dimensions of the final part.
There are different machine shop tools used for everyday operations. Machining operations are classified into 3 primary processes which are drilling, milling and turning. However, there are other operations that fall into different categories.
Drilling involves creating holes in metal using circular cylinders. Machinists drill using a twist drill. Drilling is intensive as it removes up to 75% of the material. The drill enters a workpiece and cuts a hole through it. The hole is equal to the diameter of the cutting tool. For this reason, the drill has a pointed end that easily cuts holes into the piece.
Turning is also known as lathe operation. In this process, the machine removes metal from the workpiece, but outside of its diameter with the use of a cutting tool. The cutting is done on a lathe, which is a machine that allows the adjustment of the workpiece. The lathe tool remains stationary while the workpiece moves in a rotational motion. Lathes are designed to operate in a turning motion so that the metal is cut precisely. The metal is then placed on the chuck. The machine rotates the tool to cut off the unwanted parts of the piece.
Milling is one of the main operations in a machining shop. However, this process is less accurate compared to turning. Milling works on an object that is not symmetric. The process utilizes a milling tools including a milling machine, cutter, the workpiece and a fixture. Usually, the workpiece is already shaped but still needs milling. The piece is then put into the fixture for milling. At the same time, the cutter is secured to the milling machine as well. The sharp teeth of the cutter rotate at a high speed. The piece is then fed into the cutter, which subtracts the unwanted metal.
Other processes that are carried out in the machine shop include:
Chip formation involves using tools such as milling cutters, lathes and saws to cut through mechanical items. Chip formation enables the engineering of cutting tools and other machines.
Grinding involves improving the finishing of a surface and the tolerance of a part by removing any remaining unwanted parts from the surface of a piece. Machinists use grinding machines to achieve this purpose. Through grinding, machine shops produce parts that are identical in finish, size and shapes.
At Cast Technologies, we focus on metal casting. We cast aluminum, brass, bronze, green sand and mold. We combine metal casting with machining, which helps us produce fine details that would not be achieved by casting alone.
We recommend that foundries that need the services we provide trust us with their needs instead of sending out the work to a separate machine shop because we have complete CNC machining capabilities. By having both a foundry and machine shop in the same location means that we can produce precise, high-quality parts that meet your specifications.
Furthermore, there is a vertical integration between our teams at the foundry and at the machinery which allows immediate correspondence that is important in an ever-changing environment. Therefore, we can meet your needs flexibly, which means that we allow for faster delivery.
Lastly, we provide cost-effective solutions for quality castings. You will not have to gamble with the possibility of us doing the job wrong and we have operational equipment and skilled machinists to deliver all your needs.
If you are looking for a trusted partner to help you with all your machine part needs, you have come to the right place. At Cast Technologies, we have the capacity to handle all your machine needs. As one of the oldest and most experienced machining and casting businesses, we are always here to sort your needs. Reach out to us today and to get started with your project.