Machining services have been in the manufacturing industry of metals for more than 2 centuries now. These services use a conventional procedure to remove material from a work piece. The processes involved are turning, boring, milling, sawing, drilling, broaching, shaping, planning, reaming, and tapping to get the needed shape or geometry.
In this era of modern technology, precision engineering is one of the most demanding applications in the production industry where workloads are being done faster and easier with the help of CNC (computer numerical control) machines. This helps to increase the productivity and flexibility in doing all machining operation with the use and help of a computer.
A CNC machining language which is called G-code is programmed in the computer to control the feed rate, location, coordination and speed to get the exact positioning and velocity that are needed to get the best outcome. The computer will also use a program in which the CAD (computer aided design) software designs will be converted into numbers and will control the movement of a machine with coordination to cut and shape the material. This will now result to a highly automated and precise design that looks so close and really matches the original CAD design.
CNC machining uses a CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) program. This program produces a computer application which will interpret the file in order to extract the commands. The command will operate the machine by using a postprocessor in order to be ready for production. It uses motion control which is automated, precise, and programmed to have a constant movement of machining tool on a number of different axes that move in a circular or linear motion with coordination.
Most companies in the UK—specifically CNC machining services which deal with manufacturing different metals like stainless steel, aluminium, derlin, titanium, iconels, and copper—make use of CNC machines. They also manufacture plastic parts and use machine tools like lathes, mills, routers, grinders, drills, embroidery machines, sheet metal works or turret punch, hot-wire foam cutters, wood routers, plasma cutters, laser cutting tool, cylindrical grinders, 3D printing, wire bending machines, submerged welding tools, knife and glass cutters and other multiple tools combined in a single cell. These tools will be controlled by a computer and an external controller, either a robotic operator or a human operator, that will move the component from one machine to another. This is the reason why CNC machining is a process that can be described as a series of movements and operations.
There are different types of CNC machines. Some are retrofitted to different machine tools like the milling machine and the lathe and others are created and built customarily as machines for CNC operation. These are the router, other milling machines, CNC laser cutter, pick and place machine, 3D printer and CNC Plasma cutter.
Companies that offer CNC machining services perform different processes such as like laser cutting, sawing, welding, flame and plasma cutting, bending, spinning, grinding, milling, turning, gluing, hole-punching, pinning, fabric cutting, picking and placing, spark erosion and wire erosion, tape and fiber placement and friction stir welding. Before using the machine, an operator will first do a “cutting air” test or a trial run to make sure that the speed is exactly programmed and there is an exact tool positioning to avoid machine damage or scraped parts. This process makes it easier to get a precise outcome and can be repeated exactly in the same way for several times and can reduce processing time by up to 70% and production costs by up to 40%. It can produce many different complex shapes and designs compared to what is possible through ordinary machining services.
An operator using a manual or conventional machine should do all the workloads while in a CNC machine. Workloads are already programmed so once the machine has been set up and begins to run, the operator will only wait for the loading process to finish.
Most of the CNC machining services can now handle the most complex processes because they are now equipped with higher axis machining capabilities. Also, by using a combination of CNC turning and milling systems, they can provide outcome with high precision.
CNC machining services are really needed nowadays in building infrastructure projects, transportation, communication tools, electrical systems, water systems and other important projects to ensure strong and long lasting foundation. The metal industry and wood working industry are not the only ones that need the services of these wonder machines but also a lot of major sectors like the automotive industry, paper industry, aerospace industry, telecommunications industry, medical industry and the military. The aerospace industry requires precision in parts for safety. The medical industry needs sterility as much as precision in rendering health and emergency services. The military’s main concern is security aside from precision because all the armed services use weapons and equipment made of inconel, titanium (used in modern combat aircraft), Kevlar (for soldiers’ helmets and body armour), hastealloy and monel which only CNC machines are able to handle.
In the year 2003, microprocessors released the Enhanced Machine Controller (EMC2) project that has made CNC machining more affordable and available to the public for personal use. More companies continue to discover new techniques and improvements to upgrade this kind of service so that the public can also afford to use this at home. If you wish to focus on machining services as a hobby, your skills in computer use, mathematics, industrial arts, and mechanical drafting will be useful.