Machining encompasses a wide range of technologies and techniques. It’s the process of removing material from a piece to create a specific or intended design. Metal, plastic, rubber and paper goods are commonly fabricated through machining.
Precision machine shops utilize many techniques during the machining process, including milling broaching, grinding, drilling, turning and sawing.
- Milling-Through rotating a cutting tool, the workpiece is milled.
- Broaching-Some of the material of the piece is removed with shallow cuts using a tool with many teeth.
- Grinding-The workpiece is put in contact with an abrasive surface to alter or smooth its shape.
- Drilling- Holes are created using a rotating tool with the workpiece.
- Turning-The workpiece is rotated with a cutting tool. Typically, a lathe is used for turning.
- Sawing-Using a saw blade, a narrow slit is cut in the workpiece.
Within these techniques, there are additional applications. Lathes and milling machines can be used for facing. Reaming and tapping are methods to finish holes. Tapping creates the threads for screws, and reaming increases the diameter of a hole.
State-of-the-art machining shops use specialized techniques, such as plasma cutting, water jet cutting and electrical discharge machining. With plasma cutting, the piece is cut with a plasma torch. Water jet cutting utilizes high pressure jet cutting sprays. At times, there may be sand in the spray. This technique is often used with hard materials like metal and granite. Electrical discharge machining works on the piece by passing an electrical current on the piece.
Burning Machining Technologies
The most popular types of burning machining technologies include plasma cutting, oxy-fuel cutting and laser cutting.
- Plasma cutting-Plasma torches emit an electrical arc for the transformation of gas into plasma. When a very high temperature is reached, it’s applied to the piece to shape it. Usually, plasma cutting is used on electrically conductive metals.
- Oxy-fuel cutting-With this technology, a mix of oxygen and fuel gases are used to cut away the piece. Gas media includes propane, gasoline and hydrogen. This method works well on hard or thick materials.
- Laser cutting-A laser machine emits a beam of light to vaporize, burn or melt the piece. YAG and CO2 lasers are often used for laser cutting. Its benefits include the ability to etch designs and to add a quality finish.
Computer numerical control (CNC) machining is a computer aided method used in machining. Software and programming control the machining tool to shape the piece. It’s an automatic process that has several benefits. Basically, CNC machining is digital manufacturing technology. Each CNC machine has its own machining sequences and accuracy level. Almost any material can be used with a CNC machine.
CNC machining allows for faster production and requires minimal maintenance. It also has low manufacturing expenses. High-volume runs and low labor requirements make this method very cost-effective for companies. Another benefit of CNC machining is uniform production. It produces consistent and precise products. Common products include car parts, military equipment and naval parts. CNC machines are also used in clothing, food and beverage industries.
Ellison Machinery offers Haas Automation CNC Machine Sales in Arizona and Southern Nevada. As a leader in the industry in these areas, Ellison Machinery provides the highest quality in CNC machine sales, parts, service and training. Customers of Ellison Machinery receive free class training on CNC machine tools. Operator G-code training is also provided for lathe and mill users. Plus, Ellison Machinery offers onsite training by their own service engineers with any one of their machines. Their training is customized to product challenges and specific machines. Turn to Ellison Machinery for all of your machining needs.