For most lines of business, modern technology means opportunities to cut manufacturing costs. This is why more and more companies are turning to CNC manufacturing as a means of trimming down production costs. This kind of computer-run machining uses software pre-programming to automate factory tools and equipment, allowing even more complex designs to be handled with great precision.
But even this form of manufacturing can quickly rack up the costs, especially in the case of bulk orders. Fortunately, there are various ways that companies can decrease their CNC manufacturing and production expenses while increasing profits. Keep reading to learn more.
Choose Materials Wisely
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that they should only go with “tough” materials like stainless steel or titanium. But while certain products do require this kind of material, the truth is that most have other more workable options. Materials like stainless steel and titanium can be very challenging to cut and manipulate, resulting in more expensive manufacturing costs. The manufacturing process can even take a lot longer, which of course increases labor and running costs.
The reality is that a wide range of other materials are often available, including aluminum and even various grades of plastic.
Avoid Sharp Angles and Edges
Now, CNC end mills are typically cylindrical. And because of this, it can be challenging to manufacture sharp, precise edges and angles. Furthermore, costs can start to rise from the difficulty of trying to create these sharp edges due to the time it takes and the margin for error.
To avoid these costs (and potential error), consider making each corner radius as wide as you possibly can. This way, larger tools can get in the space to remove material efficiently and cleanly. Now, if the product design absolutely does require sharp edges, there are other options. For example, an undercut can be made at each corner in order to allow easy access.
Choose Thicker Features
In addition to avoiding sharp corners and angles, money can also be saved by avoiding thin walls and product features (where possible of course). This is because thinner features are more fragile and can be prone to cracking and breakage. Products with these features will therefore be more unstable and can rack up costs needing to be redone. In some cases, breakage can even cause damage to other materials or the machinery itself, resulting in costsly repairs.
The solution is to therefor opt for thicker walls and features wherever possible. Using a general rule of thumb of making walls at least 0.02 inches thick is a good idea.
Divide the Design into Different Portions
Here’s a riddle: what’s more expensive the make, one large product at once or several smaller pieces that fit together as a single product?
If you guessed the latter, you’re right. The truth is that it is often far less expensive to manufacture multiple smaller portions that are made to fit together. This is because the manufacturing time is often far longer on single large product pieces, and it can involve the need for larger machinery and production spaces.
If you have questions on how to customize your machinery to do this, don’t be afraid to reach out to CNC manufacturing experts like those at Ellison Machinery.
Use High-Quality CNC Equipment
Investing in high-quality equipment and manufacturing parts right from the start will decrease the need for replacement parts later on. It’s also worth pointing out that using high-quality machinery greatly reduces the risk of costly manufacturing errors. Check out the range of exceptional, high-grade machinery and CNC manufacturing parts at Ellison Machinery.