Mills, Lathes, and screw machines are some of the most common manufacturing processes used for precision machining. But to create a diversity of parts, many different manufacturing processes are used. Here we will look at some of the other manufacturing processes used in precision machining for standard components.
Gun drilling creates deep holes with a high depth to diameter ratio using a long, thin drilling tool. The tolerances of a gun drill are from diameters 1-50 mm. (0.04 – 2.00 in). The unique head design of a gun drill is unlike a conventional twist drill, with a gun drill having only a single cutting edge that removes metal chips as it drills into a metal workpiece. The gun drilling process can create deep holes that are not possible with other processes, and at tighter tolerances.
Heat treating can alter the microstructure of metals and alloys to impart different qualities which are valued in precision machining. Heat treatment benefits the working life of the component by producing effects such as increased surface hardness, temperature resistance, improved ductility, and strength.
Examples of heat treatment processing include case hardening, tempering, and stainless steel processes.
Electrical Discharge Machining or EDM is a machining process that uses electric spark erosion to remove parts of metal. This helps to cut, shape, and create the desired part using the electrical spark as the cutting tool. An EDM uses an electrode machined to the desired shape or a specially designed wire depending on the type of EDM they are using.
The sawing process in precision machining helps to cut and shape both large and delicate workpieces. These pieces may then undergo additional processing to reach the final product. Saws can cope with the high volume, repetitive, and accurate work to produce reliable parts and workpieces.
HIGH-PRESSURE HOLE DRILLING
High-Pressure Hole drilling also produces holes in a material like gun drilling, but on a much smaller scale and is usually much faster. This process involves faster drilling speeds and results in better finishes. These micro drills can create holes that are as little as .005″ in diameter with precision and reproducibility. 1,000 PSI is applied with coolant running through the drill to keep it cool. These drills are expensive and are used in high productions applications.
Plating is the process of coating a metal or a plastic piece with a thin layer of another metal. Plating can help to protect or restore parts, prevent corrosion, add hardness, and alter resistance. Types of plating include electroplating, autocatalytic plating, and immersion plating.
Painting can change the appearance of a part and offer protection. Painting processes include powder coating, electrostatic spray, and dip/spin coating.
LASER OR MACHINE ENGRAVING
Engraving is a process that allows marking or etching of a material with minimal changes to that material structurally. Engraving can either be done with a tool bit or with a laser. Laser engraving is highly accurate and precise and has the added advantage of not using tools that can wear out. Design can be input digitally allowing for computer-aided engraving for greater accuracy’s.
With a range of standard manufacturing processes to utilize, your precision machining company can choose a variety of approaches to produce the parts you need.