Advancements in CNC manufacturing and industry developments in high speed machinery are just two of the factors that are driving a global CNC machines market that is expected to reach $100 Billion by the year 2025, according to a research study. This industry growth is underpinned by CNC technology that provides manufacturers with a reduction in machining errors, lower operating costs for machine shops, and lower labor costs when state-of-the-art factory automation is implemented in US manufacturing sectors across the board.
Taking Advantage of CNC Manufacturing
The key to successful high speed machining in your machine shop is directly tied to your adoption of high speed CNC machines and tooling or partnering with a machine shop Denver that delivers high speed, custom machine shop services to US manufacturers. These companies provide mills, lathes, grinders, ad routers controlled by computer CNC programming to operate at a significantly higher feed rate – and with a minimum of tool breakage.
Expect a cleaner cut with high-speed machines that operate at lower heat per piece due to the efficient manner in which metal chips are evacuated. The result is tooling that remains cooler with less vibration and a reduction in other machining forces when compared to conventional machine shop operations.
These inherent traits of CNC manufacturing will also provide 3 other major benefits to US manufacturing production – repeatability, precision, and range of materials:
- Improved Repeatability: CNC programming and machines can reproduce a shop outcome that is unchanged for multiple pieces running at high speeds. Even more important than accuracy, repeatability means errors can be traced and compensated for, to reduce scrap and gain higher precision for intricate geometry machining.
- Component Precision: When 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) software is used in conjunction with CNC machines, expect components that are manufactured to exact and extremely precise specifications. Complex shapes and fine or thin parts which at one time required a Master machinist and hours of labor are now easily manufactured without error.
- Greater Range of Materials: Aside from common manufacturing metals, CNC machining is used to produce components and products from a wide range of materials, including steel, aluminum, bronze, gold, and silver. Today, many domestic consumer products manufactured from polymers such as ABS and PTFE are machined using high speed production as well.
4 Keys to Successful High Speed Machining
Staying competitive in an increasingly fast-paced manufacturing arena means achieving better productivity from your manufacturing automation strategies. And when it comes to high speed machine shops, the following four keys will do more to ensure success than most other factors:
Material Selection Process
Due to the high feed rates of high speed machine (HSM) processing, softer materials don’t fare as well. For the best results, tough or hardened materials provide the best results. When you consider that different materials are processed at vastly different speeds, mostly due to the preservation of the machine’s cutting tool life, the most common metals include hardened steels, stainless steel, tool steel, and titanium, and often mild steel.
CNC machines are high performing and depend upon critical attention to every detail between the cutting tool, the CNC program, and the material being cut, including:
- spindle rpm
- spindle power
- high feed rates
- tool path rates
Material properties will affect the material removal rate and how much wear and tear is being placed on the cutting tool. Companies can overcome these material selection challenges by partnering with a machine shop Denver that specializes in CNC manufacturing and custom machine shop processes. Here you will find the expertise required to overcome component material specification and cutting tool material challenges and how material will relate to depth of cut, coolant flow rate, and the type of coating for the cutting tool.
Acceptable Workpiece Geometries
While CNC machines are regularly used to process common geometries, when it comes to high speed operations, the tool geometry and tool access to all parts of the working piece are dependent on the geometry of each component. Workpiece geometry with internal or ‘hidden’ cuts will often place a limit on to the maximum depth of an undercut.
Likewise, the stiffness of the workpiece and the tool must be matched to reduce deformation and vibration during machining, otherwise the temperature increase due to cutting forces are too great for high speed applications. Consideration of workpiece geometry also includes maintaining a minimum wall thickness for a successful component that is machined using high speed CNC equipment.
The Right CNC Machinery
If your CNC machines are not rated for high speed operations, then expect broken tooling and lot’s of scrap pieces. There are a wide range of factors that are needed for high speed production to run smoothly – and these factors mut be considered when selecting a CNC machine for your machine shop. From complex mechanical parts to mold & die processes, the right CNC machinery depends on:
- Part Complexity
- Machining Operations
- Operator Training
- CNC Control System
- Cost Per Part
- Available Floor Space
When setting up floor space for high speed machining, operations may need to be rearranged to accommodate material flow from point-to-point for increased productivity. When selecting a machine, worker safety and chip disposal during non-stop machining operations are an integral part of operations planning.
If you are in the process of choosing a CNC machine shop Denver to drive your high speed manufacturing projects, request samples of their previous work and discuss any in-house limitations they may have which can affect how flexible they can be during production.
Partner with a US manufacturing service provider that can run a range of project sizes from big scale productions to small prototype machining with a variety of materials.
Access to Trained CNC Operators
There is no denying that there exists a shortage of skilled CNC operators in America to fulfill the needs of manufacturers for trained and experienced workers to fill new positions in high speed manufacturing. The Golden Age of skilled machinists existed during the Baby Boomer generation – and today that workforce is retiring at a record pace.
The majority of Millennials that have entered the manufacturing industry have looked to supervisory or management positions in lieu of the traditional machine shop occupations that were held by their parents.
For these reasons, companies are finding access to trained CNC operators that are experienced in the nuances of high-speed manufacturing by turning to third party or outsourced, machine shops to meet demanding production schedules.
Partner with a high speed manufacturing machine shop that specializes in custom production at a facility that features clean and organized shop floors that are technology driven. Tag Team Manufacturing is dedicated to production quality and s inspired by today’s innovations in high speed machining processes.
At Tag Team, we work closely with your engineers to develop first-run prototypes, and we can collaborate with your product developers to deliver quality components at a competitive price with the ability to output up to 50,000 units annually.