How Machining Creates Products
Machining involves a process which modifies workpieces, such as sawing, turning, drilling, and milling. It's an early stage for developing the shape of a product made of materials such as wood, plastic, metal, glass, or ceramic. Here are ways that a machinist uses machining in the manufacturing process.
Cutting and Removing Materials
One of the key jobs of a machinist is cutting and removing material from a workpiece. A milling machine uses a rotary cutting tool. It's designed similarly to a drill press, as it it has a handle that lifts and lowers the cutting device.
Power tools and hand tools are usually needed to conduct machining operations. Machine shops are typically places where this work is done, accommodating processes from shaping to finishing. A typical machine shop stores machinery and stock for designing and manufacturing items. It may involve a wide variety of power tools for assembling components.
Unlike drilling, milling involves moving the workpiece perpendicular to its axis. The round cutter may have multiple cutting points, as the circumference of the cutter forms the cutting edges. Each cut shaves off chips from the workpiece. A milling machine uses a cutter with multiple teeth that spins at a high speed. By making a series of small cuts, the milling process removes unwanted material.
Turning is a type of cutting process that requires rotating the workpiece while a lathe cuts the material. A lathe is useful for precision cuts and can take various forms, such as a machine for making pottery or candlesticks. The term "turning" usually applies to cutting outer surfaces, while the term "boring" refers to cutting internal surfaces such as holes. Additionally, there are different types of turning, such as straight and taper turning, to produce different shapes.
Power drills, lathes and mills are used to cut holes in materials. Each of these processes helps remove material while refining the workpiece. Drills are designed to spin at high speeds to make cuts based on how drill bits are shaped.
Modern CNC Machining
Computer numerical control (CNC) is a modern approach to machining that involves a computer automating pre-programmed machine control commands. A CNC machine combines the uses of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software to produce components. A CNC machine can control the operation of traditional machines such as mills, lathes and drills.
Sometimes businesses develop ideas for special machines or tools to perform a function that increases production efficiency. These devices can be manufactured for a single firm to use exclusively or may be used to mass produce items. The component is designed with CAD software. The latest CNC systems are capable of laser cutting, welding, fabric cutting and bending.