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CNC Machined Components

Time is always here and never stops. We reflect often on the past and wonder as time progresses, what will happen in the distant future and what changes will we see? It seamlessly works its way through our lives and we look at where we are now as if it has always been. Looking back, it is a wonder how we lived before laptops and cell phones. The same is very true for manufacturing. Just a couple of hundred years ago was when the industrial revolution ramped up and started having an impact on society and it gained another technological push in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Metal parts, tools, and devices were made manually. Craftsmen and highly skilled workers produced mechanical parts. Their basic tools were lathes, Mills, and other hand tools.

What they did then is today done by automated manufacturing. World War II pushed the limits of manufacturing for all countries involved. What was missing was control of the processes to produce the needed components. It was necessary to increase the work hours and having multiple shifts to keep production going. However, there was not the control in place to have repeatability and attain very high standards of precision.  

CNC technology or computer numeric control had its early start in the late 1940’s as another technological push in manufacturing. What the technology gave was the ability to standardize processes and gain manufacturing levels of quality and precision. Early versions used a punch card type of programing system and was thus numeric control. Over the past decades since, CNC machined components manufacturers have benefitted by computer technology and become the foundation for so many industries such as medical, food, electronics, defense, aerospace, and countless others. CNC machining companies not only produce precision parts, but also support by providing tooling and other manufacturing devices necessary for other precision manufacturing. The following is an overview of what CNC machined components are. This is a subtractive manufacturing process. The raw material is cut and drilled to form a high precision part. 

Under CNC technology are methods available to manufacturers such as: 

  • CNC Drills- Used to create holes, slots, and other geometry. Cutting through or programed depths. 
  • CNC Lathes- Rotating the material while blades cut the shape. Good for cylinders and similar shapes. 
  • CNC Milling- Used in 3,4, and 5 axis machines. Can produce very complex parts. 
  • CNC Routers- Sheets of materials are cut and drilled by this method. 
  • CNC Laser Cutting- Also good for cutting sheets of materials, especially in thinner gauges.  
  • CNC Plasma Cutting- Used for industrial applications and can cut many materials types. 
  • CNC Waterjet- Using high-water pressure and abrasives can cut various materials with no heat affect.

CNC machined components can be produced with a very tight tolerance of +/- .025mm (.001 of an inch). This again is repeatable and necessary for volume production. The process of CNC machining offers many benefits, including:

  • Material flexibility- CNC technology enables manufactures the option to use different metallic and non-metallic materials like stainless steel, copper, brass, tungsten, molybdenum, aluminum, titanium, peek, polycarbonate and so many other materials.  
  • CNC precision parts- Reduce costs by having a repeatable process. 

CNC machining shops are efficient in the production of components. With programing and a skilled workforce, machines can operate 24/7 if needed. 

CNC machined components manufacturers keep their high level of quality by establishing clear communication with the customer to understand the projects requirements. They ask how the parts will be used and what is the preferred material. From this, they will select the best CNC machining method and proceed by an established workflow. This workflow follows from the initial design to the CAD CAM file creation, to proper set-up of the material.  Machining of the components is done by using “speeds and feeds”, which from experience in CNC manufacturers are the settings for the cutting speed of the spindle and rate at which the spindle moves. This knowledge gives greater life to tooling and what will be the final surface finish. Finishing is the final step and is used per the requirements of completed part. 

A CNC manufacturer of precision components has multiple system types to cover many project demands. Their skilled workforce backed by experience and knowledge of CNC technology and materials has played a vital role in technological advances over the past 60 years. Contacting a qualified machine shop will be the first step in having your machined part manufactured with confidence.