Machining is not a complex service. It requires a machinist work on a workpiece of metal, plastic or other possible material. S/he cuts it into a specific shape or size. Machine shop services are subtractive. They involve the meticulous removal of material according to the customer’s specifications. Over the decades, the process has evolved from a manual operation into a technological procedure.
Working with Technology
The earliest advances in machining technology came about through the invention and proliferation of computer numerical control (CNC). CNC is an integral component of the machine shop. Its addition and continued improvement makes the operation of most machine shop services easier and more productive. CNC works with the machinist utilizing CAM systems to provide programs to operate a variety of machine shop equipment including:
* Multi-axis vertical machining centers (VMC): These can range from two or three axes up to five
* Multi-axis horizontal machining center (HMC): Like VMCs, they can range in axes from 3 through 5
* CNC multiple-turret lathes: Turrets can contain 5 or more cutting tools
* CNC mill-turning centers: These machines can not only provide milling but also perform turning, on a workpiece.
By putting CNC to work, machine shops can take on other hard turning, hard milling, and high-speed machining.
Machine Shop Services
Over the years, machine shops have evolved in their acceptance and implementation of technology. Once a bastion for strictly manual machinery, changing times and advanced technology have brought about a workplace where technology continues to increase its presence. CNC plays a major role in ensuring increased productivity. It reduces labor costs while increasing the capabilities of a machine shop to produce complex components.
Technology lies behind many of today’s modern machine shop services. It works with them to improve their capabilities without reducing quality. With such equipment as CNC multi-axis machine centers, machine shops can now expand their market-base – reaching out to those industries increasingly demanding exacting precision and tight tolerances.
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