Precision machining is the process by which a product is machined and measured to incredibly exacting standards. In order for something to be truly precision it will need to have the correct dimensions, satisfactory limits, tolerances and allowances. Just how precision an object can be will depend on the specific purpose of that aforementioned objects – for some things there will be a much more precision measure and cut needed than for others. |
Initially, rather than using automated machinery, small parts as well as larger objects would have been made by skilled craftsmen, which meant almost any form of production was incredibly labour intensive as well as wildly costly.
As the industry has changed substantially, there are now much fewer people who need to be doing the physical work, and instead there is a demand for skilled engineers to maintain the machines as well as programmers to input in the information so that the machinery can operate fully. This means that why the work has become of a higher quality, costs have reduced, which is why you’ll see incredibly complex machinery is much less expensive than it might have been in the past.
As technology has developed, this has become more and more precise, to the point where actually most parts are far more accurate than they really need to be. Usually these turned parts which are made using precision machining are produced on a large scale using automatic machining, computer numerically controlled lathes, or rotary transfer machines.
With a huge and eclectic range of products and parts which can be produced through this method, there is almost no end to the possibilities. Both large and small objects we use every day have been manufactured using precision machining, and all sorts of different materials and results can be achieved. It’s possible for one machine to make all the different components necessary for a single object, for example, although more often each machine will be set to work performing an individual task.
Look around you. Anything which has been produced and not made by hand is more likely than not made using precision machining. Considering the way this technology has developed in the last hundred years, we can only imagine what sorts of developments there will be in this industry in the years to come. Soon we can see workshops being managed by a single maintenance engineer, with all programming carried out through CAM.
Joseph works for Howarth Engineering, which specialises in precision machining. When he is not at work, he enjoys writing articles and blogs on different tips to do with CNC engineering.
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