Why Does Machining Take Time?

Why Does Machining Take Time?

CNC machining is a technologically advanced process that produces highly precise, predictable and repeatable part patterns in a wide range of materials. Such accuracy is achieved through a software program that defines the movements of the shaping tools to produce parts with the required geometry.

How long the process takes depends on the complexity of the task. The more intricate the detail, the longer this will take to produce.

Therefore, simple parts can be created in mere hours, while those requiring multiple different shaping processes can take days or even weeks to accomplish.

The Length of Time is Directly Associated with the Type of CNC Machining

If we’re to explore this deeper, we first need to understand the different types of CNC machining processes.

Some of the most common include:

  • Drilling: Using a cutting piece to cut a hole.
  • Boring: Creating a cavity by removing some elements of material.
  • Milling: Cuts from a rotating tool on a workpiece that remains stationary.
  • Turning: The workpiece is rotated around the cutting tool – such as a lathe.
  • Sawing; Making a narrow cut with a blade.
  • Broaching: Using shallow cuts to remove material from the piece.

Some parts only require a single type of machining, whereas others need multiple tooling processes to refine the finished piece.

The more work that goes into making the part, the longer you’d expect the process to take. However, while this is true, much of the duration is down to the preparatory work, as opposed to the actual machining.

Creating the software program that drives the machine tools is a highly skilled task. The quality of the finished parts is directly associated with the skill of the programmer – and the time spent at this point is wholly reflected in the smooth running of the process and the finished articles.

In addition to programming these files, the prep work also entails:

  • Honing the machine/s for the highest level of accuracy.
  • Defining and testing the workpiece material.
  • Test runs and an in-depth QA/QC process.

Only once all of this prep has taken place and the necessary tweaks put in place can production begin in earnest. The time taken during these early stages will reap huge benefits once the parts begin to be made.

Proactive Steps to Speed Up Production

While there’s no rushing this necessarily intricate stage of CNC machining, there are some potent ways to ensure a smooth part production process.

The most important of these is to plan ahead. The sooner a need for a part or parts is signposted, the sooner the production company can begin the necessary groundwork and kickstart the prep.

While faster projects can be actioned if needed, there’s no better way to ensure an efficient turnaround and that deadlines are met than by forward planning. Partnering with an experienced CNC machining provider and building an ongoing relationship is a wise move. This allows for timely planning, as well as having a trusted service for those inevitable, ‘we need these parts yesterday’, scenarios…

SixDe has forged an outstanding reputation for the quality of its CNC machining processes. Our industry expertise serves every element of the process – from the drawing board to production – thanks to the combination of our advanced 3, 4 and 5-axxis machines and some of the most talented CNC machining professionals on the planet.

Contact us today for a no-obligation discussion about your CNC machining requirements.