Making CNC Machines ProfitableSep 26, 2022
Intrex Aerospace continues to make investments in systems and CNC equipment. Almost all our machined components are produced on CNC (computer numerical control) machines. We know to keep our competitive edge we must be efficient. CNC machines with their continuous improvement in machine design and control technology are key to maintaining our efficiencies.
There are major manufacturing competitive advantages to using CNC machines:
- Accuracy – as CNC machine technology advances, their accuracies increase. Most machine builders build off previous successful designs. Each new generation is more accurate than the previous. CAD designs bring about machine improvements and help bring design changes and updates to market sooner. With every new generation of CNC machines, they develop better methods for building, measuring and overall quality control. The accuracy of the CNC machine ensures consistent product quality.
- Repeatability – There have been giant strides made with CNC machine controllers, software, and servo technology. Every generation these machines deliver faster processing speeds while controlling simultaneous axis movements, with higher degrees of repeatability. Computers are used to control the machines; the process is automated therefore increasing the speed and quality of manufacturing. Considering machines do not tire or need breaks it makes it more efficient than manual machining. One of the positive results of increased efficiency is machine profitability.
- Flexibility – One of the challenges in running a machining business is being flexible. With the advent of JIT (Just In Time) suppliers are very sensitive to inventory cost and thus even if their overall demand is greater, their order quantities can be smaller with more deliveries being divided into multiple increments.
This is where CNC machines are best suited. CNC lathes and milling machines properly controlled and implemented are flexible and accurate, for producing complex machined shapes, with high finishes, in many different materials. Most of the CNC machines are offered in multiple axis configurations, depending on the amount of complexity needed.
Thanks to the advances in electronic controls, servo and tooling technology, we can now produce many complex geometries with a minimum machine setup. Simultaneous axis machining up to 5 axes, is becoming more common. Being able to generate complex shapes using multiple axes also eliminates the need for many special tools.
- Fewer Setups – Five-axis machines can machine nearly every visible surface, excluding the bottom or clamping area. This ability significantly reduces the need for multiple setups or special fixtures. Depending on the workpiece, in some instances, you can reduce the number of setups to one.
- Complex Shapes – The major advantage of five-axis machining is the ability to machine complex shapes while minimizing the number of chucking or fixturing positions. The additional movement creates machining angles and arcs for the cutting tool and for chip relief, which were only previously possible with a multitude of special fixtures or additional setups.
- Improved Tool Life – Improved tool life and cycle time as a result of being able to program the tool and/or table which enables the machine to maintain optimum cutting position is ideal for machining, especially in difficult materials. Using fewer tools adds to machine utilization which helps decrease overall cost, adds to the bottom line.
- Automation – CNC machines lend themselves to various levels of automation. The application of adding robots, pallet changers, and large tool magazine tool changers (ATC) are becoming more common. Less operator intervention helps lower labor cost and increase efficiencies. Below is our latest capital expenditure a DMG Mori NTX 2500 5 axis turn-mill w/ 60 ATC.
At Intrex we are committed to providing quality machined components, and high levels of service to our customers at competitive prices. Part of that commitment is maintaining the highest levels of equipment and software. Our commitment is to continuous improvement for our customers’ benefit.
To learn more about our CNC machining capabilities, contact Intrex Aerospace today.