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The Value of Precision Machining in Manufacturing

As companies are seeking to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive international marketplace, precision machining in manufacturing is becoming increasingly important. These production methods can make a huge difference to the quality of products, which helps them stand out in a positive way.

The ways that the likes of CNC milling and grinding – both precision machining methods – help companies during the manufacturing process are numerous and significant. Although precision machining is a relatively recent development – gaining particular prominence over the past decade – many of the most cutting edge products seen today are a result of these methods.

The principal way that this manufacturing method stands out from conventional production methods is that there is a heavy reliance on computers to make calculations and deliver very precise and accurate work. This differs significantly from manual machining, which was previously the method of production of choice worldwide.

Precision machining techniques such as CNC milling and grinding are advantageous because they significantly reduce the scope for human error. With manual manufacture, a higher margin of error is present, which can lead to varying quality of products manufactured. This in itself can have a negative effect for a number of reasons.

Firstly, this can mean that variation in product quality can lead to a poor reputation of the brand producing the items. Brands aim to build up an image of reliability and consistency, and products of varying quality due to human error in production can work against the efforts made to cultivate this image.

Secondly, products of a varying quality can have a negative effect on performance, which in some cases is absolutely critical. Examples of this include in the aerospace and motorsports industries, where products and parts manufactured need to perform as well as possible each and every time – in the worst case scenarios, accidents and critical equipment failure can occur.

For this reason, precision machining eliminates a margin of error that is present with solely human, manual production. With all necessary calculations made extremely accurately and precisely by computers, the scope of human error is virtually eliminated, although skilled engineers will of course have to oversee and manage the entire manufacturing process.

It is also worth noting that the fact of using complex computer-operated precision machining such as CNC milling and turning means that the production process is often significantly faster, mostly because there is less manual work to be done, which is limited by the number of manual workers and the number of tasks that they can physically perform to a high standard each and every day.

Machines are reliant only on a power supply and can therefore perform routine and repetitive tasks to a consistent quality time and time again, often at a drastically increased pace, leading to far greater productivity. This means that tight deadlines for urgent production of items can be met in a punctual manner, without sacrificing product quality – and in fact even improving it.

It should also be noted that – for the time being at least – the benefits of precision machining are not open to all companies, as purchasing these machines or outsourcing to a contract manufacturer that specialises in high quality precision machining still comes at a price. This is changing, but for now companies can still gain a competitive edge by employing these manufacturing methods.

The use of computers and complex computer calculations in manufacturing has overall improved the accuracy of the mechanical parts produced, and has significantly reduced the margin of error that was typically present with solely manual production.

Not only has this reduced waste, but has meant that higher quality and far more reliable products are able to be manufactured, giving any company that employs these methods a more trustworthy reputation and a competitive edge over industry rivals.

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