CNC Milling Service

Why is CNC Milling Manufacturing Beneficial for Low Volume Production?

Why is CNC Milling Manufacturing Beneficial for Low Volume Production?

Table of Content

 Milling is not new; it has been used for ages in various forms. It comprises chopping away pieces of a block or object made of wood, metal, or plastic. The chosen material depends on the desired outcomes. By adding computer numerical control, or CNC, to this process, you raise its level of precision. To assure quality, each cut is calculated using specialized software. Although, this method can also produce a high volume of products.

 But here we will discuss low-volume CNC milling manufacturing. How CNC milling service is beneficial for low-volume production and why? Let’s explore this in detail

Low Volume CNC Milling Machine

In the early days of production, a skilled expert made each item individually. Mass manufacturing and factories were brought about by the need for quicker and less expensive goods. Today, high-volume production plants produce millions of products annually.

However, what if you simply need to create a thousand, hundred, or even ten each year? In the medical device industry, for instance, low-volume production is very common as innovative concepts are tried in pilot markets or in clinical trials before bigger numbers are required.

                                     Photo by Mastars on Unsplash

As equipment and setup expenses take up larger portions of the project budget, there are limited choices for manufacturing techniques, designs, and product aesthetics.

Since vendors are less likely to respond, managing customer expectations must be done more actively. However, despite the difficulties, there is CNC milling manufacturing is also an opportunity.

You might have to make some adjustments, but with great design principles and even a little innovation, you can launch a profitable, incredibly attractive product in small quantities for a reasonable price. While, keeping these things in mind you can produce low-volume production by using the CNC milling service efficiently.

When compared to typical manufacturing operations, where thousands or millions of pieces of material are milled to the appropriate specification, low volume  CNC machining service refers to the situation when just a few units are milled. Moreover, the “CNC” portion denotes the fact that the milling is controlled by a computer rather than by hand. Computer Numerical Control, or CNC, is the term used to describe the process by which a computer converts digital data from a computer into milling instructions for machinery that may remove material.

So, a Low-volume CNC milling machine combines the benefits of computer numerical control with the principles of milling in order to produce a small number of pieces. Not all businesses and other organizations need huge batches of products; some simply need small batches.                   

CNC Milling Manufacturing Method

In the CNC milling shop multi-point, rotary cutting tools are moved and used in the CNC milling manufacturing process, which uses computerized controls to regulate these actions. To produce the required shape and size, the tools steadily remove extra material as they rotate and travel across the workpiece’s surface.

                                 Photo by Daniel Smyth on Unsplash

In CNC machining and manufacturing four distinct steps can be defined in the CNC milling machine process:

  1. Engineers develop the needed design using a CAD model in 2D or 3D.
  2. Conversion of a CAD model to a CNC program: the design is exported into a compatible file format and changed using CAM software into machine instructions.
  3. Setting up a CNC milling machine: The operator gets everything ready for the machine and the workpiece
  4. Execution of the milling operation: The machine operator launches the machining program.

The computerized systems eliminate the possibility of error between design and manufacturing by reading design information directly from an engineer’s drawings or models.

There are three factors that are highly responsible for milling being successful and of high quality:

1. A cutter with several teeth and the optimum level of sharpness for a material

2. Rotating a tool quickly enough to properly treat a material.

3. The right feed rate to move the selected material along the process

CNC milling machine enables incredibly precise control over these components. For making prototype parts, CNC machining and manufacturing is an appropriate procedure. It helps to think about the various shapes that a prototype might take and why these prototypes exist in order to fully understand why?. Keep on reading.

CNC milling prototypes can serve a wide range of purposes. They serve as templates or props at their most basic level, making a part’s final appearance or behavior more easily understood through loose approximations of the CNC machining prototype. These fictional prototypes could serve as a roadmap for R&D or proof of concept. They may also be used to introduce a new product to potential investors if they are produced to a high aesthetic standard.

These kinds of prototypes are significant, but they don’t always have to be produced with expensive professional tools; they can be built by hand or printed using a cheap desktop 3D printer.

However, some CNC milling prototypes serve purposes beyond simple visual depiction. Companies may need to construct engineering prototypes or production prototypes depending on the stage of the product development process; these prototypes must not only appear like the finished product but also perform as it does, serving as a stand-in for the actual thing as closely as feasible.

CNC machining and manufacturing can be a great option for prototyping. Although it depends on the type of prototype.  What will the prototype be used for? What kind of material will it be constructed of? The final component will be constructed of what material? You will finally be directed to the best prototyping technique by these and other questions.

                                             Photo by Mastars on Unsplash

 Process Design Optimization for CNC Milling Machine

Process design is necessary for the development of sustainable CNC milling manufacturing.

Proper process design results in the entire optimization and improvement of the manufacturing process, which lowers fabrication costs while increasing economic and production efficiency and repeatability.

The following are the process design aspects for CNC milling manufacturing: Selection of material, process selection, and sequencing, machine and tool selection, product finish requirements, cost and time estimation, selection of machining parameters, programming, and cutting operation.

                             Flow sheet diagram of CNC Machining and manufacturing

The quality of the surface finish, the rate of tool wear, the production cycle time, the rate, and the ease of machinability are all factors that must be taken into account when choosing the right machining parameters.  The CNC milling manufacturing was developed to optimize the effects of the machining parameters, including the width of cut, cutting force, depth of cut, and feed rate for efficient removal of material.

Materials are chosen based on the specifications of the finished products. Less dense materials can be machined both at high cutting speeds and feed rates with a resultant reduction in machining time as well as lower power consumption. Low cutting speeds and feed rates are typically used to manufacture hard and extremely dense materials, which results in longer machining times and higher power usage.

Materials for CNC Milling Manufacturing

There is a huge variety of materials that are compatible for low volume production with CNC milling service, depending on the application your design will be used for.  It is simple for manufacturers to select the material that best meets their requirements. Once you have chosen to use CNC milling manufacturing for your sample production. The correct material for your needs, whether it be metal, plastic, ceramics, or even wood, can be used for a CNC milling shop.

Now we will discuss some of the commonly used materials for CNC milling manufacturing and explains some of the applications it is best suitable for.

Metals

Metals are one of the most popular material types for CNC milling machines, and there is a wide variety to choose from. Let’s examine the most popular options for metal CNC milling in general and the applications that each metal is most appropriate for.

Aluminum

It is an excellent choice for both mechanical and aesthetic components and is probably the most popular metal CNC milling material. Aluminum is typically easier to process than other metals, making it the most practical material from an economic standpoint. When exposed to the environment, aluminum parts develop a protective layer that increases their strength and corrosion resistance. CNC milled aluminum is perfect for application in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics industries due to its superior material properties.

                                         Photo by Mastars on Unsplash

Steel

The various steel alloys that are offered for meta CNC milling services are primarily designed for superior machinability. Steel is often used for pieces that require improved formability and stronger welds, even though the particular material qualities vary depending on the alloy (1018, 1215, 12L14, etc. are some regularly used alloys). The best uses for this material, which vary depending on the steel alloy, are commercial products, parts that need strong welds, gears, and shafts, as well as other high-stress applications.

Stainless Steel

In metal CNC milling, stainless steel is one of the best-suited materials.  Using stainless steel alloys has several advantages, including the ability to heat treat them and provide corrosion resistance. Stainless steel has a wide range of potential uses for CNC milling shops, including everything from medical equipment to gear for electronics

Copper

Few metals offer the electric conductivity that copper does when it comes to metal CNC milling materials. The material’s high corrosion resistance aids in preventing rust, and its thermal conductivity features facilitate CNC machining shaping. Applications include cooling systems, heat exchangers, as well as different engineering components like valves and radiators, which are frequently used in the automotive industry. It’s crucial to understand that copper is vulnerable to some substances, including acids, halogen sulfides, and ammonia solutions.

Plastics

Choosing the material from which a part should be constructed is the first stage in part design. The choice doesn’t end just because you determine the part should be made of plastic and CNC-machined. In 2022, there will be a wide variety of machinable plastics available, each with a unique set of qualities. In general, CNC-machined plastic parts are affordable and make good prototypes.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene(ABS)

The versatile plastic known as ABS is frequently utilized. It is reasonably priced and has excellent electrical resistance, hardness, and impact resistance. It is very simple to complete because it is easily painted, adhered to, or welded together. Depending on how it is machined, ABS can be fairly glossy but will typically have a matte surface. ABS CNC machining involves utilizing a CNC milling machine to cut or engrave.

Nylon

Strong and long-lasting nylon 6/6 plastic can be used in a wide range of applications. With the rigidity required to maintain its shape and the strength to resist deformation under loading circumstances. It has a relatively strong chemical and heat resistance. Another common material that works well for CNC machining is glass-filled nylon.

Polyether ether ketone (PEEK)

A material with high dimensional stability and impact strength, Ceramic PEEK is a plastic that also offers great machinability. PEEK is a real engineering plastic with great strength and stability. It can resist extended exposure to high temperatures and can be utilized as a metal substitute in a variety of applications. Advanced medical, aeronautical, and electrical components all use PEEK. It doesn’t tend to creep or deform over time like other resins, making it a fantastic choice for lightweight fixtures. PEEK is substantially more expensive than many other polymers, hence it is typically only utilized in extreme circumstances. It is frequently required to anneal it during the machining process to prevent stress fractures.

Ceramics

Ceramic CNC machining has also been effective in industries that require machinists to produce intricate, highly precise industrial parts. Ceramic components are also very wear-resistant, making them a prime target for long-lasting components.

Advantages of Low Volume CNC Milling Machine

Low volume CNC milling service offers various advantages over conventional milling techniques, which can assist you and your company in creating the items you want. Let’s explore how a CNC milling shop is beneficial for low-volume production.

  • Easy transition: Making the transition from prototype to full-scale production easier. Consider a scenario where you have a successful prototype but are hesitant to move on with a large-scale production because you lack performance information from actual use. You can construct your product with the help of low-volume CNC milling manufacturing, which gives you a stage in between prototype and high-scale production.
  • Expand Your Flexibility: It’s challenging to update your product once you’ve committed to high-volume production. However, with low-volume CNC milling, you can change the details of each batch as your design is updated.
  • Less investment: The cost outlay for low-volume CNC milling is significantly lower than for high-volume conventional processes. As a result, it helps companies to save money while pursuing scale.
  • Faster product launches: Setting up large-scale manufacturing plants can take a while. By minimizing bottlenecks from your production process, a low-volume CNC milling machine can help you launch goods more quickly.
  • Quick and effective production: When using milling machines, one can run them at their fastest speeds to keep up with escalating demands. Furthermore, Minimal steps are needed to make parts, leading to high efficiency. Compared to manual machining, the procedure is more accurate and may be repeatedly used.
  • Allows for the highly precise production of complicated forms. uses sophisticated CAD software to perform numerous functions and produce outputs that are impossible to duplicate manually. Fully automated systems guarantee that there are no safety risks for the operator.
  • Higher precision and accuracy: CNC machining and manufacturing can work continuously for a full seven days a week without getting tired, taking breaks, or making any compromises. These features make it one of the greatest ways to make fabrication quick, efficient, and scalable without incurring any costs, while also ensuring that the machine keeps a high level of precision and doesn’t waste any material.

Who Uses Low-Volume CNC Milling services?

When we are talking about CNC machining and manufacturing for low-volume production. Then, it is also important to know who utilizes this service. Let’s discuss in detail which companies prefer CNC Milling service for their low-volume production.

  • Small companies
  •  Architects for their model creation
  •  Publicity agencies
  • Artists and other independent contractors

Knowing more about low-volume CNC will enable you to assess whether it meets all of your millings or even turning needs. To maximize your revenues, don’t spend more money stocking your products.

For a single prototype or a run of samples for a trade show or sales presentation to showcase a new product, low-volume CNC machining and manufacturing can be your solution.

Tips for Choosing a CNC Milling Shop

Although choosing a CNC milling service might seem simple, it entails more than just looking at a list of features or specs. If taken into account, the following factors could be helpful in making the selection.

Product Accuracy and Quality

When choosing a CNC milling shop, quality is one of the key factors to take into account. The top CNC machining service provider must also meet a number of other requirements, including as high-density designs, quick production lines, good conductivity, durability, and many more. The precision and accuracy that the service provider or fabricator gives, however, is what matters. Additionally, it’s critical to confirm that they can fulfill your needs.

Work Experience

 Their total market presence and the kinds of clients they have dealt with are two of the most crucial characteristics that set the finest CNC milling service provider apart from the rest. Experience in the sector with CNC machining suppliers demonstrates their capacity for innovation and adaptation to cutting-edge technology. As a result, you must inquire about a supplier’s experience in the relevant field and whether they have dealt with clients from various industries.

Delivery on time

 While accuracy and quality are crucial factors, the supplier must also provide quick response times. Therefore, check to see if the CNC milling shop you speak with has a solid track record of on-time delivery without sacrificing quality.

Customer Assistance

 Providing excellent customer support is crucial for any CNC milling shop to expand and get more customers. Additionally, they must be available for technical talks, to respond to inquiries, and to share suggestions. In order to evaluate the overall quality and degree of customer assistance, potential customer typically asks their friends and colleagues for recommendations or looks for information and reviews on various internet forums.

                           Photo by Berkeley Communications on Unsplash

The Bottom line

The aforementioned tips may aid you in making the best choice of CNC milling service providers. Even in highly sensitive areas like the aviation and aerospace industries, the precision of both low volume and high volume CNC machine service providers has become quite demanding. Therefore, you must consider the experience and services that providers of machined components have been offering their clients before choosing any of them.

One well-known and skilled CNC machining service provider and manufacturer in china is BaiChun. The company has a long history in the market and has constantly given its clients top-notch CNC machined components at exceptional speeds and unparalleled performance. The business has so far provided CNC machining services to customers in a variety of public and private sectors, including medical, oil and gas, aerospace, and more.

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