Industrial sheet metal is the metal used most often in manufacturing. Our demands for newer and more complicated products has resulted in sheet metal fabrication resorting to a new type of technology that originated just after WWII: computer numerical control, or CNC. Precision CNC machining services are a type of program that controls the functions and motions of a machine tool. The benefits are improved precision in creating complex shapes that can be replicated with a high degree of accuracy.
CNC machines are prized for their ability to create complex 3-D shapes. These items require a 5 axis machining service, which is able to move on five separate axes all at once. The standard CNC machining can only move on three axes: the X-, Y-, and Z- axis.
Are Precision CNC Machining Services Less Likely to Break Down?
While lauded for its exactness, it is true that even CNC services can have problems during machining. No service is ever totally without its faults. In the case of precision CNC machining services, there are a few recommended steps to follow when diagnosing a problem.
When, What, and Who? Ask the Three W’s of Problem Solving.
This is an easy strategy, but must be done. The important piece of this puzzle can only be found once all the information is gathered. Remember: documenting your findings from reliable sources is how you get to the root of a problem instead of simply making a note of the symptoms of a problem.
1. When?The timing of the problem matters, as it will indicate what exactly is at fault. Take a careful look at what step in the machining process the issue is first noticed.
2. What? Next, consider how the problem is described. Is there a noise, a smell, an odd sight?
3. Who? This step may not always be applicable, but can give some insight. For example, is it a human technician who noticed the problem? Or does the CNC insist there is an error that needs to be fixed?
How to Make Sense of Documentation of the Problem.
Once there is a description of the problem from knowledgeable sources, it’s time to put together the information. Reliable and knowledgeable sources are simply those employees who are observant, experts of their area of work, and can explain things in some detail. For example, an unobservant worker might report that the machine made a screeching noise, but someone who was paying closer attention might include that the machine seemed to slow down a bit before it made the noise.
The issue is going to be caused by a problem with one or more of the following: a user error; an error with the computer program (its G-Code); improper materials; or an incorrect method. This is why it is important to gather data before making a determination. There is a distinct possibility that more than one piece of the puzzle is at fault in some way, in which case the issue will continue.
Precision CNC machining services are prized for a number of reasons. The process allows for a fine degree of precision, creating complex shapes that can be replicated without the machine growing tired as a human worker in the same job might. But this does not mean that a CNC machining company will not at time need to diagnosis an operational problem. The key is to gather all the relevant data to find the root of the problem, not just the symptoms.