Manufacturers are always trying to find ways to improve their performance. Usually this is through eliminating downtime, minimizing scrap rates, ensuring consistency and producing high-performance precision parts at a reasonable price. When creating a manufacturing strategy to maximize profitability, manufacturers should consider these five factors:
- Machine Tools
When machining parts with high precision and accuracy, a highly important factor is the machine tool used. Manufacturers should utilize their machine tools to their full potential. Brooks Associates helps their customers to understand a machine’s full potential by offering training with machine purchases.
- Cutting Tools
When selecting cutting tools, manufacturers should be concerned with extending tool life. There are many advancements including tailored cutters, improved toughness, wear and thermal resistance. They should also consider the type of tool, and how it will affect the material being cut.
- Work Material
The material being cut is a major determiner in the selection of the machine tool, cutting tool, cutting fluid and machining parameters. This is because materials have different mechanical and thermal properties, which work better with certain tools. These should all be thought about and chosen cohesively for the best precision and quality.
- Cutting Fluid
Selecting the right cutting fluid for a specific job can reduce costs and improve performance at the same time. This can improve the quality of the surface finish as well. When choosing a fluid, manufacturers have the choice of using a straight-oil or a water-miscible fluid.
Straight oils are petroleum products made from crude oil. These offer the maximum amount of lubrication and the least cooling capacity. To improve performance they are often blended with additives.
When it comes to water-miscible fluids, there are three kinds that are widely used. These are soluble oil, synthetics, and semi-synthetics. Soluble oil is oil dispersed in water. It offers the greatest amount of lubrication of the three. Synthetics fully dissolve into water and are the most stable of the fluids. Semi-synthetics blend oil and synthetics for a combination of lubrication, stability, and cooling performance.
- Machining Parameters
The parameters of a machine, which include speed, feed depth of cut and cutter path should be taken into consideration when aiming for precision.
To continuously improve and manufacture more precise parts, manufacturers should understand how these five factors are integrated with each other. When they understand that, they can choose the best combination of tools, machines, materials and cutting fluid to increase their precision and ultimately their profitability.