Machining has become a very important part of our society, and a foundation of progress for many industries. Thanks to it, we were capable of achieving many scientific and mechanical breakouts that have changed the way we live our lives in their entirety.
Just so you know, machining is what makes manufacturing metals possible through tools commonly referred to as machines. With that said, machining is also capable of manufacturing other materials, including plastic, ceramic, wood, and composites.
Back in the day, machines were manipulated by human hand, meaning that we could manipulate the movement and activities of the machines through the manual direction. Nowadays, most of this work is done by a computer that has been set up by a human.
This computer takes care of the machine’s movements and operations, and although certain computers require very specific knowledge to be properly directed, other computers can be easily manipulated thanks to their simplistic design.
Most machines deal with jobs related to cutting or shaping materials, to create certain mechanical pieces for very complex mechanisms, or materials used for building structures or appliances. The uses of these mechanical devices are very wide and depend entirely on the service provider, commonly referred to as machine shops.
Machine shops are the ones in charge of providing services related to machining and all the variations of it. Some shops deal with multiple types of machines while other focus solely on a single type.
They might also focus on specific services or just focus on one. Of course, regardless of their proficiency, they deal with manufacturing processes of different types. If you check the UHI Group, you’ll get a solid idea of what I’m talking about.
With a wide variety of services, this machine shop in specific relies on providing as many types of manufacturing processes as they can, without degrading their performance and quality of work.
This is important to have in mind when hiring a machine shop (or becoming one) considering how different types of processes achieve different results, with each one having its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The two main forms of machining processing are two, conventional and nonconventional.
This type of machining works solely based on the use of power, which could also be referred as to mechanical strength. This means that the machines that enter this category require physical contact between the components of the machine and the materials that need modifications. A good example of this is how a wood cutting machine relies on a saw to shape a piece of wood.
These machines, although they can be fully automatized, might also enter the category of manually manipulated machines, requiring them to be manipulated by a person as they work.
The biggest disadvantage of conventional machining in today’s society is that with the growth of all industries as well as the emphasis on smaller, more delicate pieces, this type of process might not be delicate and precise enough to achieve certain goals.
Still, it has its advantages as well. Conventional machining is much cheaper and regardless of what some potential customers might require, they are still capable of dealing with materials and jobs that are very present in today’s society.
Services provided with this type of machining process are also more accessible, but it depends on the complexity and size of the project.
Now, this can be simply described as the opposite version of conventional machining, but there’s much more to it than just that. This type of machining process does not require contact between the machine and the material being manipulated.
This is because machines under this category use different types of methods to shape the material they are working on, without its components entering in contact with it. Methods vary vastly, but some of the most popular methods are:
- Water jet
This provides a much more precise machining process making certain tasks possible that would otherwise be unattainable, and this can come with its own set of advantages, vastly increasing the variety of services a shop can provide.
Still, it also has drawbacks. For example, nonconventional machining can consume much more resources than conventional machines because of the amount of energy they need to operate. Of course, this depends on the type of machine we are talking about, but the same rules apply for most machines entering this category.
These can be much slower as well in comparison to their counterparts because they focus on precise tasks. For certain aspects of manufacturing, this can be a huge drawback, since as a lot of people say, time is money.
Still, these machines are well known for being great for automated tasks since they come with much more intelligent computers capable of very detailed processes, making them very great alternatives for automatized jobs, and stores that have less staff.
Their capabilities are also very reliable considering that they are capable of achieving high-end results in most situations, but for some machines, a certain level of knowledge and training is required. For others, though, simply understanding how the machine works are enough, but this varies greatly between machines and brands.
Overall, I would dare to say that each type of machining process works wonderfully for its own purposes, and each one provides benefits for different tasks. It wouldn’t be fair to make them fight against each other considering that each one belongs to a different category.
It’s all up to the machining shop to decide which one suits their needs and goals the most, and why. There’s much to add when it comes to their differences, but you can check more detailed information about it over here
To decide which type of machine is best for a shop, many things need to be considered. How they intend to work and the type of services they want to provide are definitely things a shop has to consider before deciding what machinery they should purchase, but there are also things related to staff and operation expenses.