Is machining a manufacturing process?

Is machining a manufacturing process? | Machining is an important manufacturing process. With process planning in machining; It is ensured that the designed product passes through a series of manufacturing stages and turns into the final product. When it comes to CNC-assisted machining, drawing data and programming data required for manufacturing means a huge chunk of information. In fact, a significant part of this data, excluding technical production data; It creates information such as operation description, job description, tool and fixture selection, secondary operations, number of production. Although there are softwares (CAPP, PLM, ERP) that will help planning and increase productivity, it is possible to adapt process planning to machining as a systematic program.

Process Planning

Companies that have to respond to different customer needs have to create unique process plans. However, in general terms, the steps to be followed by an industrial company in the machining process are certain. The main purpose of these steps are the features of the product such as geometric, technical, material and surface quality; is to reduce it to a single document about how the product will be produced.

  1. Part and Assembly Design
  2. Production Method Selection
  3. Operation Determination
  • Creating a Toolpath
  • Team Selection
  • Specifying Processing Parameters
  • Fixture Selection
  • Verification of NC Program
  1. Verification of Process Planning
  2. Performing the Manufacturing

All the mentioned steps are updated with iterations in themselves. Iteration is a predictive estimate. These predictions need to be tried and verified according to the result until we arrive at a better and more efficient process. “Operation determination” in machining is one of the most important steps to increase production efficiency and reduce costs. It is a great advantage to support the processes in this step with automation solutions. Let’s examine the transition of each process from legacy methods to full automation.

  • Creating a Toolpath
    1. Manual NC programming
    2. Manual CAM programming
    3. Semi-automated CAM programming
    4. Toolpath creation with full automation
  • Team Selection
    1. Manual tool selection (use new tool each time)
    2. Manual tool selection (use of legacy tools without database)
    3. Manual tool selection (use of old tools within the database)
    4. Semi-automated tool selection (tool recommendation system)
    5. Fully automated tool selection
  • Specifying Processing Parameters
    1. Manual parameterization (new parameter selection each time)
    2. Manual parameterization (legacy parameter usage without database)
    3. Manual parameterization (use of old parameters within the database)
    4. Semi-automated parameterization (parameter suggestion system)
    5. Full automation parameterization
  • Fixture Selection
    1. Manual fixture selection (using new fixtures each time)
    2. Manual fixture selection (legacy fixture use without database)
    3. Manual fixture selection (legacy fixture usage within database)
    4. Semi-automation fixture selection (fixture recommendation system)
    5. Full automation fixture selection
  • Verification of NC Program
    1. Online program test
    2. Online CNC operator panel testing
    3. CAM simulation
    4. CAM impact test

Process Planning Example in Machining

So far we have seen how to do a general planning and incremental increase in automation for CNC machining. However, while planning the process, plans that go into much more detail can be used, taking into account the customer’s needs. For example, different values ​​may be required for surface roughness in technical drawings and documents. What should be done if the part for which a rough surface is desired is transferred to the part for which a higher quality surface roughness is desired?

As an option, the desired result is obtained with tool selection and changes in feed rate under the responsibility of the operator. However, this method will make the training of new operators inefficient and is a time-consuming way. On the other hand, if the measures to increase the surface quality are determined with the process documents, faster results are definitely obtained. Or, if the operator sees what kind of intervention to do when the wear of the used tool is very high, the process will be accelerated. Let’s take an integrated example of process planning to review manufacturing;

“Manufacturing Review”

  • Chip Control: If there is long and unbroken chip formation during manufacturing;
    >Causes: The feed and depth of cut is given too low, the entering angle may be wrong, the corner radius may be too large.
    >Solutions: Increasing the feed and depth of cut, choosing a tool with high chip breaking capability, machining with smaller nose radius, determining the maximum entering angle.
  • Surface Quality: If the desired surface roughness cannot be reached;
    >Causes: Chips may be damaging the machined surface, there may be wear on the cutting edge, the feed may be too high.
    >Solutions: Directing the chips out, changing the entering angle, reducing the feed, reducing the cutting speed.
  • Burr Formation: If there is burr formation when the cutting tool is separated from the part;
    >Causes: There may be wear on the cutting edge, the feed may be low, there may be notch wear in the depth of cut.
    >Solutions: The use of sharp-edged tools, chamfering or radius machining when leaving the workpiece.

As you can see, when planning machining, it is possible to go into detail from tool and parameter selection to solving manufacturing problems. It is also important to manage all this data collection within the software and plans for the resulting product and to make changes for continuous more efficient manufacturing. Firms that determine the right approach for gains to be beneficial maintain their competitiveness. Regardless of the planning approach, the task distribution of the employees should be determined meticulously in the management of these systematic processes.

Is machining a manufacturing process?