When it comes to medical device manufacturing, the utmost precision and accuracy must be upheld to ensure patient safety and eliminate the risk for errors. Because of this, manufacturers must employ machining processes that can accommodate tight tolerances and meet stringent specifications. Of all the machining processes available, CNC machining is one of the best options to meet these requirements.
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Benefits of CNC Machining in the Medical Industry
CNC machining is capable of producing large amounts of medical products quickly and cost-effectively. Other benefits of CNC machining for the medical industry include:
Swift manufacturing is elemental when dealing with medical products. Depending on the complexity, CNC machining can create a finished product in a matter of hours. Therefore, in case of a medical emergency, CNC machining can deliver various quantities of quality parts in a short period of time.
No Volume Restrictions
Once you make a CAD file, you can quickly generate a coding program from the file. At the push of a button, you can then use this coding program to produce one or multiple medical parts with the highest accuracy levels. No minimum order is necessary for CNC machining, making it perfect for one-off or single-use custom medical components.
Doesn’t Require Fixed Tooling
CNC machining is a minimal investment compared to other modes of production that would typically require the time-consuming creation of expensive tooling. CNC machining allows for the fast and accurate production of medical components without the need for specialized tooling, saving you on both production time and tooling costs.
Digital manufacturing and machining allow experts to quickly and easily transfer digital CAD files from one place to another. Additionally, some CNC machines can easily fit on desktops for easy transport. While portable CNC machines might be limited in capacity, they can conveniently be used to manufacture simple medical components.
Medical devices require very tight tolerances, which is easy to achieve with CNC machining. This process can create medical components that require minimal post-processing, saving on time and money while also ensuring very little risk of error.
Medical CNC Machining Applications
Below are the common applications of CNC machining in the medical industry:
Medical implants (including hip, spine, and knee implants)
Machined surgical instruments (including surgical scissors, blade handles, spacers, biopsy tubes, implant holders, and forceps, among others)
Machined parts for electronic medical components such as X-ray machines, MRI scanners, and heart rate monitors
CNC Swiss machining for incredibly intricate and precise machining parts
Medical CNC Machining Capabilities at EMC Precision
CNC machining plays a major role in the medical industry. It is one of the most reliable manufacturing methods, offering a cost-effective way to produce precision medical components with fast turnaround times, flexibility, and the utmost accuracy. At EMC Precision, our CNC machining capabilities include an advanced lineup of Swiss, multi-spindle, multi-axis, vertical, and horizontal machining centers. We can work with a range of metals, plastics, and high-performance alloys to deliver precise medical parts to meet a variety of needs.
As an ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949-certified facility, we have what it takes to provide safe and high-quality products. For more information about our medical CNC machining capabilities, contact us today.
Automation is the defining factor for product manufacturing in the 21st century. As automation technology becomes smaller, faster, and more precise, manufacturers are increasingly incorporating automated systems to shorten turnaround times, enhance productivity, and improve product quality. In fact, automation is becoming crucial for manufacturers who want to remain competitive in an evolving industry.
At EMC Precision, we understand the value of lean manufacturing and automation in today’s manufacturing market. With more than seven decades of experience, we have the knowledge, skills, and technology necessary to manufacture precision products for a wide variety of applications and industries. In this blog, we discuss the benefits of automated manufacturing and the positive outcomes they create for businesses and customers alike.
What Is Automated Manufacturing?
Automation uses computerized software to direct production equipment and operating systems. With the right automation technology, manufacturers enhance their overall efficiency by increasing production capacity and reducing operating costs.
Automated manufacturing incorporates specialized production management software and robotics technology to produce physical products with fewer tools. Whereas more traditional manufacturing processes use a different tool for each operation, automated manufacturing increases the number of operations that a given tool or system can perform.
With greater tool flexibility, manufacturers can produce more products at higher speeds than with manually-operated systems. With this kind of performance enhancement, it is more important than ever for manufacturers to upgrade to automated systems. In fact, more than 75% of manufacturers currently use some form of automation to improve their productivity and scale their operations.
At EMC Precision, we make it a priority to stay apprised of the latest developments in manufacturing automation to ensure we provide our customers with the latest products and services. We understand that the manufacturing industry is ever-evolving, and it is our goal to remain at the forefront of manufacturing technology with cutting-edge robotics and automated systems that speed and streamline operations and produce superior product quality.
Benefits of Automated Manufacturing
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Automated manufacturing has grown increasingly popular in recent years due to the many advantages it offers. Some of the primary benefits of process automation in manufacturing include:
Improved Workplace Safety
Since OSHA was established in 1970, manufacturers have prioritized workplace safety. By moving dangerous or repetitive tasks to automated equipment, you reduce the potential for workplace accidents. Workers can operate automated equipment from a distance, rather than being in direct contact with dangerous components. In addition, workers are less likely to lose focus and make careless mistakes if repetitive and mundane tasks are handled by automation.
Enhanced Labor Productivity
Automated systems increase your manufacturing speeds without compromising quality. When you use automation for monotonous, boring tasks, you free up your workers for more interesting tasks and operations that cannot be automated. In addition, many modern manufacturing operations such as rapid prototyping, 3D printing, PLC surfacing, CNC machining, and PCB printing simply can’t be completed without the use of automation.
Reduced Operating Costs
Incorporating manufacturing process automation into your facility’s operations streamlines your workflow and speeds your overall processes. This leads to reduced lead times, significant energy savings, and lower labor costs, which boost your bottom line. Automation and robotics equipment are also extremely accurate, which mitigates the potential for costly errors and virtually eliminates material waste.
While a seasoned lathe operator or machinist can create accurate components, manual tooling is no match for automated systems, particularly with regard to accuracy and speed. As products become smaller and more dependent on miniaturized components, manual labor grows less effective and efficient. With automated manufacturing, we create products more quickly, within extremely tight tolerances, and with a high degree of repeatability that cannot be accomplished through manual machining processes.
Automated Manufacturing at EMC Precision
EMC Precision is a leading manufacturer of parts and components for customers in every industry. We are dedicated to helping our customers reduce costs, enhance efficiency, improve quality, and facilitate optimal worker safety through the use of state-of-the-art automated systems. Our capabilities include CNC machining, centerless grinding, heat treatments, hard chrome plating, and assembly. We also offer value-added finishing and assembly services for your convenience.
EMC’s lean manufacturing facility is specifically engineered to produce only the highest quality parts with the utmost speed and precision. We are committed to excellence, with established best practices and testing protocols at every step of the design and manufacturing process.
Reach Out to Our Experts Today!
When you partner with EMC Precision, you benefit from decades of manufacturing experience coupled with the latest automation and robotics technology. No matter how complex your requirements are, we have the knowledge, skill, and equipment to complete your project quickly and efficiently.
To learn more about ways that automated manufacturing can help your business, contact us today!
Milling is a precise machining technique that removes excess material from an in-process workpiece. It comes in two broad varieties: horizontal milling and vertical milling. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between the two techniques, their unique advantages, and common applications for each milling process.
What Is Horizontal Milling?
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Horizontal milling processes use a machine with a horizontally mounted, rotating spindle. The attached cutting tool can move back and forth on the spindle to cut across the length of the workpiece to remove excess material. Planers and other cutting tools can shape, smooth, and finish workpieces to the right dimensions and specifications.
Horizontal Milling Benefits and Applications
Horizontal milling is just one of the milling options available to manufacturers, but it brings many advantages to any production process, especially for projects involving complex designs or bulky materials. Some of the key benefits to consider include:
Durability: Horizontal milling machines themselves offer long-lasting performance with minimal maintenance requirements and potential to get damaged. This is especially crucial when you need to handle heavy materials and workpieces.
Speed: Compared to vertical milling, horizontal milling machines can create faster, more efficient cuts. These complex machines can even manage multiple cuts at once and remove pocketing or facing chips so there’s no interruption to the work cycle.
Precision: Today’s horizontal milling machines are often CNC, or computer numeric control, equipment. CNC systems electronically interpret and follow precise instructions to generate products that are virtually identical to the original. Horizontal CNC milling processes ensure high-quality production within tight tolerances.
Production Capacity: Automation improves speed without sacrificing production, which increases the number of units manufacturers can create within a given timeframe. Combining that with the fact that automated processes minimize interruptions means a significantly increased ability to produce more goods in less time.
Horizontal milling machines are most commonly used in these applications:
Creating complex, multifaceted goods
Working with heavy materials or oversized workpieces
Cutting complicated features, such as grooves and pockets
What Is Vertical Milling?
Vertical milling machines also cut, smooth, and finish in-progress workpieces. But rather than having a horizontal spindle that allows cutting tools to move from side to side, vertical milling machines have a vertical spindle so cutting tools can move up and down as they rotate and cut through the workpiece material.
Vertical milling tools are more popular than horizontal alternatives. They also come in two main varieties:
1. Bed milling machines: In these machines, the material moves perpendicularly. While the bed of the mill maneuvers along Y and Z axes, the spindle can maneuver across the X-axis. This allows the machine to create complex, three-dimensional products.
2. Turret milling machines: These compact machines have a fixed spindle and bed that can move both horizontally and perpendicularly to provide the greatest versatility. These machines work best for small products.
Vertical Milling Benefits and Applications
Just like horizontal milling machines have their own advantages, vertical milling machines offer unique benefits that horizontal milling machines do not. Those benefits include:
Ease of Use: Technicians can easily operate vertical mills to create complex, high-quality goods.
Cost-Effectiveness: Vertical milling machines have a smaller up-front cost, making them affordable for more manufacturers and small businesses.
Precision: Both horizontal and vertical milling machines offer high levels of precision, so it’s most important to choose the right process based on the unique demands of your specific project.
Visibility: The orientation of the parts creates a less obstructed view. This allows technicians to maintain more visible control over the milling process.
Vertical milling machines are the preferred option for small shops. They’re commonly used in these applications:
Projects where only a single side requires milling
Products with intricate milling requirements
Workpieces that require drilling or plunge cuts for completion
Differences Between Vertical and Horizontal Milling Machines
In terms of machinery design, the key difference between vertical milling machines and horizontal milling machines is the spindle’s orientation. This, in turn, affects what cutting tools the machinery can use. Vertical milling machines have thinner, longer tools, while horizontal milling machines have thicker, shorter cutting tools that can provide heavy, deep cuts.
Horizontal and Vertical Milling Capabilities at EMC Precision
At EMC Precision, we offer machining and finishing services for projects across multiple industries. Our services include both horizontal milling and vertical milling; our experienced manufacturing experts can help determine which is the right fit for your custom project. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities as well as our commitment to quality.
Machined and fabricated products often need to undergo grinding processes before they can be considered complete. Not only does grinding remove rough patches and dangerously sharp edges, but it can also change the contours of the product. Centerless grinding is a versatile, popular grinding process that can be used to make in-process goods with rounded surfaces and dimensions that fall squarely within tight tolerances. There are three main types of centerless grinding that manufacturers use. Learn more about centerless grinding overall and these three types to choose the right fit for your next manufacturing project.
What Is Centerless Grinding?
Centerless grinding processes remove excess material from a workpiece by filing it away with a grinding wheel until the product that remains has the right surface attributes and dimensions. In a centerless grinding machine, the workpiece is secured near two grinding wheels. These are the regulating wheel and the actual grinding wheel, which grinds against the outer diameter of the piece. Centerless grinding offers a smooth product finish. It’s also extremely accurate and can produce pieces with both straight lines and dimensions that meet the product specifications within tight tolerances.
Types of Centerless Grinding
Manufacturers can choose between three different types of centerless grinding to create products with different attributes.
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1. Through-Feed Grinding
In through-feed grinding, a workpiece is fed into the machine with two support guides so it rotates while sitting between both the regulating and the grinding wheels. This allows for a completely symmetrical construction or the production of parallel parts, including rollers and pins in aerospace equipment. Another popular use of through-feed grinding is feeding long bars between the two wheels to produce a finished bar with a precise diameter.
2. In-Feed Grinding
Also called plunge grinding, in-feed grinding processes are commonly used for grinding projected, formed surfaces, shoulders, and parts with complex geometries, multiple changes in diameter, and other intricate designs. In this setup, the regulating wheel radially feeds the workpiece against the grinding wheel to produce the complex final shape.
3. End-Feed Grinding
End-feed grinding produces tapered parts by carefully controlling the extent of the grinding process. It’s similar to through-feed grinding in that the workpiece is fed into the centerless grinding machine against the regulating wheel and grinding wheel, but the part is stopped before it can fully go through the machine. This creates a tapered grinding effect.
Advantages of Centerless Grinding
Centerless grinding is a popular and effective method for shaping in-process metal parts into precise products. Some of the key advantages of choosing centerless grinding include:
Speed: Centerless grinding machines have short loading times, so orders can be processed on a tight schedule.
Volume: Large centerless grinding machines can grind high-order volumes. This results in large quantities of virtually identical metal pieces.
Error Reduction: One of the main attributes of centerless grinding is that there is no risk of deflection.
Long Life Span: Centerless grinding processes create a smooth finish and a controlled shape without putting too much pressure on the metal material. This results in a finished product with a longer life and less risk of breakage.
Choose Centerless Grinding Capabilities from EMC Precision
At EMC Precision, we serve our clients with precision machining, assembling capabilities, and other value-added services, including centerless grinding services. This value-added service, while not available as a standalone offer, enables us to take on the most challenging requirements for size, surface quality, concentricity, and more:
Accuracy at tolerances—to .0001—exceeding conventional machining capabilities
State-of-the-art automated loading and CNC dresser heads
Consistent quality in the process saves cost
Contact us today to learn more about our CNC machining capabilities or to inquire about our centerless grinding service.
EMC Precision Machining is proud to announce our new Citizen Cincom M32-5M7 LFVR is in production!
In EMC’s continued strategic pursuit of excellence and improvement, EMC have completed the installation of our CITIZEN Cincom M32-5M7 LFVR swiss machine. This new addition will not only expand capacity but also enhance capabilities. The addition of this new machine will add to the current lineup and open up capacity to machine complex parts needed in today’s industrial markets.
Computer numerical control (CNC) machining is responsible for producing precision custom parts for a variety of demanding industries. Depending upon the particular industry and application, accuracy prevents component failure that could result in expensive downtime, employee injuries, and more. CNC machine tools—including mills, lathes, plasma cutters, electric discharge machines (EDM), and water jet cutters—enable the reliable and consistent production of parts for virtually every industry sector.
CNC machining provides many advantages over traditional machining, including:
Improved worker safety
Reduced labor costs
Higher part accuracy
Visualization eliminates test runs
Higher cutting parameters
Increased tool flexibility
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some ways that various industries use CNC machining.
The aerospace industry is one in which the accuracy and consistency of machined parts are absolutely critical. CNC machines can create complex parts and individual prototypes within the tightest tolerances, which is essential for parts used in aircraft and spacecraft. Examples of commonly machined aerospace components include:
Landing gear parts
Radio frequency suppression materials
CNC machining allows aerospace OEMs and suppliers to meet the strict quality and safety standards held by their industry. Aerospace manufacturers rely heavily on 5-axis machines for superior cutting speed, finishes, and efficiency for many of the smaller components required used in aerospace equipment.
In the automotive industry, computer control and automation facilitate tasks like drilling and boring, giving more options for production and prototyping. CNC-machined auto parts ultimately improve the functionality, reliability, and power of vehicles. Modern automotive manufacturers rely on CNC machining for a variety of solutions, including:
Exhaust system components
Fluid system components
Waterborne equipment requires the use of corrosion-resistant materials due to constant exposure to humidity or direct contact with water. This includes a variety of marine-grade metal materials, such as steel, copper, and brass. CNC machining frequently provides marine parts such as:
This versatile machining method produces durable and corrosion-resistant marine components for marine equipment ranging from small boats to large shipping vessels.
CNC machining solutions offer increased precision and enhanced repeatability when creating medical instruments, orthotics, and surgical implants. Additional benefits of CNC machining for the medical sector include an ability to produce detailed automated reports necessary for product tracking and FDA process approval, compatibility with specialized medical materials, and quick prototyping that speeds time to market for new solutions.
CNC machining enables the creation of numerous precision medical devices such as:
Electronic enclosures for monitoring devices
Customized sterile packaging
Benefits of Partnering With EMC Precision
Since 1925, our family-operated precision machining company has maintained industry-leading attention to accuracy, repeatability, and precision, along with a focus on innovation and technology. We are a Lean manufacturing facility dedicated to best practices at every level of our business.
EMC Precision’s dedication to excellence through continuous improvement is reinforced through our commitment to integrity, teamwork, and superior service for everyone involved. These values have built a strong culture that ensures your custom products are delivered on time, with extremely low defect rates, and at the lowest possible cost.
We support customers in numerous industries with our precision-machined products and assemblies. Our partners count on us for a full range of turning and milling capabilities that conform to the tightest tolerances. To see how our CNC machining services can support projects in your industry, please contact us today.
CNC machining is a highly repeatable and accurate manufacturing process for creating parts ranging from prototype to high-volume production runs. CNC tooling uses pre-programmed instructions to cut a solid block of material into the desired part. The versatility of this process makes it suitable for a wide range of applications and their specific requirements. While CNC machining is adaptable, it’s important to start with the right material to achieve the desired finished product.
Material Selection Process
It can be a challenge to figure out which material is the perfect fit for your application. To ensure that your material selection is best for your specific project, it is crucial to follow these steps:
1.Define material requirements. Material selection begins with defining your material requirements. Consider factors such as the electrical and environmental conditions of your application, part size requirements, desired mechanical properties, cosmetic preferences, and cost requirements.
2.Identify top material candidates. Once you have defined your material requirements, narrow down your selection to materials that fulfill those needs.
3.Select the final material. Once you have identified your top material candidates, it’s time to make the final decision. This might mean a compromise between two or more material requirements.
Common Materials Used for CNC Machining
Choosing the material for your CNC machining project can be challenging, so it can be extremely beneficial to consult an expert. Experts can understand your project and its specific requirements and suggest an appropriate material.
Some of the most common materials used in CNC machining include:
Aluminum is a cost-effective, versatile material that is easily machined, making it suitable for a wide range of machining projects. It has a good strength-to-weight ratio, and machining for aluminum parts is quicker than other materials. Although it’s weaker than steel, anodizing aluminum adds a hard, protective layer.
Because of its highly polished look that’s similar to gold, brass is often found in cosmetic applications, such as architecture projects. It’s easy to machine due to its stability and low strength. Brass is also a good choice for low friction applications because of its electrical conductivity.
Considered mild-grade steel, carbon steel is stronger, tougher, and cheaper than stainless steel. It’s easy to machine and weld and is commonly used for industrial applications requiring a high degrees of toughness and strength. Carbon steel can also be heat treated to enhance hardness.
Regarded as the best electrical conductor, copper is perfect for various automotive applications such as cooling and heating exchanges. Copper also features good corrosion resistance, and its thermal conductivity makes it easily shaped during CNC machining.
Nickel is a difficult alloy to a machine, as it produces high levels of heat when cut, and its strength provides resistance to metal removal. However, this material is desirable due to its aqueous corrosion resistance and strength.
Titanium has a high melting point making it ideal for a wide range of industries, including aerospace and medical. This strong but lightweight metal is a good conductor of heat, and its corrosion resistance properties provide protection against salt and water.
Stainless steel comes in many grades and features great corrosion and wear resistance, high strength, and good ductility. This material is easily machined, welded, and polished, and its desirable features make it ideal for the aerospace and automotive industries.
CNC Machining with EMC Precision
CNC machining is popular across a wide variety of industries, and choosing the right material is crucial in ensuring a quality finished product. At EMC Precision, our CNC machining capabilities include a wide range of materials to suit the various needs of our customers. With a lineup of advanced CNC machining equipment and a commitment to precision, we can handle machining projects ranging from prototype orders to high-volume production runs.
For help finding the right material for your CNC machining project, contact us today, or request a quote to start your order.
Machining is critical to the manufacturing of products used across multiple facets of daily life. This controlled process involves using power-driven machine tools to cut raw material from a workpiece to produce the desired shape and size from materials such as metal, plastic, rubber, wood, paper, and more.
Machining can be described as conventional, which requires manual technician prompting and manipulation of the cutting tools, or non-conventional, such as CNC machining, which relies on computer automation to drive the process. While each approach offers distinct drawbacks and advantages, both aim to produce the highest quality machined parts.
What is Conventional Machining?
The conventional machining process uses a human operator to direct and control machining tools such as milling, boring, and drilling machines as well as lathes and other sharp cutting tools. This individual is responsible for driving the location and intensity of tool contact with the raw material through the use of buttons, levers, or wheels in order to achieve the intended product geometry.
What is CNC Machining?
Although CNC machining still requires operator oversight to manage software, functions in the CNC process are primarily carried out by pre-programmed computer designations that guide the movements of the machining tools. Tools used in the CNC process do not require contact with the raw materials.
Conventional Machining vs. CNC Machining
While both conventional and CNC machining methods work to create high-quality machined parts, the two differ in many ways.
Conventional Machining. Conventional machining generally costs less and is more cost-effective and efficient for small jobs.
CNC Machining. CNC machining is more expensive for small jobs, but provides greater efficiency and cost savings for larger jobs.
Conventional Machining. The quality of the final product is largely dependent on the skills and abilities of the machine technician or operator.
CNC Machining. Geometry is loaded into the software, so the risk for human error is minimized in the quality equation.
Conventional Machining. Due to human involvement, it is difficult to guarantee a high level of part consistency, making conventional machining ideal for small runs or single pieces.
CNC Machining. Since machines run on computer commands, identical parts or components can be produced with ease, making CNC machining ideal for large quantities of highly consistent products.
Experience and Skills
Conventional Machining. Operator experience greatly influences part quality and consistency.
CNC Machining. Operators with little experience can still produce highly consistent and quality parts due to computer-intervention.
Conventional Machining. Each machine requires a dedicated operator, and a high level of technician involvement is necessary to direct the tools. Operators must be able to produce a variety of parts, which requires extensive knowledge, skills, and experience.
CNC Machining. Since minimal operator involvement is needed to manage the CNC process, a single operator can oversee multiple machines at once with high degrees of accuracy and precision, which reduces labor costs.
Due to improved product quality, highly consistent production replication, and reduced labor demands, CNC machining is the preferred manufacturing method in most instances.
CNC Swiss Machining Services with EMC Precision
While both conventional and CNC machining methods seek to create quality products, the CNC process offers several advantages over its conventional counterpart. From improved product quality to increased labor requirements, CNC machining methods are ideal for large run projects that require high levels of quality and consistency.
At EMC Precision, our line-up of Swiss, multi-axis, multi-spindle, horizontal, and vertical machining centers allows us to provide customers with the versatility, productivity, and cost savings needed to tackle any job in industries like agriculture, government and military, medical devices and equipment, and more. Driven by our commitment to quality and safety, our team maintains ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949 certifications.