The year 2019 was hopefully a great one for all of our readers, customers and business associates. As we step into 2020, we know that many CNC customers and fabricators will want to up their game this year, hit the ground running from the onset and surpass all their achievements from last year.
After looking at our CNC process design and operating procedures, we have made a list of all the little solutions and improvements that you can make to get more out of your tools, work process and time without spending so much. In this article, you will find ways to make your job easier, faster and more productive. Once you start doing these things, you are already on track to have a great year right from the start. So, without further ado, here are 10 ways to up your cnc prototyping game this year!
Every CNC Machinist understands the importance of speed in any project. If you are going to do more in 2020 you may need to start considering some ways to improve the speed of your process without compromising on your output quality. Some of the things that can be done to improve your CNC speed may include increasing the number of shallow passes, optimizing cut width and depth, embracing auxiliary high-speed spindles and much more.
CNC machines like every other machine will breakdown at some point. This is due to constant use, wear and tear. In 2020, you can and should avoid unnecessary downtimes by timing maintenance periods and taking appropriate actions as soon as you start to notice performance issues or lag with your machine. Also, ensure that you buy OEM replacements as soon as a part is damaged.
There are many equipment management systems out there that can help to lower you tool cost, manage and track your inventory. A system such as this can help prevent overstocking and understocking of tools, provide crucial warnings when accessories are running low and prevent petty downtimes.
High quality tools and accessories
Asides ensuring that your machines and equipment are well maintained, you should consider replacing dull and weak tools with high quality ones. Try to have a high-pressure cooling system and evaluate your tool holder and inserts occasionally.
Coat specific tool holders in aluminium oxide, do not over use a tool on a job and use special purpose tools when necessary. These simple processes can go a long way in not only prolonging your tool lifespan, but increasing efficiency, neatness, feed rate and cutting speeds on the job
Relieve data bottlenecks
CNC machines run a number of commands and software that are fed by data pools in the CAM terminal. These data flows can occasionally ramp up, creating bottlenecks in the process, thus slowing the machining. These delays may be caused by time lapses in processing and loading on the machine.
Try as much as possible to relieve data blocks and prevent delay in the process as these bottle necks can become hindrances in the smoothness of your process.
Consider upgrading machines
If you have machines that are nearing the end of their life cycle, chances are you are already technologically outdated. Considering upgrading your machines this year to get and offer the best in-class performance for your CNC projects.
Use the right apps
Are you the type of Machinist that is always scouring internet forums for the best feeds and speeds to use on your job? Or do you have some generic feeds and speeds locked up in your CAM package that you think would work for all your project? If so, 2020 is the year to do better.
Invest in a speed and feed software to get more accuracy and speed on your jobs. Use the right apps to estimate, simulate and run your processes and you’d find that your overall performance would be greatly improved.
Eliminate operator wait time
In order to keep your machines running at all times, ensure that you properly schedule your operators shifts, break hours and handover times. This will ensure that machines are not left unattended at any point in time.
Surface treatments and Finishing
After all the hard work pub into machining any part, a quality finish is one that crowns your effort. Ensure that you use the right tool for finishing and treat all your parts with the right protective materials to ensure that final presentation is no short of perfection.
Improve the organization
Last but not least, basic things like labelling systems and workshop arrangement can prevent loss of money and manpower. Try to arrange your workshop in a way that is in sync with the workflow. Use labelling systems to know what tools and parts are kept in what box or cabinets and save yourself from confusion as well as the time and effort of searching for things every time.
It is important to understand that improving your CNC performance goes beyond your machines, skillset and team. It is a continuous process that covers process improvement, management, organization, client service and high quality.
First Part is an expert in all forms of CNC machining, Rapid tooling, Rapid prototyping and a series of low-volume manufacturing programs. Our services include 3D printing, Finishing, urethane casting, sheet metal, aluminium extrusion, pressure die casting, injection moulding and more.
Let us partner with you on all your projects in 2020 to deliver high-quality parts, intimate engineering services and exemplary client service to drive value into your business.