Enhance Your Knowledge About Tight Tolerances for CNC Machining

Enhance Your Knowledge About Tight Tolerances for CNC Machining

Tolerances are essential for the various industries that have parts or components CNC machined. It’s highly critical for certain sectors, such as the medical industry. 

Through CNC metal machining services, manufacturers can achieve a very tight tolerance, depending on the guidelines and how it is used.

What is a Tight Tolerance?

For metal machining services, manufacturers follow a standard limit of approximately +/- 0.005 inches. To better understand what that means, consider that a single strand of human hair is roughly 0.002 inches. However, manufacturers can also achieve a very tight tolerance. At around 0.001 inches, it’s even tighter than a strand of human hair.

Here’s an example of an industry that requires a very tight tolerance on certain components. It’s common for surgeons to perform implant surgeries. However, some implants have enclosures with tiny openings. If not closed, foreign objects could enter the person’s body. 

A manufacturer can produce an enclosure with a very tight tolerance that prevents anything from getting past the opening. So, an enclosure with such a tolerance protects the patient. That’s why it’s so important to choose a reputable source for CNC metal machining.

Are There Differences Between Tight and Very Tight Tolerances?

The answer is yes. The tighter the tolerance, the more a custom CNC machining service will cost. There are several reasons for the added expense. Some of those include the following:

  • More Involved Machine Setup – This entails additional labor as well as inspections. Combined, they consume quite a bit of time.
  • Longer Cycle Times – When using metal machining services, the manufacturer must operate the machine at a lower speed.
  • Special Tools or Added Fixturing – In some instances, a manufacturer that provides a custom CNC machining service uses special tools or adds fixturing. Either one of these will increase the cost of achieving very tight tolerances.

Does a Part or Component with Very Tight Tolerances Impact the Manufacturing Process?

In certain situations, the industries that depend on CNC metal machining need a product made with a very tight tolerance. However, it’s important to carefully consider all the factors involved. For instance, a company might pay more when it’s not necessary. In other words, a part or component with a tight tolerance would suffice.

In addition, if that same customer requests a very tight tolerance, the manufacturer would probably add lapping, polishing or grinding to the process. Again, that causes the cost of the custom CNC machining service to increase.

Is An Inspection Required for Parts or Components with Very Tight Tolerances?

Anytime a customer’s product needs any kind of tolerance, it must go through an inspection. Remember, the more challenging it is for a manufacturer to machine a part or component, the more difficult it is to measure. For instance, it’s harder to machine a smaller product than a larger one.

Therefore, any tolerance that measures less than 0.005 inches must be inspected more thoroughly. That’s because the manufacturer has to use specialized equipment to inspect the product properly. 

Does the Metal Material Affect the Difficulty of CNC Metal Machining?

It certainly can. When a manufacturer uses CNC machining a soft metal, they’ll find it difficult to hold a specific tolerance. After all, softer metals deform and become damaged more easily during the cutting phase of metal machining services.

Plastic is another material that manufacturers struggle with when it comes to tight tolerances. For example, nylon doesn’t hold a tight tolerance as well as other materials. In comparison, aluminum is a great choice for CNC metal machining and keeping tight tolerances.

A Trusted Source for Custom CNC Machining Services

Whether a customer needs a part or component with a tight or very tight tolerance, one company excels at achieving the goal. Promark Tool and Manufacturing has a more than five decades of experience in providing superior metal machining services to numerous industries.

In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the author by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.

Comments (0)

    No comments yet

You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up