industrial parts The method of manufacturing metal parts can vary significantly as each process has its own strengths, compatible materials and processes. Deep understanding and better understanding of the range of production methods will improve this decision making process. Making metal parts or making industrial parts includes processes such as cutting, shaping, welding, etc. These processes transform raw materials into final parts and structures. Choosing the right process or methods for manufacturing industrial parts will depend on various things, such as the type of part, parameters affecting the final product, such as possible assembly tolerances and sensitivities, etc. This is an overview of 8 different manufacturing processes that you can use to create custom metal parts.
These 8 methods of production and manufacturing of industrial parts are:
CNC machining (CNC milling and CNC turning)
Diecasting or diecast casting
Metal injection molding
Sheet forming and pressing
Metal 3D printing
In the rest of the article, we will briefly review each of these methods.
1- CNC machining (cnc milling and industrial parts)
CNC machining method (CNC milling and CNC turning) is widely used in the manufacturing and production of industrial parts due to its low cost, high dimensional accuracy and good repeatability, and the word CNC or the same (Computer Numerical Control-CNC) means computer numerical control. .
Designers of industrial parts use CNC machining to remove and separate a layer of the workpiece and design complex parts using software such as Solidworks and CATIA. The use of interface software extracts the designed part machining program and by sending it to the CNC machine, they perform the machining process.
CNC machining is a subtractive process that involves creating custom-shaped designs from a workpiece through computer controls. This process is so-called “reductive” in that the product is produced by grinding the material from the original piece instead of adding materials to produce the product.
CNC machining is based on two widely used technologies; Turning and milling.
In these technologies, the rotation axis of the blade is parallel to the surface of the workpiece that is being machined. This blade, which is often made of high-speed steel, has a number of teeth around it, each of which acts as a separate cutting tool. In this process, the fixed blade rotates continuously to make the piece into the desired shape. These machines work well with a wide range of materials including plastic, aluminum, stainless steel and titanium.
How is CNC milling and turning made?
CNC milling and turning includes the use of CNC lathes or multi-axis CNC center lathes. Part makers use CNC lathes to turn material for cylindrical and concentric features on parts. Lathes Live-Tool equipped lathes use end-mill cutting tools and drills to produce off-axis features without the need for axis changes (fixed machine platform).
Specialized CNC lathes, often called Swiss machines, are designed to quickly produce small parts with complex features by combining multiple tools within the machine. A typical lathe rotates the workpiece on a central axis to remove chips by engaging rigid cutting tools. Other turning applications include creating internal and external threads, creating flange features, O-ring grooves, and twisted textures.
CNC applications and industrial parts
CNC materials are the workhorses of the parts manufacturing world because they are both accurate and repeatable. This means that CNC machining technologies are widely used for rapid prototyping and production of low to high volume parts because the versatility of CNC with different types of materials makes this method suitable for almost any industry.
CNC lathes are similarly versatile. The shape of the part and the specified tolerances usually determine which of the two methods is used; Parts with concentric features that require turning and angular parts that require milling.
The most important industries that use CNC machining are:
Aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer products, electronics, industry, medicine and dentistry, robotics, etc.
Extrusion involves pushing heated metal or plastic through a die. For example, like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. Extrusion of metal parts usually requires post-finishing, such as cutting, drilling or industrial parts, but is ideal for high-volume parts that require a constant cross-sectional area.
Because extrusion profiles can have almost any shape with a continuous cross-section. A great example is the door and window profile, with several features to secure different frames in the set. These frames can even be hollow, such as square, round or hexagonal tubes. Manufacturers determine the structure of the mold when creating the shape.
What is the method of making extrusion?
The three types of extrusion are hot extrusion, cold extrusion and friction. Hot extrusion involves high temperatures used to prevent hardening of the material. Cold extrusion involves close to room temperature, which has advantages over hot extrusion; This material may be stronger, less oxidized, or less resistant. Finally, friction extrusion involves the use of force to push the charge into the die.
Extrusion materials can be plastic or metal. Almost 80% of extruded metal parts are aluminum alloy. Meanwhile, more polyethylene in Exeter Plastic glasses are common.
Uses and industries
Extrusion is simple compared to other methods of manufacturing parts, and the tooling cost is 80-90% lower than injection molding and die casting. Extrusion also provides smoother surfaces for paints and finishes. This makes extrusion ideal for complex and precise cosmetic industrial parts. Also, flooring, windows and fences or automotive and aerospace parts are other widely used items.
3- Metal casting
Metal casting is a long-term manufacturing process that involves pouring liquid metal into a mold. In this method, the liquid metal is hardened to the desired shape, then it is cooled and removed from the mold. Metal casting is a modern and automatic method and uses advanced tools. But its principles are fixed and its widespread use is a testimony to the success of this method.
how it works?
The metal casting process begins with pattern making. Patterns create holes in the mold before being poured into the liquid metal. Modern pattern making methods use precise calculations to achieve the desired shape. These methods include scaling to account for shrinkage as well as having the thickness of the chips in preparation for post-CNC finishing.
In many cases, the mold is destroyed during the casting process. Die loss is a planned step during sand casting; in which the formed casting is separated from the sand to reveal the finished part. New sand casting molds are easily made, and the sand is often reclaimed to create new molds.
Metal casting may also involve the use of wax in a process called investment casting. Manufacturers start by making a wax model of the finished product, where the wax is coated in ceramic layers of the mold, which has a design formed inside it, before being heated and removed.
Each of these two techniques has advantages. For example, sand casting has a simpler process and is easy to repeat. Permanent mold casting requires more preparation but may work better when creating complex parts. Sand casting is often more expensive and permanent mold casting requires more labor to change a given design. Manufacturers must apply the best process and method given their budget and labor constraints and the quality they want for their parts.
Foundry and industrial uses
Almost every commercially mass-produced mechanical device today uses some form of casting. In mass production, casting usually outperforms CNC machining in terms of costs and throughput. Metal casting can achieve high tolerance structural components for a variety of applications. Washing machines, cars and metal pipes all use metal castings.
Various industries and fields in which casting is used are:
Transportation: automobile manufacturing, railway equipment, railway equipment and shipbuilding
Heavy machinery: road construction, agriculture and mining machinery
Machine tools: machining, molding, forging, extrusion, shaping and casting equipment
Factory equipment: equipment for chemical, petrochemical, papermaking, sugar production, textile, smelting and power plants.
Military industry: vehicles, weapons, ammunition, tanks and maintenance equipment
Electrical industries: motor, generator, pump and compressor
Facilities: pipes, connections, valves and fittings used in piping, sanitary facilities and cooling facilities
Household appliances: kitchen appliances, furniture and gardening equipment
Art: sculpture, ornaments, decoration, etc
4- Die casting or die casting
Casting is the best option for producing and manufacturing a large volume of complex metal parts. In the case of traditional or sand casting, it is the force of the weight of the molten materials that pours them into the chamber. Exposing molten materials to pressure in all stages of casting, including solidification, increases their strength and diameter. In addition to the fact that there is no more efficient solution than die-cast for the production of metals, the shortest way to produce a metal product is the die-cast casting method.
The generality of this method is very similar to traditional methods and the only difference with traditional methods is that the melt is under pressure. Casting uses steel molds and low melting point metals as materials. Engineers use castings for complex projects where precision, reliability and surface manufacturability are critical. Casting uses reusable hard tools similar to the injection molding process, which gives the parts a smoother surface while keeping the cost low in mass quantities.
How does die casting work?
In die casting, liquid metal is introduced into the mold through high hydraulic or pneumatic pressure; This is different from traditional metal casting where the metal is cast. Manufacturers find die casting more effective when making parts with intricate details.
Uses and industries
Diecast parts are versatile and are used in many industries. These parts are powerful and resistant to high temperatures. The efficiency of pressure casting in the industry has led to the introduction of various die-cast machines into various industries. Of course, casting is a broad science and there are many devices and systems to carry out processes related to it. The diecasting machine is only one of the types of diecasting machines, which, of course, is considered one of the most efficient.
5- Metal injection molding
Injection molding is the most common method for making plastic parts. But manufacturers also use this method to produce metal parts. Cost-effective for large projects, even with high precision. Although this method is suitable for projects that require small parts, metal injection molding, or MIM, can be used for parts of any size.
how it works?
Unlike die casting, metal injection molding uses a polymer-metal mixture feed, where the molten plastic allows the material to flow as it heats up. During this process, the materials are also pressurized and the machine injects the liquid materials into the mold, the materials cool down and form the mold to make the part.
Uses and industries
The injection molding method can be used more than the die casting methods and other metal fabrication methods, which is why almost most of the parts and accessories that you see around you are made with the injection molding method. Therefore, it can be said that the application of this method of producing parts is specially integrated with our daily life and generally speaking, it is used in the medical, aerospace, automotive and defense industries.
But if we want to examine the applications of this method in a more detailed way, we must say that injection molding is used in a wide variety of industries, such as automobile parts production, electrical industries and electrical appliances, toy production, one-piece household appliances, storage containers, industries Packaging is also used in the production of integrated plastic or metal tables or furniture and hundreds of other industries, and is one of the most common solutions for the mass production of parts and accessories that are used by humans in the modern world.
Like metal casting, blacksmithing has been used for centuries. It is the process of heating and shaping metal pieces by force, with this interpretation you will probably think of the familiar image of the blacksmith and the anvil as he works hard and exerts his force. Today, forging is widely used in automated industrial processes.
How does the forging method work in the production of industrial parts?
Modern blacksmithing uses high impact power machines to shape metals to desired results. Forging produces less waste than other methods, which makes it more cost-effective for practical applications. Forged parts are often stronger than parts of other methods. Because a blacksmith uses the natural grain of his materials.
Stainless steel is one of the most common forging materials; Aluminum and bronze are other widely used materials.
Uses and industrial parts
Blacksmithing is suitable for producing any number of pieces of industry. Its advantages and limitations make this method an ideal process to use alongside other fabrication methods. Forging tools, such as hammers or wrenches, are common examples of durable, end-use parts that are made this way.
7- Sheet shaping and industrial parts
Sheet metal manufacturing involves cutting parts from metal sheets. The blanked sheets may then be processed through die brakes and presses to create bends and angular forms and create a three-dimensional structure. Sheet metal services have stamping to produce these parts at high speed. In fact, stamping is faster than any other metalworking process.
industrial parts Press machines cut and bend parts from sheet metal, then workers feed stamping presses to cut or coil the sheet metal. This machine straightens the metal as it enters the press. In this method, parts makers use press brakes, which are available in different sizes and lengths. Sheet metal pieces can be welded or riveted to create structural elements.
Sheet metal material
Sheet metal is often made of aluminum, copper, or steel and has a variety of finishes including plating, powder coating, and painting.
Uses and industrial parts
industrial parts Pressing makes sheet metal manufacturing highly scalable for any industry. The cost of manufacturing parts with this method is higher than the other methods investigated, but still, parts makers produce hundreds of millions of parts annually in the home appliance, electronics, and automotive industries. Sheet metal is uniquely suited to robotics.
8- Metal 3D printing
Metal 3D printing services use precise lasers to create metal parts. It is ideal for testing and low-volume, high-value parts, but is not as scalable as many of the other metallurgical processes mentioned. This is why it is often used for prototypes as well as alternatives to low-volume castings
What is the method of 3D metal printing?
industrial parts 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, melts metal in a controlled environment via an energy source. The initial manufacturing process is very similar for SLM and DMLS printers. Now let’s talk about how it works: the fabrication chamber is first filled with an inert gas (for example, argon) to minimize oxidation of the metal powder, and then heated to the desired fabrication temperature. A thin layer of metal powder is spread on the build platform and a high-powered laser scans its cross-section, fusing the metal particles together and creating the next layer.
The entire model area is scanned, so the part is made completely solid. When the scanning process is complete, the build platform moves down one layer thick, and the stirrer spreads another thin layer of metal powder. This process is repeated until the entire part is completed. After the atom During the manufacturing process, the parts are completely encased in metal powder.
As the chamber cools, the excess powder is manually removed and the components are typically heat-treated while still attached to the build platform to release any residual stresses. The parts are then removed from the build plate via cutting, machining or wire EDM and are ready for further use or processing.
Metal 3D printing materials
The raw material for metal 3D printing is atomized powder, but sometimes it can be sheet or wire fed. The printer follows a data path created using a 3D CAD file of the part. Common metal materials include powder in stainless steel, titanium, inconel, copper or aluminum materials.
It should be noted that the materials used in metal 3D printers often come from powder metallurgy. The use of new materials for metal 3D printers requires significant research to develop a robust and reproducible method for manufacturing parts without or with minimal defects. This means that the choice of materials for metal 3D printing is currently limited compared to machining, metal casting and other methods of manufacturing parts.
Uses and industrial parts
Despite its limitations due to direct digital manufacturing, metal 3D printing has many global applications because 3D printed parts can often be produced quickly in low volumes and without tooling costs.
Using the ability to simplify and integrate and remove connections is one of the most important goals of using 3D printing in the aerospace industry. Among the activists in this field, we can name the companies Airbus, Boeing, etc., which, in cooperation with companies specializing in this technology, such as General Electric and Rolls-Royce, have benefited from additive manufacturing in the manufacture of airplane components, jet engines, fuel nozzles, satellite platforms, etc.
Siemens and General Electric companies have been the main activists in the application of additive manufacturing in the field of power plants. Until now, things like gas turbine components, turbine blades, measuring probes, etc. have been produced by these companies in an incremental way. Another important application can be the use of FGM capability of parts by DMD systems.
Today, various areas of medicine and medical engineering require the design and manufacture of damaged or destroyed items in the body of patients, molding of organs for prototyping, etc., and 3D printers will be the bridge of communication for these people.
Due to the highly competitive market, the automotive industry needs systems that can produce the design, modeling and manufacturing of the body or the internal components of the car cheaper, faster and more beautiful, and if possible, in a different way and in accordance with the customer’s favorite mental plan. 3D printers will answer many of these needs in this vast industry.
The small working scale required for the production of electronics industry parts, along with the difficulty of performing such operations, strongly feels the need for an intelligent and automatic system that can be implemented on a small scale with access to various polymer, metal, etc. materials. 3D printers will greatly facilitate the production of parts required by this industry.