Process repeatability is critical for ensuring quality in CNC machine environments. That’s why it’s so important for manufacturers to set up their equipment to automate the job from start to finish. Every time an operator intervenes to change a tool or move a work piece, they are introducing a point of possible inconsistency.
As you look for ways to standardize processes, here are a few options to consider:
- Choose Plug and Play Machine Accessories: If you need to augment the capabilities of your CNC machine, such as high speed machine spindles or boring heads, find one that fits your machine’s specifications. When operators have to manually install and adjust these accessories each time they are used, they can inadvertently deviate from the standard.
- Maximize the use of your automatic tool changers and tool magazines: Make sure your high speed spindles and specialized tools are seamlessly integrated with your process automation solutions. Once again, manual intervention can alter the way the job is performed.
- Limit clamping changes: Zeroing equipment at the start of a job is tricky business – any time a work piece is unclamped and then re-clamped on the machine, shifts in work performance can occur. Take the time to review the job upfront – preferably using CAD/CAM software – to ensure that each process is as automated and repeatable as possible.
- Prolong tool life: Every time a tool breaks, job quality is automatically compromised. Taking steps to extend tool life is critical to ensure that jobs meet their designated specifications – as tools dull, workmanship declines.
Clearly, the process disruptions we are discussing here can be extremely small. For precision machining applications, even a shift of a few microns can make a drastic difference in the final outcome. By striving for 100% repeatability in every process, manufacturers are better able to ensure the quality of all customer requests – a strategy that ensures loyalty and repeat business.
How do you ensure repeatability? Let us know how you standardize processes in the space below.