Maximizing CNC Machining Efficiency: 12 Strategies for Success
Time is a valuable resource in manufacturing, and maximizing productivity is essential to achieving business goals. CNC machinery has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by enabling fast and efficient machining. However, it is crucial to ensure that every aspect of the CNC machining process remains efficient and effective to meet production targets. Improving CNC machine productivity is a vital area for achieving this goal.
In manufacturing, the machining stage is often where a project begins. Mechanical engineers machine parts and then passed on to an in-house team or a third-party vendor for assembly. Efficient CNC machining is crucial in manufacturing, particularly in producing high-quality parts & products. In the following article, we will discuss some key factors that can maximize efficiency in CNC machining.
12 Strategies to Make Your CNC Machining More Efficient
As a purchaser, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what you are getting before making a purchase. It means knowing what suits and is not ideal for your machining project.
These tips & strategies can guarantee improved efficiency for the machining shop. It’s essential to ensure that your supplier follows these steps to achieve maximum efficiency.
Adopt the Lean Production Procedure
Lean production is a manufacturing approach that aims to minimize waste while maintaining quality standards. This approach focuses on accelerating production and reducing costs without sacrificing quality. The primary objective is to enhance overall CNC Machining efficiency by continuously improving processes and eliminating waste.
Adopting lean production methodology is crucial for businesses, particularly in the fabrication industry, where technology continuously advances. This approach aims to reduce waste and improve efficiency without compromising the quality of the products. To remain competitive, it is essential to keep up with the latest technology and embrace lean production practices. At Creatingway, we are implementing this approach in our own shop to ensure maximum CNC machining efficiency for production.
Organizing & Simplifying
To achieve optimal CNC machining efficiency, a CNC machining shop requires to be highly optimized, with a focus on organization and task simplification. One better CNC machining supplier should have a highly organized process, especially on the fabrication floor.
They should have the correct personnel assigned to each task and ensure that all tools & machines are prepared and ready to use. Additionally, each task should be simple for an average/low-skilled worker to complete successfully.
Trained & Educated Workers
Employee training & education play a crucial role in ensuring the efficiency and quality of your machining supplier. Well-trained and educated employees can effectively operate machinery and precisely complete tasks, improving productivity.
Furthermore, the safety of the workers must be a top priority. A hazardous work environment can negatively impact the performance of the employees, leading to suboptimal results. Ensuring a safe working environment not only protects the workers but also increases their morale and motivation, leading to better efficiency.
Optimizing Cycle Time & Maintaining Expectations
It’s crucial to maintain realistic expectations from both the machines & workers. However, your supplier should also calculate the cycle time accurately. Although saving ten seconds in a cycle may not seem like a significant impact initially, it can add up quickly. For instance, keeping ten seconds per unit in a production run of 60 units would save 10 minutes.
Similarly, saving one minute per cycle in a production run of 100 units would save 1.66 hours. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your manufacturer can optimize their processes as much as possible and calculate cycle time accurately.
Able to Push CNC Machines Hard
CNC machines have made significant progress and are now considered some of the good performing machines in the world. Acquiring these advanced technologies is relatively easy for any producer; however, the real challenge is to operate them to their full potential.
According to CNC’s ability, producers should keep the machines working to their total production capacity to achieve better efficiency & performance. The more fabrication they handle, the more productive they become.
Beware of Coolant Usage
The cost of coolant is often disregarded in manufacturing, but it can considerably impact the overall machining cost. Thus, machining suppliers should only use the required amount of coolant.
Since different machines and projects have additional coolant requirements, it is crucial to use coolant wisely & efficiently.
The tools used in a machining shop play a vital role in the performance & efficiency of a project. It’s essential to ensure that your producer has the required tools and capabilities to provide you with the best possible results.
Furthermore, a good CNC machining supplier will invest time & resources into regular maintenance of their devices to ensure that they perform at their best CNC machining efficiently overall.
Re-Examining the Workflow
The CNC machining supplier needs to stay informed about the latest trends & standards in their industry. By doing so, they can meet the ever-changing demand and improve their CNC machining efficiency. At Creatingway, we have reviewed and analyzed our own workflow regularly to ensure optimal performance and strive for continuous improvement in our CNC machining efficiency all the time.
To increase CNC machining efficiency, it’s essential to analyze the machining programs and eliminate any reasons for machines to pause. For example, if there’s a pause during a tool change, it may be because the magazine is rotating to follow the next piece of equipment. To avoid this, place the tools in consecutive order in the magazine. If there’s a delay before the equipment starts its first movement after a change, it may be because the machine is changing spindle ranges. To reduce the problem, know when the spindle speed changes and use tools that need the same speed one after another if you can.
To reduce lengthy pauses during peck drilling cycles, it is recommended to adjust the parameter value. The appropriate value for the G73 cycle is 0.005 inches, while for the G83 cycle, it is 0.04 inches. Most machine tool builders set the parameter value conservatively, so adjusting it can significantly improve the CNC machining efficiency of the peck drilling process.
Constant Surface Speed
Turning centers with inefficiently programmed surface speed can cause the spindle to slow down & speed up during equipment changes, which adds to the program execution time. The spindle typically takes longer to slow down & speed up than to show the approach motion.
To remedy this for consecutive tools that use constant surface speed:
- Choose the RPM mode for a short time and adjust the RPM for when the following device moves towards its starting position while the current device moves back to its original work in the turret.
- Rotate the turret to the desired tool and instruct it to move to the position where it will start working.
- Choose the constant surface speed mode again. The spindle speed will stay unchanged because it is rotating at the correct rate.
Internalize M Codes
Whenever possible, incorporate M codes with motion commands, such as spindle on/off & coolant on or out. It will ensure that the M code’s activation time is within the motion’s time or vice versa. It is particularly crucial for machines only permitting one M code per command. In such cases, unless the machine manufacturer offers additional M codes, it is impossible to start or stop the spindle and coolant simultaneously.
The Shortest Distance
Whenever possible and safe, it’s essential to ensure that multiple axes move together during non-cutting inputs, such as retract, approach, and motions between machined surfaces. However, when approaching during machining programs, if the operators are used to seeing X or Y axis movements first followed by Z axis movement, they may feel uneasy about seeing all axes(X, Y, Z) moving together within 2.5 mm of the work surface. In such cases, it’s advisable to bring the tool 1.0 inch above the work surface in the Z-axis & then rapidly move the way in the Z- axis.
Machining is a unique manufacturing method that offers fast turnaround time, tight tolerance, excellent performance, and high precision. However, to maximize its benefits, your manufacturer must implement efficient strategies to make the process more cost-effective. Otherwise, you may end up paying more than necessary for your project.
To prevent such issues, opt for a supplier capable of delivering top-notch parts at a reasonable price without compromising quality. It ensures maximum production efficiency.
If you’re searching for such a supplier, Creatingway can assist you with all your machining needs. Rest assured, we prioritize efficiency and will deliver quality results.
Creatingway concentrates on CNC manufacturing, prototype machining, low-volume manufacturing, metal fabrication, and parts finishing services, providing you with the best support. ask us one inquiry now.
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