Types of Secondary Machining Operations
During the production of a component, there are numerous types of secondary machining operations processes required to provide specific details and features to the part. Complicated components or those with irregular shapes require additional machining to meet the specifications and there are a variety of secondary machining operations that can be used to produce the part, including:
Bending is an economical secondary process commonly used in the production of 3D components from metal sheets. Bending is accomplished using a hydraulic or pneumatic press whereby the sheet is pressed between a punch and die to bend it to a specific shape or angle.
Engraving is one of the most well-known and popular secondary processes because it can produce luxury-looking logos and texts, as well as robust QR codes and serial numbers. There are three types of engraving dot peen, which uses a probe that rapidly indents dots, and laser, which removes material to create the desired aesthetic.
Surface grinding is a secondary process that produces a smooth, flat, and precise surface by moving an abrasive grinding wheel back and forth. The result is flat parts with low surface roughness and high tolerances. The most common use of grinding is during the machining of tools, jigs, reference surfaces, and optical platforms.
The knurling process creates a rough-textured pattern on metals to improve the appearance and enhance the grip. The most common applications include thumbscrews, knobs, and handles. The process involves pressing a hardened tool with the reverse pattern against the part and rotating it with a lathe. Standard patterns include angled, diamond, and straight knurls.
Reaming precisely enlarges premade holes while delivering a smooth hole surface finish. One of the most important aspects of reaming is the bottom of blind holes are not impacted by the chamfer on the tool thus allowing for the specifications to be met with tight tolerances.
The shearing process is like using scissors to rough-cut materials to prepare them for additional secondary machining operations and manufacturing processes. Within the machine shop, shearing is executed by using a hydraulic squaring shear known as a guillotine shear. This process can make straight cuts within various materials including angle stock, bars, and sheets.
Surface finishes are often added to a part to improve durability, corrosion resistance, or create a specific aesthetic. The most popular finishes include anodizing, black oxide, electroplating, and adding a powder coating. These options typically are a great barrier against deformation while delivering a pleasing aesthetic to the consumer.
These are some of the many secondary machining operations used to create a desired aesthetic, shape, size, tolerance, or function of a component. These processes are crucial for efficient manufacturing parts or to provide the consumer with a beautiful component.