In a wide range of different sectors, including the production of parts and components for aerospace, oil and gas, energy and medical devices and equipment, different types of aluminum have become the go-to material.
Aluminum is very versatile, naturally resistant to corrosion and also has the ability to be easily finished with heat treatments that add to the durability and non-reactive natural of the alloy. Additionally, with a high strength to weight ratio, it is an ideal material in any industry where critical functioning of parts and components is a concern.
With all the demand for aluminum parts, there is an increasing number of companies offering aluminum machining services. OEMs, particularly those just getting started with contract manufacturing services, need to be cautious they are choosing a machining company wisely.
In all new parts and components, the manufacturing of prototypes is an important step in moving into full production. Not all aluminum machining services offer prototyping services, while some companies that specialize in prototyping are limited in their production capabilities.
Choosing a service that can provide both the prototyping as well as the volume production requirements has definite advantages to an OEM. It ensures that the quality and precision used in the prototype reflects the precision CNC machining services that are available in full production.
Understanding the Challenges
While a more machinable alloy than many others, aluminum machining is a very specialized type of work. It requires careful selection of tools and also requires an understanding of working with the various grades of aluminum, all which have different characteristics and properties.
Choosing the right tools for the job is also a critical decision when working with aluminum. There are some tool designs that are better suited for high-efficiency types of machining operations, while other tools are designed to provide precision machining even with fast feed rates and high RPMs on the machine. Knowing which tools to use to create the desired end result is critical in precision, finish, and quality.
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