Here, we are discussing a few industry tested tips to steer you towards success in aluminum CNC machining.
The CNC machining industry can be a tricky one to navigate, especially without a sufficient amount of the requisite amount of information required before hand. It is a vibrant, dynamic space with new developments steadily added to the science for faster output, increased reliability, and cost efficiency. Many industries rely on CNC machining and the list includes (but is not limited to): Aerospace, automotive, military, consumer electronics, construction, manufacturing, etc.
At a basic level, CNC involves carrying out tasks like cutting, grinding, molding, and boring under the instructions of a computer. Here, Instructions are keyed into a software by a trained technician and using the computer instructions as a guide, specialized CNC tools strip, bore, and cut into the selected work material until the desired result is achieved. CNC is a fast, repeatable production mode that takes tasks that would be more cumbersome if it was done manually, and would waste time as well.
Aluminum is the single most used material when it comes to CNC machining and applications – and this is the case for various reasons. Aluminum is light, workable, nonferrous (ie doesn’t rust), and an excellent conductor- among other things. It has a very manageable density as well as melting point.
You didn’t come to this article, however, to learn about the qualities of aluminum that make excellent to work on. The focus of this piece is to examine a few tips that can nudge you towards success in the aluminum CNC machining industry.
Be a humble worker. The habit of “know-it-all” usually doesn’t get you far.Being in the aluminum CNC industry should mean that you are constantly learning from others as well as showing them the much that you know. It is a hands-on profession and a lot of your time will be spent using your hands and working with a host of other people that are doing a similar thing.Remember that whilst on the job, there will always be at least a few people that know more, or at least have more experience doing the job than you do. Make sure that you are your most teachable version whilst on the job.
Remember to always persist and endure. Starting out, the job may seem extremely grueling and tiresome. But, remember that with experience comes higher reward and remuneration. Do not shy away from the grueling work as they help you build a solid foundation littered with problem solving experience and high technical know-how.
The industry requires you to improve your problem solving skills. Machining relies largely on the ability of personnel to solve a multitude of problems that are sure to arise on an almost daily basis. When a defective part or process gets passed down to you, that might have happened because the original worker found the problem too tricky to solve on their own – the onus then falls on you to distinguish yourself by getting out of difficult situations. You can be sure that just like with every other career, skill, and area of endeavor, you will get better with time. Your skill level will improve, with steady work, to a point where you are invaluable in your workplace.
You need to be good at fixture and tooling. Programming a new CNC part is most times the easiest part of the job, however, the real work arises in selecting the right tooling that ensures that the job runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. There is a huge difference between using cheap tooling that just works as opposed to more expensive tooling that does the job a whole lot better. Always analyze the situation properly so as to select the right tooling for the set-up.
To conclude, skills take time. Be sure to work towards honing your skills and the sky is the limit. CNC machining is a continuous learning process that is subject to innovation and change. Make sure to always stay updated – this will come in handy now and in the future.