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CNC machining aerospace parts: Importance of CNC machining in the aerospace industry

28/01/2021
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Characteristics Of CNC Machining Aerospace Parts

CNC machining aerospace parts offer the highest accuracy manufacturing in the aerospace industries. Industries like aircraft, pharmaceutical, medical, and defence and military sectors require parts with zero defects. A slight manufacturing error can cause massive damage to the industry as well as to human lives. Therefore, these industries inculcate CNC techniques which ensure the manufactured part is errorfree. An aircraft comprises several components, and every component needs to have maximum attainable precision.

From the aircraft's wheels and wings to its interior and engine, everything involves CNC techniques. The CNC works on a CAD model and operates without any human intervention. It is a subtractive manufacturing technique; therefore, it removes material using 3-axes or multiaxis rotational cutting tool. 

CNC machining aerospace parts

The CNC machining aerospace parts have various characteristics that make them unique and distinct. This article discusses the characteristics and importance of CNC machining in the aerospace industry. 

Computer Numeric Control Technique 

Computer numeric control or CNC is one of the most prominent manufacturing techniques and provides the highest quality of precision compared to other techniques. Unlike injection moulding and 3D printing, the CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing technique that fabricates the finished part by removing material using a cutting tool.

The materials CNC uses mostly include aluminium, silicon, plastic etc. It works on the CAM/Cad model which instructs the CNC its rotation speed, direction and movement. The Client provides a CAD model that enlists the manufactured product design and CAM translates and works on the CAD model. It is the highest level of precision which makes CNC extremely popular in aerospace, pharmaceutical, space, defence and military industries. And therefore, every big manufacturing industry now employs CNC machine techniques. 

Characteristics Of CNC Machining Aerospace Parts 

The aerospace industry employs the CNC techniques as it cannot afford to have defects in the parts. Imagine a craft flying thousands of feet above the ground fails to work just because of one single component's failure. One single defected part can result in substantial financial damage and loss of lives.

Therefore, the CNC technique is excellent for aerospace industries as it offers the highest accuracy precision and other versatile features. Based on structure an aerospace craft comprises an engine, fuselage, airborne components and equipment, including the wing, large wall panels and frames on the tail, valve body, shell, hydraulic valve, rotor blades, optical tubes, connectors, fasteners, and more. Here are a few characteristics of the CNC machining aerospace parts. 

High Performance 

The CNC machining aerospace parts offer outstanding performance as their fabrication involves a fully automatic operation. It also offers versatility in terms of material selection like aluminium, titanium, etc. These materials impact durability and accuracy to the finished product and ensure the highest accuracy. 

Lightweight 

Aerospace parts need to be lightweight, and therefore a detailed analysis determines the most suitable dimensions and weight of the parts. The CNC techniques allow the application of thin-walled structures which make it ideal for lightweight aerospace applications. 

Precision 

The CNC machining aerospace parts have the highest degree of precision. Since there's no human intervention, there are zero chances of error. This attribute is essential for aerospace, medical, defence, pharmaceutical, etc. industries as a slight defect in any part can result in financial loss and can risk thousands of lives. 

CNC machining aerospace parts

Economical And Reliable 

The 3-axes CNC machining is not as expensive as the CNC 5-axes. However, to achieve versatility in designing CNC aerospace parts, 5-axes offer a wide variety of features. Moreover, the degree of precision it offers makes it cost-effective and durable in the long run. Also, the manufactured parts are reliable; therefore, one can consider investing more money to achieve reliability and precision. 

Importance Of CNC Machining In Aerospace Industry 

The CNC machining techniques provide colossal benefits to the aerospace industry. Below mentioned are the few out of the many advantages of CNC machining in the aerospace industry. 

Accuracy In Products 

The aerospace industry needs the highest level of precision in parts to manufacture products. You cannot risk the lives of people and staff travelling thousands of feet about the ground, and hence, CNC machining aerospace parts ensure the accuracy and quality of the finished parts.

The operation of the CNC machining is automatic and works on the principles of robotics. As there is no human intervention, there are the least chances of errors. The skilled and professional staff can make errors in manual operations. Therefore, industries like aerospace, defence, and space employ the CNC techniques that fulfil the AS9100C Quality Management System's standards, which ensures the best practices to produce the highest accuracy parts. 

Innovation In Design 

The aerospace industry requires the most accurate parts to fabricate their final product. For this purpose, it makes sure to test multiple samples so that the final product will have zero chances of error. The CNC techniques work using several materials including aluminium, steel, plastic etc.

Therefore the manufacturer or the entrepreneur can manufacture prototypes and test them. This ability to test the parts before employing them allows the manufacturer to upgrade, modify and ultimately improve it. Hence, ensuring accuracy in the final fabricated part. 

Faster Production 

The aerospace industry cannot afford to withstand any delay in the manufacturing of the products. It requires the highest level of services in a shorter period. There is a particular set time for the designing, prototyping, assembling, manufacturing, and shipping the finished product.

Any delay in any of these processes is no less than a disaster for aerospace industries. The CNC machining ensures convenient operation to manufacture aerospace parts. The manufacturing of the finished product is entirely automatic. Therefore there are no chances of error and delayed production, prototyping and shipping. 

Efficient And Effective Operation 

The CNC machining employs 3-axes and multi-axes fabricating tools. Since 3-axes only allow movement in three dimensions, it is not as useful as the 5-axes CNC machining tools. The 5-axes allow movement in two additional dimensions, linearly in three dimensions while rotatory in the other two axes.

Therefore, there are vast choices of fabricating the most complex shapes most accurately. Multi-axes CNC machining is an all-rounder and therefore enjoys a great deal in aerospace industries. 

Versatility 

The CNC machining in aerospace provides versatility in the manufacturing and repeatability of products. It can manufacture the most intricate designs with the highest accuracy and work on various materials. It is an all-in-one solution for the fabrication of parts using steel, plastic, aluminium. The employment of Multi-axes CNC tools allows you to manufacture the products with the most complicated designs. 

There is excellent repeatability in the designs of the parts. One cannot imagine if the operations were manual, how much time and effort an individual would require to fabricate the same product again and again with the same accuracy. The Cam/cad models provide extreme convenience and have entirely revolutionized the manufacturing world. You can store the required design and feed it to the CNC machine, and it will eventually fabricate the part in mass production with every part having the same level of precision and quality.

 Conclusion 

The CNC machining aerospace parts, being the most precise and errorfree, enjoy great importance in aircraft and defence industries. These industries require precision in parts to ensure safety and prevent chances of damage. The CNC techniques are the most reliable manufacturing solution that provides the highest degree of precision; therefore, it finds extensive use in aerospace industries.

The aerospace parts' characteristics and importance of CNC machining in aerospace industry sum up why it is considered the most effective manufacturing technique in fabrication.

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CNC machining aerospace parts

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