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Craftsmanship Still Rules the High Precision Machining World

CASE STUDIES
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Hans was always trying to outdo Jacques, his friendly neighborhood competitor in high precision machining, by doing the seemingly impossible. They would exchange samples of their latest conquests including parts with threads in unique, hard to reach places and mini milled flats done with a spindle spinning at 12,000 rpms. Parts would get smaller and smaller and more and more intricate.

One day Hans sent Jacques his latest accomplishment that was so small Jacques had to use a tool maker’s microscope just to see what was so special. It was creative indeed. He found multiple turned diameters down as small as .008in and a mini knurl on the outside diameter, all of which was nearly undetectable to the naked eye since the O.D. was only .015in (1/64th of an inch). When Hans received what appeared to be his part back, he called Jacques to say “See, I AM better than you”, but his old friend told him to take a closer look under a scope. Sure enough, there it was – a perfect .004in hole drilled right through the middle.

This is the stuff of folk lore, yet it is an accurate portrayal of the machinist’s mentality in the high precision machining world.

Today, any company in any country with the resources can buy a machine for manufacturing parts and even have it delivered setup to make a specific part. Add material and off you go making parts. Sharpen tools on a regular basis and maintain the machine and you’ll make a lot of parts with few issues for many years.

Craftsmanship (a.k.a experience) however is still a major factor when it comes to high precision requirements. If the end user requires an 8 micro inch finish on the outside or even on an inside surface area, it’s a different scenario. Experience with that material and the machine becomes vital to meeting the requirement consistently and to the end users satisfaction. Micro Precision prides itself in manufacturing nearly 90% of all its parts complete on machine with no machining secondaries. This includes holding tolerances of ±.0002in on the machine and finishes as tight as 4 micro inches on brass and slightly higher on steels when required. And yes, if we can buy a .004in – .006in drill, we can drill the hole through a part .015in in diameter. Pretty easily in fact. In addition deep hole drilling in brass to 15:1 (length to hole diameter) even 20:1 remains one of our strengths. Less is always more in terms handling and machining steps.

The introduction of computer controlled machinery years ago and which now dominates the machining world has made for faster setup times and been a big help in engaging our computer focused youth in the metal machining market. However, just setting up the program is elementary compared to perfecting speed, part finish, and tolerance control and chip & burr removal. Like an auto racing team we are always looking to gain speed without sacrificing quality.

We routinely assist customers with part design before and during production runs to try and minimise cost while improving performance and quality. Feel free to contact us if you need any assistance.

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