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  1. Machining

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    Machining is no longer considered new technology, with its history dating back to the 1940s. However, its relevance is still undeniable. This process remains crucial to several industries since it creates materials that can be used to manufacture tools and devices or create buildings and formations. Moreover, machining is not limited to metal products but extends to woods, plastics, ceramics, and composite materials.

    Due to continuous improvements in the field of machining, computer numerical control (CNC) automation rose in the 1970s. CNC automation allows manufacturers to improve on existing technologies and set a higher standard in the manufacturing process. This innovation also enabled the integration of computer precision and design into workshops, eventually resulting in higher-quality goods at lower costs.

    Advantages of Machining

    Before diving into the different machining services, let’s first look at some reasons manufacturers continue to use the machining process.

    Precision

    CNC machining is often the best option when parts or products must be made to high-precision specifications. For example, precision machining is widely used in the aerospace and medical device industries, where fabrication errors must be avoided at all costs.

    Reliability

    Machined parts and products are highly reliable because human error and alteration are eliminated during production. This advantage is most relevant in the construction and automotive industries.

    Safety

    Machining automation is also a breakthrough in workplace safety since these processes are computer-controlled and do not require hands-on operation. As a result, accidents are less likely to occur. Not only does this protect the people involved, but it also decreases financial damages from accident liabilities.

    Cost-Effectiveness

    This automated technique allows manufacturers to speed up production while keeping overhead and labor costs affordable. Thus, CNC machining increases efficiency and lowers costs through automation, lesser waste, and improved production.

    Versatility

    Machining remains relevant as it can be used to produce various parts and products in diverse sizes and materials. In addition, it is a core process in manufacturing, so its importance spans several fields and industries.

    TBSI Machining Services

    TBSI offers manufacturing capabilities and solutions to help engineers and purchasers overcome production constraints. Its extensive manufacturing network of highly skilled machine shops provides clients with complex CNC machining solutions.

    In particular, TBSI provides a wide range of machining capabilities, such as CNC turning, CNC milling, surface grinding, and EDM.

    CNC Turning

    CNC turning is most suitable for machining cylindrical parts. The workpieces are held in rotating chucks, moving at high speeds. Adjacent to the chucks, a tool follows a linear path to remove a portion of the workpiece. This process is also known as subtraction machining, as the process involves material removal.

    Facilities that offer CNC turning typically have three, four, or five axes capable of working on various materials. These also follow pre-programmed instructions that control tooling and movement, producing a high-precision CNC machining process.

    CNC Milling

    CNC milling is a machining process that uses computer-based controls and rotating multi-point cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. This process would then create a custom-designed component or product.

    CNC milling is suitable for machining various materials, including metal, plastic, glass, and wood. Its versatility and precision make it an excellent option for adding extra features or more intricate definitions on machined products.

    Surface Grinding

    Surface grinding is a CNC machining technique that precisely and efficiently processes and grinds surfaces. A rotating wheel with a coarse surface coating of various materials propels it. It also removes metallic or nonmetallic particles from the workpiece’s surface, making it smooth or flat.

    Additionally, surface grinding refines the appearance of the machined surface by removing the oxide layer and other residues. Vertical swivel, horizontal spindle single disk, vertical spindle rotary, vertical spindle, and flat spindle grinding are all surface grinding methods.

    The surface grinder comprises an abrasive wheel, a chuck, and a reciprocating or rotary table. The chuck holds the material in place while it is being worked on. Non-ferromagnetic and nonmetallic elements are held in place by vacuum or mechanical means, whereas ferromagnetic elements are held in place by a magnetic chuck. If a magnetic chuck is not available, a machine vise (made of ferromagnetic steel or cast iron) can be used to hold nonmagnetic materials.

    Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

    The EDM process removes material from equipment or products using electrical energy. However, it only works with electrically conductive materials, which creates an arc of high-frequency sparks between the electrode and the product. Sparks then erode microscopic particles from a workpiece flushed with dielectric fluid from the substrate.

    The primary advantage of EDM is that you can use it on conductive materials that are difficult to machine using traditional cutting methods. These materials include tungsten carbide and titanium. Another advantage of this CNC machining process is that the equipment is not subjected to mechanical force. The three types of EDM are wire, ram, and hole drilling.

    Start Your Next Project With TBSI For The Best Machining Solutions

    Successful projects require hard work, organization, and good partners. As a strategic sourcing firm specializing in agile project management, we at TBSI provide customers with competitive rates and short lead times by collaborating with an extensive manufacturing network and leveraging volume pricing on raw materials.

    Contact us today to learn more about our machining services or request a quote to start your next manufacturing solution.

     

  2. Understanding Tube Bending Fundamentals

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    Click to ExpandUnderstanding Tube Bending Fundamentals

    Tube bending is the process of bending a tube or a pipe to create the curves and shapes required for a particular application. For many projects, bent tubes are more useful than straight ones: handles and railings, trombones, HVAC equipment, automotive parts, furniture frames, and more. Tube bending can be a cold form or hot form process, depending upon the needs of the application.

    Cold Form Tube Bending
    Cold form tube bending is a quick process that doesn’t require any additional heat and instead relies on physical force to create the curve. While cold bending may have its limitations, it’s an affordable choice that’s used in the construction, shipbuilding, bridge building, automotive, food processing, and petrochemical industries, among others.

    With cold form tube bending, you can create components with large radii and multiple angles. There is no risk of thermal deformation and the original metal properties remain intact.

    There are five commonly used cold bending processes:

    • Press Bending. In press bending, the tube is fixed in place and the bend die is pressed against the tube to create the curve. This long-used technique is quick and reliable for symmetrical parts that don’t require a consistent cross-section.
    • Rotary Draw Bending. Commonly used for pipe fittings, handrails, instrument tubing, and components for automotive and aerospace applications, rotary draw bending is used for precise bends with a constant diameter.
    • Compression Bending. Because the setup is simpler, compression bending is more economical than rotary draw bending. However, it can’t be used for small center-line radii due to the lack of support for the inner diameter of the tube during the bending process.
    • Roll Bending. The tube is worked back and forth on a set of rotating rollers, which gradually create the bend radius. Roll bending is used to make spiral tubes and bends in large tubes.
    • Bending Springs. Used for PVC and soft copper pipes, bending springs are placed into the tube and gently pulled from each side to create the bend. It’s not especially accurate or repeatable, but it’s simple, fast, and useful for household tube bending projects when consistency isn’t required.

    Hot Form Tube Bending

    Though more complex and expensive than cold forming, hot form tube bending processes, including heat induction bending and sand packing hot-slab bending, allow for high-accuracy forming to meet your exact specifications. The resulting component offers excellent strength, and the material retains its thickness. For complex projects with tight tolerances that require exceptional accuracy and repeatability, hot form bending is a popular choice. It’s used for components in the agricultural, mining, automotive, plumbing, and construction industries, among others.

    Freeform Tube Bending

    Freeform bending is an innovative tube bending method that uses a movable die capable of bending complex parts without needing to change the bending tool. The technique is ideal for multi-radius bends with very little distance in between and angles of more than 180 degrees. It’s easy to make modifications to the project as you work, which makes it an excellent method for prototyping. Roll bending is a type of freeform bending.

    Form Bound Tube Bending

    Form bound tube bending is a technique that bends or forms the tubing based on the geometry of the die. It can be manual or performed with machines and includes techniques like rotary draw bending, compression bending, and mandrel bending.

    Tube Bending from TBSI

    At TBSI, we leverage years of experience in tube bending to meet the needs of a variety of applications. With competitive pricing, quick lead times, and personalized service, we’re committed to helping you solve project challenges and deliver effective solutions. Contact us to learn more about tube bending, CNC forming, wire forming, and other forming solutions, or request a quote for your project today.