The machine shop has always been synonymous with flying sparks and bits of metal. Today, many machine shops have put aside the metal and solely machine plastics.
Highly Advanced Production
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines are milling machines that have been programmed with specific instructions indicating where the machine should cut parts and pieces. The CNC operator inputs the instructions, sets up the CNC machine and leaves the fabricating to the machine itself. There is no need for machinists to touch the machine while it is in motion other than to program it and feed it materials.
Plastic Parts are in Demand
High precision machined plastics are in demand by many industries, including medical, aerospace and automotive. Companies are choosing plastic parts over metal for many reasons:
* Unlike metals, plastic parts do not require lubrication
* It is more energy efficient to run equipment with plastic parts
* Plastic does not corrode due to rust or mildew and it has a better resistance to chemicals
* Plastic is low maintenance
* Many machines run faster with plastic parts
* Several plastic parts have a longer lifespan than metal parts
Plastic Machining Advantages:
* A high volume of products can be produced in a minimal amount of time
* Workflow is consistent with less down time during production, and more finished goods
* CNC plastic machining can repeatedly produce a large quantity of the same part
Types of CNC Machines
There are several types of plastics and each varies in thickness and abrasiveness. As such, selecting the proper method and tools for machining specific plastic parts is a skill best left to CNC plastic machining specialists. In addition to various plastic forms, there are also several types of CNC machines used for fabricating plastic parts.
The milling machine is the most common. It uses a cutting spindle to cut and shape plastic. This machine is designed to move easily and freely to various positions and depths and is used to fabricate plastic parts in all shapes and sizes.
Lathes spin and shape plastics. These machines are wonderful for pieces that require symmetrical cuts such as cylinders or cones.
Grinders have a wheel that spins as it grinds the plastic and molds it into specific shapes. These CNC machines are often used when precision cuts are not required.
Routers and drills are also common in CNC plastic machining and are selected for specific designs, depending on a plastic product’s specifications.
Since 1980, PEP Connecticut Plastics has been the go to source for high-precision machined plastics that meet the tightest tolerances. They have built a reputation as plastic experts, manufacturing products of the highest quality while offering a level of service that is second to none. For more information, visit Pepctplastics.com.
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