When people hear of a machine shop, they immediately assume it’s a facility where machines are produced. But a machine shop is actually a place where machining is carried out. Machining is a process where parts are fabricated, cut, and finished before being used. These shops can either create new parts or repair existing ones. The people working in these facilities have received special training needed to work in machine shops.
Because of the important role that these shops play, a lot of industries heavily rely on these facilities. This has led to an increase in the number of machine shops in the United States. According to Statista, it’s projected that by 2024, the revenue from these shops will have amounted to about $37.4 billion. With such a huge contribution to the economy, just what services do these shops offer? Here are just a few of them.
1. Field Machining
At times, dismantling a piece of equipment can be uneconomical and impossible. This is where field machining comes in. It allows one to repair equipment without taking it to a repair facility or dismantling it. This process saves money and time. So, instead of the client going to the machine shop, the repairmen go where the equipment is. This service is ideal for emergency repairs, planned shutdowns, and modifications. And since different equipment will need different approaches, find a shop that will formulate a procedure that reduces downtime but still produces results.
2. Maintenance and Repair
For your business to remain competitive, you have to increase equipment efficiency, minimize part replacement, and extend the equipment lifecycle. This can be done through maintenance and repair. Find a machine shop that resolves critical issues in a timely manner, using specialized technology. This will save you time and money.
3. Pressure Testing
Pressure testing usually happens after assembly, machining, or vacuum impregnation. This process is to investigate the integrity of a workpiece to ensure it’s not leaking gases or fluids.
Perhaps one of the most straightforward services offered by machine shops is drilling. Drilling is all about creating a cylindrical hole in a workpiece. When drilling a workpiece, the waste metal produced is called chips. The drill’s shape allows those chips to fall away from the workpiece, keeping it free from debris.
5. Deep Hole Drilling
This is the machining of holes with a significant depth to diameter ratio. Normal drilling techniques can only give you holes where the depth is five times the hole’s diameter. In deep hole drilling, the depth to diameter ratio can be as much as 150 times the hole’s diameter. Any hole that’s 10 times deeper than the diameter is considered deep. As such, it needs special drilling techniques. The two main methods used in deep hole drilling are gun drilling and BTA Drilling.
6. Jig Boring
Jig boring is a machining process used to enlarge existing holes accurately. The process involves centering, reaming drilling, contouring, counter boring, step boring, etc. A jig boring machine can be used to produce tools, fixtures, jigs, or any other part that requires a high level of accuracy. Jig boring machines resemble jig grinders because they use boring tools while jig grinders use grinding wheels. Also, note that jig boring machines have to be used in a temperature-controlled room. Keeping that temperature constant is what ensures accurate work is done.
This is a type of machining process involving the use of a toothed tool. Broaching is used when one wants to precisely cut odd shapes like splines, holes, and keyways. This process can shape, smooth, or enlarge a drilled or bored hole. One of the advantages of broaching is that the rate of production is high. It also allows for accuracy, enabling one to achieve a clean and neat surface.
Turning is a machining process performed on a lathe to reduce the diameter of a workpiece to the desired dimension. This operation can be done either manually or automatically. The main disadvantage of doing this manually is that one has to constantly be there for supervision. Automatic turning needs no supervision. With CNC (Computer Numerical Control), you program all the speeds, movement, and tooling changes into your computer. Those instructions are then sent to the machine, and you can focus on other things. CNC allows for efficiency, accuracy, and consistency.
If you have an upcoming project that requires any of the services mentioned, get in touch with Associated Fuel Systems, Inc today. You’ll get quality materials, custom parts, and excellent service.