Understanding Presentable Parts and how they’re Achieved through Precision Manufacturing
Generally speaking, the objective of a machine operator and/or a manufacturing company is to produce the best version of a desired product or tool.
In manufacturing, the finished product will always be a reflection of the company; their capabilities and professionalism towards their quality of work. Manufacturers must prioritize creating a presentable work-piece that will leave a lasting impression on their clients.
This article is going to address the idea of a presentable part and how it can be achieved through precision manufacturing.
How do we define presentable parts? In the simplest definition, a presentable part is how the work-piece looks when it is finished. The idea is that when the work-piece is completed and presented to the client, it will be so appealing to the eye that he or she would be satisfied and impressed enough to continue working with you. On the contrary, an unpresentable work-piece is the complete opposite; it is unattractive and does not reflect the vision of the client. Unpresentable work-pieces leave a bad impression not only on the machinist but also on the company.
A contributing factor that allows for parts to be presentable is the process in which it is manufactured. Today’s machinist should aim to completely machine a work-piece in a manufacturing machine rather than relying on bench-work techniques. In today’s manufacturing world, bench-work is unnecessary and in some cases can be a risk in achieving high-quality precision.
There are different forms of bench-work such as filing, sanding, grabbing etc. which can be viewed as an old-fashioned art of the past. With today’s advancements in manufacturing technology, a machine operator should not have to rely on bench-work techniques to achieve precision; they can rely on machining to do the job perfectly.
Precision manufacturing is the most reliable way to ensure that a work-piece reaches its highest potential in terms of quality precision. With the assistance of machines, a machine operator can be confident that the work-piece produced will reach the client’s desired preciseness and measurements. Machines permit for machinists to implement measuring techniques such as controlling the tolerance levels. For those who may be unfamiliar, tolerance is the boundaries of measurements; it controls the parameters that the client is looking to have produced.
An important factor of machining that machinists should always keep in mind is that every machine equipment measures differently. This is why tolerance has to be set in place before production. Because machine equipment differs in measurements it is impossible to achieve for example a perfect 1-inch measurement. A machinist may use one tool to measure exactly 1- inch but then use another tool that measures 1.0001 this causes the discrepancy in measurements.
Tolerance allows for there to be a middle ground in which the work-piece can be created and still effective. How it is done is by setting a measurement range that is agreed upon between the client and manufacturer. For instance, a client may ask for a cylinder to measure 1- inch however because we know it can’t be exact we will ask the client what are the minimum and maximum measurements that we can implement for the work-piece to still function properly; the range would be something like maximum 0.999” and minimum 0.997”.
Precision manufacturing is not only about understanding tolerance and machining but also understanding the process that has to be done to ensure that the finished product is ideal. Generally speaking, a machinist who knows when to interfere with the manufacturing process and when not to interfere would most likely produce the best possible form of the work-piece. An example of this would be knowing when to implement heat treatment on a particular material such as hardened steel. Before manufacturing such material, a machinist should know that when a work-piece formed from hardened steel goes for heat treatment it will distort or change the surface roughness and therefore would leave out extra material and complete the work-piece after heat treatment is completed.
Additionally, when it comes to precision manufacturing a machinist should also recognize the right machine for the material and the overall production. There are levels to precision manufacturing that go beyond knowing how to use manufacturing machines, a machinist has to be involved with the production process from start to finish.
For a part to be labelled as presentable, it has to look beautiful, it has to reflect what your client is looking for that includes all factors such as measurements, preciseness and materials used. A machinist is required to contemplate all of those factors before agreeing to do the job, a tactical plan must be laid out so that the result is one to be proud of. As mentioned at the beginning of this article a presentable part is a reflection of the company and the machinist, the goal should always be present superior quality, not mediocrity.