4 Benefits of 5-Axis Machining
In the past couple of decades, many companies have switched from manual machining methods to Computer-Numerical Control (CNC) machining to take advantage of its cost-effective, high-quality products. CNC machining is a manufacturing process that uses a computer to control machinery, and is known for rapid production, excellent product consistency, and safer operating conditions compared to manual machining.
CNC technologies have continued to advance and today manufacturers face a similar question: do we continue with traditional CNC machining or upgrade to 5-axis machining? To help your team answer this critical question, below are 4 key benefits of 5-axis CNC machining – all of which improve quality as well as operations efficiency, resulting in significant time and cost savings. Additionally, it is important that OEMs work with partners, like Stanley Machining, that offer a wide array of machining solutions including 5-axis machines that make even the most complicated geometries feasible.
1. Simplified Setup: traditional CNC machining requires multiple setups in order to rotate the part orientation to perform the desired cutting and machining steps. These part adjustments can lead to misalignments and errors each time the part is removed and reinserted into a new position. 5-axis machining requires a single setup since it is able to work on every surface of the part at once. A simplified setup significantly increasing operations efficiency and reduces the opportunity for errors – leading to higher quality products.
2. Increased Part Complexity: traditional CNC machines are able to move along 3 axes: the X-, Y- , and Z-axes at the same time. 5-axis CNC machines are able to operate along these 3 axes as well as 2 additional rotational axes, A- and B-, for a total of 5-axes working simultaneously. In general, the more axes a CNC machine can operate on, the more intricate geometries it can fabricate. Thus, 5-axis CNC machining has a huge advantage over traditional CNC machines and is able to manufacture complex parts that may not be possible with conventional CNC machines.
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3. Enhanced Precision and Finish: as noted above, 5-axis machines are able to fabricate an entire part with a single setup. This leads to more precise manufacturing and increased reproducibility compared to traditional 2 or 3-axis CNC machines that require the part to be removed from the machine multiple times during fabrication. Improved precision results in less waste generation from off-spec parts and fewer quality issues. Additionally, since 5-axis machines are able to bring the tools closer to the part, the cutting tools are shorter in length and, therefore, less likely to vibrate while operating. Since 5-axis tools vibrate less during machining, the surface of the final product typically has a higher-quality finish compared to parts fabricated with traditional CNC machines.
4. More Design Flexibility: one of the benefits of 5-axis machining that is often underestimated is the flexibility and versatility that it offers designers. 5-axis CNC processes are able to fabricate geometries that would be impossible with conventional CNC methods, and enables designers the opportunity to create even more complex shapes and sizes of parts.
About Stanley Machining
Stanley Machining offers a wide array of machining centers to meet our customer needs. For more intricate parts, our 5-Axis machines paired with our CAM systems allow us to machine even the most complicated geometries. Stanley's wide range of equipment produces the most high-quality and close tolerance cutting edge components, including non-symmetric work pieces. Our size and breadth allow us to offer a wide range of capabilities from small to large format production components.
Since 1966 Stanley Machining has been proudly providing unsurpassed, multi-industry contract manufacturing solutions to world renowned OEM's and government entities. As a global leader in precision CNC machining, we continue to provide unsurpassed expertise and value as a true partner with our customers. OEMs rely on our superior expertise and machining processes to enable them to maintain a competitive edge. We serve commercial and industrial sectors across a range of markets including defense, power, aerospace, and oil & gas.
We take pride in our quality assurance program and we are ISO 9001:2015 certified. We continuously re-invest in state-of-the-art equipment and highest caliber quality professionals. Stanley is a women-owned small business with over 100 employees and 200 pieces of CNC equipment under 400,000 sq. ft. in two locations.
Contact us today to see how we can help with your next machining project, or give us a call at 847-426-4560.