In the world of manufacturing, precision engineering has been game-changing in regard to the accuracy and speed that components can be formed. The process, which is also sometimes referred to as bespoke engineering, is carried out by using one of two closely related programmes:
CAD (computer aided design)
CAM (computer aided manufacturing)
The two are essentially the same – the only difference being the way the information is inputted into the machines that produce the parts. Whichever is used, the design of the parts is communicated to the computer that then uses a variety of tools to precisely manufacture the parts to the exact specification required.
The key takeaway is that precision engineering is far more accurate than can be done by human effort alone.
The following looks at the 5 key benefits that precision engineering brings to the world of manufacturing.
- Highly increased production rate: The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, computers can interpret even the most complicated of blueprints rapidly and accurately. Secondly, they can also run virtually non-stop, offering 24/7 output if necessary.
- Reducing/removing human error: None of us are immune from making the odd mistake. Even the most highly skilled engineer can make errors – something that is removed when the process is handed over to a computer program.
- Reduces wastage: Thanks to the cuts being determined before the machining takes place, engineers can precisely determine the orientation necessary for accurate tooling. This dramatically reduces wastage, something that’s typically been associated with such tasks and that benefits everything from running costs to the impact on the environment.
- Reduced costs: Thanks to greatly increased efficiency and a virtually automated process, manufacturers benefit from significantly lowered production costs. A lighter human workforce is needed to process each order, leaving them free to work on other, more specialised, systems. These lower production costs are also impacted by reduced energy costs, thanks to increased efficiency, and less wastage of raw materials.
- The ability to create unique components: Because the process begins in the virtual plane, designs can be created, tweaked and altered as much as is deemed necessary before the manufacturing process begins. It also means that this creative stage can be as complex as it needs to be. Working with a precision tool engineering company can assist with determining the exact alignment and angles needed to successfully create the parts for the job at hand. It also means that future changes can be easily implemented to match client requirements.
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Of course, the key to taking full advantage of the key precision engineering benefits is to find a quality manufacturer to work with. This is something that’s not as simple as it might seem. Be sure to question any prospective supplier, not only about their design and creation process but – most importantly – about the procedures they have in place to ensure high accuracy and longevity of the parts produced.
Any machinery is only as good as the sum of its internal parts. So carrying out the right due diligence when seeking a supplier will pay dividends in the future.
By Jason De Silveira, Managing Director – SixDe
About the author
Founder and director of specialist manufacturing and engineering companies for both, SixDe and Nexxis Pty Ltd. Jason has over 20 years’ project management experience on installations, commissioning and start-ups in Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Kuwait, Ghana and Dubai.
SixDe, a Nexxis Company, is a 450m2 locally owned CNC machine shop that delivers manufacturing, rapid prototyping, tooling, and engineering solutions to a variety of Australian industries. Its bespoke precision machining service has delivered competitive and cutting-edge solutions for mining, oil and gas, construction and building companies in Australia and overseas.
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