Our guide to precision manufacturing will take you through what it is, how it works, and why it matters in any industry that strives to elevate quality, work quickly, and cut costs.
Precision manufacturing involves creating highly accurate and workable components from designs. It requires using tools like computer numerical control machines to remove areas from a piece of material until you have made a complete shape.
Accuracy is becoming more critical as parts become smaller. Precision engineering focuses on component design, while precision manufacturing is about the creation. CNC machines can cut pieces to precise specifications, small and accurate parts with tight tolerances — or little room for error.
Precision manufacturing has significant benefits in a world where users need accurate, high-quality products quickly and on budget. Manufacturers have evolved their processes over the years, and the addition of innovative technology that integrates machines with advanced computer programming allows them to respond rapidly to the evolving market.
Precision manufacturing arose from the need to create components that work effectively and withstand the rigors of everyday life. The most notable difference between typical manufacturing and precision manufacturing is that the latter focuses on high tolerances. It produces components with greater accuracy, fewer defects, and high repeatability — the ability to perform repetitive tasks without deviation.
In addition, precision manufacturing applies lean principles, implementing efficiency, and waste management throughout the manufacturing process. Producing precision parts results in excess material, as the process requires removing pieces until only the final product remains. CNC machines reduce human error and, therefore, unnecessary waste. Precision manufacturers are always looking for ways to decrease scrap further, allowing the customer to benefit from cost savings on bulk orders.
Continuous improvement is another core principle of precision manufacturing, and constant technology advancements regularly enhance the process. Many precision manufacturers adopt a culture of continual improvement and commit to looking for methods to make the process faster, cheaper and more reliable.
Precision machining is a high-velocity process used in precision manufacturing. It relies on machine tools controlled by computer software for producing components.
CNC machining starts with engineers or designers who use computer-aided design software. They translate their designs onto a computer-aided manufacturing file, instructing the CNC machines about the tools and processes. CNC machining is a broad term that can include milling, drilling, boring, tapping and turning.
Depending on the application and requirements, several precision machining methods are available.
Precision manufacturing is essential for many industries and applications due to its tight tolerances, repeatability, and capacity. It has many applications in tooling and creating finished products, but some of the most common include the following.
Precision manufacturing continues to aim to enhance the accuracy, quality, speed, and cost of creating intricate parts. Technology has already changed the face of manufacturing, and we can look forward to more exciting innovations in the future. The Industrial Internet of Things could result in real-time monitoring of operating conditions by embedding sensors. Adding multiple axes to CNC machines will make them more flexible, increase accuracy, and boost manufacturing speeds.
In addition, sustainability continues to be a primary concern across industries due to the consumer demand for renewable resources and carbon footprint reductions. Precision manufacturing processes must evolve to reduce carbon emissions and leverage renewable sources to align with this global need.
In short, the future is bright for precision manufacturing. It has always been a flexible and innovative process, and this trend is likely to continue.
Precision manufacturing relies on quality tools to achieve accurate and reliable components. Setco has been in business since 1912, and we specialize in rebuilding, manufacturing, and repairing spindles, milling heads, and other components to provide reliable and efficient precision parts across industries. At Setco, we pride ourselves on helping you achieve the speed, quality, and flexibility you need to stay ahead of the curve in a competitive field.
Our expertise, experience, and global resources make us the world’s largest independent spindle rebuilder. We have the tools, knowledge, and state-of-the-art equipment to deliver precision parts fast, on budget and to your specifications. Learn more about our precision parts manufacturing and sourcing capabilities, or contact us today to learn more.