What is Precision Manufacturing and When is it Important to Use?

Ravindra Ambegaonkar
December 13, 2021
2 Minutes Read
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Precision manufacturing is what happens when a design is developed that requires highly accurate components and is made into a workable part. There are many industries that have very precise tolerance that has to be exact. When it comes to parts for the aerospace industry, for example, this precision can save lives.

Engineers will design a product or piece for a machine that has certain requirements. It is then up to the machining for manufacturing to get it to the right specifications. There is a lot of pressure to not only build these precise parts but to do it quickly and on budget.

In this article, we will go over what this manufacturing process is like and when it is used.

CNC machines

A CNC machine is the best way to make precision parts. It lathes the surface of a piece of material like aluminum or other metal with precise dimensions and tolerance. The idea is that it subtracts material in a multidimensional way until it reaches the exact dimension to make something new. Some of the machines are exact up to a few microns.

The technology is what makes these machines as precise as they are. In the past, it required human labor to make the parts. The tolerance had to be manually measured which means that there could be some errors involved since the measurement devices couldn’t get that accurate.

These days, CNC machines use more technology. The use of software for control and monitoring has made huge progress with regard to precision manufacturing. The operator of the machine now is responsible solely for making sure the software is working and that the machine is not malfunctioning in any way. It is a far more automated process.

Accuracy and precision

There is the problem of getting diminishing returns when trying to get as accurate as possible. The irony is that accuracy and precision are not always the same thing. When dealing with accuracy, it involves being as close to the target value as possible on a piece. This is desirable, but the objective is to have the accuracy be the same from one piece to the next. That is precision.

To be profitable, it is important to have a certain tolerance. This is how much deviance is acceptable from the desired accuracy. The higher the tolerance, the more expensive it can be to make the product. It’s essentially a balancing act. However, when dealing with precision, it needs to be as accurate as possible for each piece when dealing with potential dangers.

Benefits of precision machining

There are quite a few reasons to use precision manufacturing for a product. Not least of which is the accuracy. There is also greater reliability when using these processes. If the slightest error could result in a disaster, then it pays to have this kind of precision and reliability of the product itself.

A secondary benefit is that there is a fast turnaround from this type of manufacturing even with very high tolerances. The precise abilities of the machines don’t detract from getting the parts done quickly.

Tags manufacturing engineering design

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