The $800 billion aerospace industry is on the verge of innovation, and this domain is overgrowing. Companies are leveraging advanced technologies to streamline their complex operations and produce more durable components. Among modern manufacturing techniques, CNC machining is the most-employed method to perform bulk production.
When producing aircraft parts, manufacturers need to pay special attention to safety and quality standards. It is because one minor production defect can cause damage of thousands of dollars. From creating smaller components to producing large-sized structural and mechanical parts — CNC machining is doing wonders.
The CNC machining process is a suitable manufacturing technique because of its highest level of precision and error-free production. Furthermore, as this method can produce parts with very high tight tolerances levels for both plastic and metal, CNC is an on-the-go solution.
As the aerospace industry grows at blazing speed, CNC machining technology caters to all the latest security standards and compliances. On this note, let’s explore how CNC machining is transforming the aerospace industry for better innovations and security.
CNC Machining in the Aerospace Industry
CNC machining can help engineers and manufacturers perform complex production operations with higher accuracy and faster turnaround time. In the aerospace industry, the CNC process involves manufacturing CNC machining parts and offering on-demand aircraft maintenance. From custom design components to bulky assembly and robust functional machinery, CNC makes manufacturing more accessible.
An aircraft has hundreds and thousands of parts that require higher precision and accuracy to work seamlessly. Compared to other manufacturing techniques, CNC lets engineers manufacture parts with intricate designs.
Some common parts companies manufacturing using CNC are hinges, bushings, clamps, bolts, and custom safety equipment. It’s essential to ensure that all components should properly function without causing any geometrical error or danger.
The image is used for illustration purposes. Karv Automation is not the owner or creator of the image. (Image Source: Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash)
Why CNC Machining Services for the Aerospace Industry?
Compared to other sectors, the tolerance level of human error and technical glitches is significantly lower. One mistake can hamper the entire operation and cause damage to thousands of dollars worth of parts.
Sub-quality products with even the slightest glitch can put everyone at risk, and that’s why companies use CNC machining to focus on higher accuracy and precision. Aerospace components manufacturing companies need to meet all the safety measures and accuracy requirements, and that’s possible with CNC machining.
CNC machining offers advanced operations using 3-axis, 4-axis, and 5-axis; the machines can reach tolerances up to 0.002 mm. In addition to this, working with aerospace-grade plastics and metals becomes easier with CNC, and the post-processing also becomes faster. Furthermore, CNC systems can ensure the parts are 100% accurate and are precisely up to the needed standards.
CNC Machining Materials
CNC machining processes a wide range of materials that are suitable for aerospace manufacturing and prototyping. For higher strength and durability, manufacturers use hard materials, including titanium and Kovar. In addition to these, other materials used for producing parts are aluminum, copper, stainless steel, bronze, and durable plastic that bings higher strength.
Applications of CNC Machining
CNC machining brings in several performance-driven operations that make aerospace manufacturing seamless and faster. Some of the standard applications of CNC in the aerospace industry are:
Using the accurate CNC machining process, engineers produce high-quality hinges, clamps, body support elements to bring higher durability. In addition, companies use titanium or similar strength materials to create components as the external parts require higher tolerance levels.
An aircraft consists of thousands of internal parts that are of custom shape, weight, and size. To ensure every component is according to the safety standards, CNC machining is used. From internal dashboard frames to seat holding metal structures — CNC comes in handy to produce these high-quality parts.
Fabrication is a complex task in the aerospace industry as every part needs to be of accurate dimension. Engineers use the CNC technique to perform a wide range of operations like shearing, flame, or plasma cutting.
Prototyping is a crucial element of the aerospace industry as it allows companies to try newer and more efficient designs and improvise the existing ones. Engineers use CNC for prototyping as the output is accurate, precise, and more realistic looking to the new part.
The image is used for illustration purposes. Karv Automation is not the owner or creator of the image. (Image Source: Daniel Smyth from Pexels)
Advantages of CNC
CNC is among the most-used manufacturing technology that brings in several benefits to the aerospace industry. Some of the common advantages of CNC in the aerospace domain are:
- The parts manufactured using CNC machining are accurate and highly precise
- There is no scope for human error as the complete design process is computerized
- Compared to other methods, CNC is faster and can manufacture bulk parts in a shorter turnaround
- CNC machines require low maintenance, and it saves costs for companies in a long run
- These machines are much safer to use as they can be operated from a distance using a computer program.
CNC is an advanced manufacturing technology, and it will transform the aerospace industry in 2021 and beyond. In the upcoming time, we will see more advanced operations of CNC in the aerospace industry. The accuracy, precision, and reliability of CNC are unmatchable in aerospace and other industries.