Machining: what is it and how is the process carried out?

Machining is a production process in which a block of raw material is processed in an approach of removing unnecessary parts, until the desired shape is obtained. Raw material processing can be approached in several different ways. Looking at it, there is the direct approach of taking a block of material and changing its shape (“plastic processing”). Said metal rod, which is twisted to form part of a metal railing. Another approach, which is often more advanced, is an approach of adding layers of material, until a desired result is obtained. The classic-modern example of this is 3D printing and the field is known as additive manufacturing. Machining works as mentioned in a different approach – removing parts from the block of raw material. In an example from the world of sculpture, this is similar to a large block of marble from which the sculptor removes pieces. Finally, the statue is “revealed”, which until now was hidden in his imagination and within the unremarkable block. During this process, more and more “chips” are removed from the raw material, and this is the origin of the name for this method – machining.

Machining: What is it?

Just as a sculptor works with a wide variety of tools to remove parts from the block of marble as needed, so too in machining. You can use it to remove parts of an object you are working on, in different sizes and in desired shapes. Thanks to advanced machines of this type, you will find at a professional and high-quality supplier an answer to almost any requirement in the field, for example in the mold and machining department of YSR Plastic Industries. The machining machines themselves are very flexible in their capabilities – you can place or move the block of raw material as needed, in 3 axes of movement and in other ways. Of course, the heads that process it can also be moved in various ways. In fact, it is a complex, old and very advanced technological field today. When everything is aimed at one goal – obtaining the exact product that the customer is interested in. So what do you want to produce? Broadly, it can be described as two types of products. On the one hand, many businesses need mass production of their products. A quick and cheap enough solution, to obtain large quantities of a quality product according to their demand. Machining is often integrated into such production processes, where automation (which we will expand on later) helps to speed up and reduce this. On the other hand, businesses sometimes need to produce very small quantities and even a single item. For example, in the framework of product development, when models and prototypes are needed, since machining allows this to be realized quickly and at an affordable cost. Of course, it will also suit situations where something in between is needed – a finished product or parts for such a product, but in relatively small quantities. As we know, we live in a society of consumer abundance, which is expressed in a wide variety of products. Many businesses are engaged in offering a response to consumer demand in various fields. This leads to the need to produce many options and machining is one of the main types of solutions for this.

What can be produced with the help of machining?

The list of things that can be produced in this way is very long. Here are some notable examples:

· Car engine parts – car engines must work well and for a long time, at very high temperatures and all this without being damaged. Therefore, these are parts made of particularly strong materials. Also, a car engine is a closed system that works at a very high speed. Accuracy is essential for its proper and efficient operation.

Parts for optical systems – also in optics, accuracy is usually very important.

Parts for airplanes – in the world of aviation, as you know, there is a particularly great care for the quality of production. An airplane is a means of transportation that is unforgiving of breakdowns, therefore, the quality of production is critical to this field.

Machine parts – Machining machines also produce machine parts, including machining machines.

As mentioned, this is only a partial list of examples. One of the things that all these types of parts have in common is the need for great precision. Take for example the production of mechanical parts for advanced purposes, including moving parts for a variety of products such as sewing machines. Machines require precision so that the mechanisms work well and without malfunctions. Also, various machines make use of metal parts to achieve great strength of the material, so that durability is obtained. The goal is that the parts of the machine will not wear out or break easily, and therefore must use a strong material that requires processing using appropriate machines (for example, it is impractical to process a block of steel using a metal saw or a sculptor’s chisel), this is where all the advanced machines of the machining world come into play.

What are the benefits of machining?

Machining has many advantages thanks to which it has gained such great popularity over the years. Advantages of machining include:

· High level of precision – as we mentioned, machining allows to achieve high precision in production. In fact, today it is possible to process with this method up to the levels of a thousandth of a millimeter!

Durable materials – ability to process very strong and durable materials well, quickly and easily.

· Flexible materials – the machining provides milling of sponges using CNC. A well-known use for this, which you have probably come across more than once, is that they are soaked in the interior padding of carrying cases. This refers to boxes that are adapted to a set of tools, for example, which you need to make sure are kept in the box in an orderly manner. So they are placed inside the sponge, which both “makes order” and protects sensitive objects, as much as there are in the box.

Customization – the ability to produce special products that cannot be purchased as a ready-made product. That is, maximum customization to your requirements.

What are the raw materials used for processing?

There should of course be a match between the raw materials and the machine parts that interact with them and the processing methods used. This is so that the process achieves the desired result precisely and does not harm the material. That is, that the process will remove only what is needed and in the necessary manner, without harming the material and its form. In practice, machining can be applied to a wide spectrum of useful materials. This can be a relatively soft metal such as aluminum, but also a hard metal such as steel. It is also possible to process more special types of metal such as bronze, brass or stainless steel. Although metals of all kinds are a very prominent material in the history of machining to this day, the story does not end there and in fact plastic products and even wood can be processed in this way. flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) are systems where heads can be changed to work on different materials, including automatically.

Types of machining machines

The wide selection of technical options allows to achieve a variety of results, different scopes of work and the like. That’s why there are quite a few types of machining machines including:

A normal machining machine using the engraving method

A machining machine that acts as a rotating lathe. For example in carpentry work to engrave a wooden cylinder, as part of the design of a decorative leg for a dresser for example.

A normal machining machine using the milling method

“milling” which performs a variety of “milling” operations of the object to be processed.

CNC machines

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. While the previous two types of machines we mentioned are manual, a CNC machine is a computerized machining machine. This has enormous advantages including maximum accuracy, great speed and the ability to work well continuously and for a long time. The automation makes it possible to include in the operation of the machine also complementary tasks, such as checking the quality of the product. All of this is managed through a computer – starting from the planning stage, through the transfer of the design to the machine for execution, and up to the supervision of the production progress. This format speeds up and facilitates the entire process. There is no need for plans on paper, although it is of course possible to print drawings and production plans as the need arises. CNC machines actually connect the advanced mechanical production world of recent history with the modern world of computing and automation. The invention and development of the personal computer also greatly helped promote this, it brought advanced computing at an affordable cost within the reach of small and medium businesses. She also

Contributed in terms of minimizing the equipment needed. Where there are machining machines that perform a fast and powerful operation, automatically, there are also various risks – both for the operators of the machines and for the objects processed in this way. Over time, various safeguards have evolved to solve these challenges. And in general, the chip processing world is today an old and very mature world, so that it provides an excellent solution for all manufacturers wherever they are.

Common machining methods

Dropping a layer or point from a block of material can of course be done in many ways. In manual work you can use a chisel, you can drill, saw, break small pieces with a hammer and more. Similarly, machining machines also allow such manipulations to be carried out in different ways, including:

Laser cutting

While milling, drilling and engraving are common and typical examples of machining techniques, there are also approaches in a very different direction. A laser, for example, makes it possible to perform very precise processing and even make holes (like a drilling operation).


Electroerosion is also an unusual method, in that it is not based on mechanics but on electricity and chemistry. This is a processing that is designed to achieve higher than usual precision and is applied to electrically conductive parts. This is because the process is based on the transfer of sparks (high voltage discharge) between the part and another metallic surface.


An action familiar to all of us. In this case, machining machines perform it extremely precisely and also in many variations as needed.


Milling is the most common machining method. There are many variations to this, but generally speaking, this is the basic operation of gradual “milling” of the raw material.


Rotating the block of raw material on an axis and pressing a dedicated knife towards it, resulting in a symmetrical engraving. This approach is mainly applied to round parts.

In conclusion

As you can see, the chip processing is a continuous “hit” and for good reasons. This is a manufacturing approach that will likely stay with us well into the future. It is recommended and important for anyone involved in the production of different types of products to get to know her.

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