Impact of precision machining in the Automotive industry

Updated: Mar 3


Since its inception in the 19th century, the Automotive industry has grown to be one of the major contributors to the global GDP, which stood at 4.9% in 2020, and the industry has been growing exponentially ever since, making it one of the largest employers. To sustain the ever-expansionary mode of the Automotive industry, the role of precision machining has been instrumental from around the middle of the 20th century. CNC machining is also continuously meeting the new demands and changing product specifications from the Automotive industry for efficient, high-precision, and complex automobile parts.

CNC machining has changed the production processes and has shortened the production cycles of the Automotive industry by allowing easy design, prototyping, custom machining, and production of automotive parts. Modern CNC machining processes involve the use of three-axis, five-axis, and even machines with seven, nine, and twelve axes. The numbers of axes indicate the kind of work a CNC machine is capable of performing, the detail it can cut on a work piece, and the degree by which it can manipulate the position of a work piece. Generally, automotive parts manufacturing involves five-axis machines suited for rapid prototyping and production of high-precision and complex automobile parts required in the high-risk automotive industry. Five-axis machines are capable to manipulate and work on a work piece in more ways possible than their counterparts with lesser axes, such that they can create curves rather than just straight angles and generate more complex results.

Automotive Parts Production.

CNC machining allows automobile plants and OEMs to create prototypes and manufacture automotive parts in large quantities. CNC technology helps produce automotive parts, including combustion engines, cylinder heads, gearboxes, wheels, door, suspension, exhaust, fluid system, bushings, and dashboard frames. CNC technology allows the utilization of various materials in fabrication process, including acrylic glass or polymethyl methacrylate to produce automotive lighting. Parts of vintage cars are not readily available in the market; CNC machining technology helps vintage car enthusiasts procure necessary parts through CNC shops and OEMs by customizing them with the help of computer-aided design. This capability also helps car owners who require specialized parts to customize their vehicles.

Benefits of CNC machining for the Automotive Industry.

Faster Production.

CNC machines can work far faster than human machinists, as the machining is done automatically with the help of a computer, and the process can be repeated as many times as needed. This is particularly useful for CNC shops and OEMs when manufacturing large volumes of car parts.

Precision.

The tolerance requirement of car components is extremely low, limiting the error margins in components since malfunction of any critical parts of a car can have serious consequences. CNC machined parts have very high accuracy and precision, as they are produced through highly automated and autonomous production processes.

Repeatability.

CNC prototyping allows the production of the same car parts in large quantities and with the same level of quality. This is useful when a carmaker needs to produce large volumes of a single part for a particular model.

Affordability.

CNC machining is very cost-effective as the labor requirement is very low, and it also involves larger production volumes. Moreover, a high precision manufacturing process lowers errors that lead to material waste.

Future Benefits.

With the arrival of Industry 4.0, CNC machines are being upgraded to an intelligent level. The rapid adoption of concepts and technologies, such as the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems, facilitate the development of intelligent machines that can learn skills autonomously and adapt in real-time to changing instructions and uncertain operational conditions. Further advancements in CNC machines would likely bring more integration among the machines and manufacturing processes enabled through information and communication technologies. These evolving technologies would likely allow CNC machines to become more autonomous, requiring no human intervention in their operations. These are precisely the kind of capabilities that the Automotive industry would require to produce high-precision parts in the future.

At Lambda Function, we are building solutions that help you (machine shops) machine your parts accurately and in real-time. Our portfolio of solutions assists you to achieve higher machine uptime, enhanced yield, increased throughput, optimized annual expenditure on tool maintenance, and improved staff productivity.


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