August 4, 2017 | Prototype Casting

Machine Shop, CNC and Metal Casting Myths

Though the metal casting and machine shop processes might initially come across as rather straightforward and cut and dry, there is a surprising amount of misinformation surrounding the metal casting industry. At Prototype Casting, we believe in using the best, safest and most efficient practices in the machine shop and metal casting industry to assure that our products are casted with the utmost accuracy.

In order to be a more informed customer, Prototype Casting wants you to be aware of the misconceptions and myths related to the industry that our metal casting company specializes in. These days, CNC machining and other manufacturing processes like casting are so ingrained in the manufacturing sector that it’s often taken for granted.

Whether you’re a large-scale commercial vendor or an individual curious about the practices of metal and mold casting, you might be surprised to learn about some of the nuances of machining that many people tend to overlook or accept as a fact. In today’s post, Prototype Casting is going to take a look at some of these myths.

Myth: Anyone Can Run a CNC Machine

A CNC machine, or Computer Numerical Control, refers to a process used in the manufacturing sector that involves the use of computerized technology to precisely control machine tools that form basic materials into useful, everyday objects. Some examples of CNC tools include grinders, routers, mills, and lathes.

While there are certain applications that have been designed so that anyone with even minimal training can operate a CNC machine, these applications tend to be extremely rare in the manufacturing industry. A CNC operator, or practically any other position in materials casting and object manufacturing requires a good knowledge and skill set to be able to operate the machinery safely and successfully. Seeing as this is the case, the more training one has, the better the operations will be.

Myth: If a Job Has Been Run Before, It Will Run Again Without Any Problems

While this myth is logical and makes sense, this is generally not how things work out. The reality is that any difference between the way a machining or metal casting job, for instance, was run in the past and the way it is currently running could potentially cause a problem. For a job to run consistently without any problems, variations must be eliminated.

Myth: Machining is Entirely Automatic

Though CNC machining and modern casting methods deliver great consistency, the machines cannot do all of the work alone. It is true that jobs run in the past can more easily be duplicated in the future, but, these jobs still need a thorough examination in order to eliminate nuances and variations in their workpieces and tools. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a machinist who can properly oversee the job and can identify any anomalies and dulling tools in order to get the job done on time and at the highest level of quality.

Myth: Coding Doesn’t Matter Anymore With CNC Machines

Because CNC machines are computer-based, it’s easy to think that every single function and aspect about CNC machining is autonomously controlled by computers. Though computers do play a rather significant role when it comes to CNC machining, it also relies heavily on G-code. G-code, if you’re not already familiar, is a common umbrella name that refers to the most widely used numerical control programming language, and has many variants. Thus, it is vitally important to have a machinist who knows how to make modifications to a CNC machine.

Myth: Machining and Casting is Easy

It’s also easy to think that machining and casting with various materials are relatively easy due to the computerized automation of the process. But, what we have to remember here is that it’s important to have the right trained and skilled people on the job so that there are no accidents and that things get done efficiently and correctly. True, machining processes consistently deliver high-quality and efficient products, but loading and unloading workpieces, activating and monitoring cycles, and making adjustments take skill, experience, and extensive training.

Myth: Jobs Always Take The Same Amount Of Time To Run

If everything goes as expected with a machining or casting job, then yes, typically they should always take about the same amount of time to run. That being said, while CNC machines and other industrial casting tools automate work and make production easier for everyone, they also don’t guarantee the same run time for each and every job.

When it comes to finding the right metal casting and machining company that consistently gets the job done right every time, despite all of these myths, look no further than Prototype Casting. Contact our metal foundry today.