Typical Precision Machining Part Lead Times
Since our founding in 1998, Impro has become a global top 10 manufacturer of high-precision, high-complexity and mission-critical casting and machined components for diverse and dispersed end-markets, serving a number of globally recognized industry leaders. Many customers rely on our precision machining capabilities to produce the quality components they need.
Machining is the overall process of removing material from a workpiece, but precision machining is the process we use to produce components with extremely high tolerances and excellent surface quality. We may employ a combination of several or all of the turning, milling, grinding, drilling, cutting, and honing processes at our disposal to achieve the desired end result.
What Factors Affect Precision Machining Lead Times?
Impro machining processes produce both large and small parts that are supplied to OEM customers and system integrators for use in diverse industries, from automotive to aerospace. We incorporate computer numerical controls, or CNC, to convert unique designs into exact shapes through multiple dimensions. Our general process involves inspection of the raw materials, machining to meet product specifications, heat treatment or surface treatment, inspection, cleaning and packaging.
When talking about prospective components, we are often asked about the typical precision machining part lead time. Lead times will vary based on the customer’s specifications and requirements; while some components can be produced quite efficiently, more precise pieces may require a longer lead time. Factors that go into calculating lead time include:
- Equipment Variables: Precision machining may require access to a wide array of precision CNC machining equipment. Using more equipment, and asking for higher degrees of precision, will necessitate longer lead times. Machining processes may include various types of turning methods, exact milling and drilling machines, precision grinding equipment, honing, and deburring stations. Heat treatments, for highly specialized components, may include high-frequency- induction, quenching, freezing techniques, vacuum lines, nitriding furnaces, and multipurpose heat treatment.
- Customization Variables: Many machined parts have features that are important to their application, but this can make it more difficult to machine. A unique profile or a non-standard dimension may require the use of very specific cutting tool or machining equipment. The availability and technical competence of these specialty tools may impact lead time requirements.
- Material Variables: Some materials are easier to work with than others. A wide variety of materials may be processed, ranging from carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, and aluminum alloys, according to industry and customer specifications.
- Precision Variables: Machining is one of the most consistent fabrication processes for precision applications. Our turning and milling processes, for example, adhere to strict positioning with a machine accuracy of ±0.005 mm. For grinding processes, we have cylindrical grinding machines, and centerless grinding which can produce a flatness of 0.001 mm, a roundness of 0.0004 mm, or a straightness of 0.001 mm.
- Quality Variables: Some industries require higher quality certification. Impro is proud to hold quality certifications according to ISO 9001, ISO/IATF 16949, AS 9100, and ISO 13485.
- Quantity Variables: Impro is reputed for its flexible and agile manufacturing operations. We deliver orders for just a few pieces, or up to millions of pieces.
Factors that May Increase Precision Machining Lead Time
The most likely scenario to increase precision machining lead time is when a part is very complex. This may require extra time to design, develop and adapt the required machining processes. Typical products such as spools, sleeves, pistons for hydraulic systems, and fuel injection system parts, may be machined quite efficiently. A new component, however, may require several production process validations to elevate the end product to the customer’s tolerance and quality specifications. The part’s prototyping may require several rounds of modifications and adjustments until it is suitable for the specific application. Validation runs and testing could add a few days to several weeks to the schedule.
How to Learn More About Precision Machining Part Lead Times
Precision machining is an essential process for creating parts according to strict manufacturing guidelines, specifications and critical tolerance needs. To get a more accurate lead time for a particular project, it is always best to reach out to the part’s manufacturer. Impro will discuss your project, and possible adaptations that could cut down on the lead time, so you obtain your component in the timeliest fashion possible.
Impro is a global, integrated manufacturer of high-precision, high-complexity and mission-critical components for diversified markets. Our precision machining factories are located in China, Turkey, and Mexico. If you are interested in finding more information about the precision machining practices we follow, or if you just have questions you would like to go over in a bit more detail, please contact our team of experts today.