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HIGH-SPEED MACHINING High-speed machining in manufacturing technology

Feb 25, 2021

Ritika Nigam, Tech Co-founder, Lincode Labs Inc - Manufacturing is sensitive to the kind of technology it uses as the benefits prevailed from it can make or break an industrial set-up. With this pressure set, high-speed machining and AI-based technologies can really enhance the productivity and process efficiency of industries. In this article, Lincode Labs, a company offering visual inspection with computer vision and AI for quality management, discusses the nuances of high-speed machining and its benefits for the manufacturing sector and other crucial AI-based technologies which can boost manufacturing and innovation.

High-speed machining is a critical manufacturing technology that leverages milling with high spindle speeds and high feed rates for high metal removal rate, reduced cycle time, increased tool life and enhanced productivity. High-speed machining, or referred to as HSM, is a metal cutting process that relies on rapid speed and feed rates to improve productivity and surface quality. It is an important manufacturing technology that is widely used in the aerospace sector, automotive industries, metal & steel industry, etc. It is an intelligent combination of equipment, tooling, software and technique that enhances machining efficiency. Machining with HSM is a cutting-edge technology, enabling manufacturers to increase efficiency, accuracy and quality of workpieces by leaps & bounds in comparison to the conventional machining methods. HSM is a state-of-the-art machining technology that has helped manufacturers bring down cost and increase output at shorter time intervals with minimum labour intervention.

High-speed machining technologies are rapidly finding their niche in the manufacturing industry, given its significant benefits to manufacturers.

Benefits of high-speed machining

  1. Better productivity

    Higher milling speed and feed rate give a higher material removal rate. It can also process hardened parts and its complex surface processing meets the surface quality standards. High-speed milling processes often eliminate the need for electrical processing, manual grinding and other such strenuous processes. High-speed machining shortens the mechanism and significantly improves processing productivity.

  2. Smoother and defect-less surface

    High-speed milling machines process uses low mill force, so the workpieces have a low thermal deformity, and the machining accuracy of high-speed milling is high. As the milling depth is smaller and the feed is faster, the surface roughness is relatively smooth and has good quality.

  3. Streamlines processing of the parts

    High-speed machining enables the inclusion of a large number of integral structural parts, reducing component weight, improving part reliability and reducing assembly man-hours for heavyweight automotive.

  4. Low risk of workpiece distortion

    The higher the speed, the lower are the cutting forces; it also generates less heat that reduces the risk of tool deflection or workpiece distortion. It is highly beneficial for precision engineering and working on components that have thin walls or harder metals.

  5. Replaces laborious & time-intensive machining processes

    The labour force deployed to perform hard cutting often ends up with the risk of inefficiency and stress. High-speed machining easily performs hard cutting within a shorter time-cycle and with higher efficiency. High-speed milling can also replace electric machining and grinding.

High-speed machining technology is highly sought-after. The results achieved with high-speed machining are highly positive and impactful as compared to conventional machining.

Which other technology is critical for manufacturing?

The rise of Industry 4.0 has led manufacturers to deploy various manufacturing technologies for better efficiency and productivity. With high-speed machining being one of them, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another powerful technology that is highly sought-after. AI has become the nucleus of the manufacturing industry. AI has helped businesses achieve high ROI by transforming the toilsome and flawed manufacturing process to an effortless and frictionless one. AI is a powerful tool and is paramount to the steel manufacturing industry, owing to the five main reasons listed below:

  1. Quality control

    It is impossible to track every stage of the production cycle for quality assurance manually with the highest accuracy. The machine vision too has its own limitations — lack of data tracking, installing expensive hardware, inspection restricted towards specific image orientation, etc. AI-backed vision systems enable quality control & assurance by identifying and eliminating product defects with high accuracy and microscopic precision throughout the production cycle.

  2. Predictive maintenance

    Predictive maintenance is one of the most important functions of AI. It is a technique wherein AI collects data from various manufacturing sources and applies intelligent algorithms to predict equipment failure & machine downtime. (According to a report by McKinsey, AI-derived predictive maintenance can create a value of about $0.5 trillion to $0.7 trillion across the world’s businesses.)

  3. Cobot integration

    Collaborative robots (cobots) have become a popular adoption in the manufacturing industry. They interact with humans to reduce human effort and boost productivity. Cobots, when integrated with AI, become highly efficient. The complex and time-intensive manufacturing process and operations performed by humans are taken over by AI-based cobots which scale-up the efficiency of manufacturing processes and promote employee safety.

  4. Microscopic defect detection

    Compared to the traditional machine vision that detects defects using a golden template at a fixed image orientation, AI-backed computer vision technology captures microscopic defects, irrespective of the image orientation. For instance, the traditional machine will miss out on a black mark on a black surface but AI vision will capture it seamlessly; such capabilities are extremely crucial for quality assurance.

  5. Generative design

    The ultimate step to product innovation is to use generative design. For instance, a steel manufacturer needs to manufacture steel chairs. AI generative design enables the manufacturer to gain a competitive advantage due to product novelty and quality by giving simple inputs, like height, width, strength, size, etc; thousands of design options are now readily available to the manufacturer within a short time.

Manufacturers deploying AI in production processes have achieved ultimate operation efficiency, a significant reduction in costs, improved employee productivity and best-in-class quality of products that pass quality assurance standards & regulations without much ado. So, it is safe to say that AI technology is here to disrupt & steel manufacturers must take complete advantage of it.


Future of AI & high-speed machining in manufacturing

According to a MarketsandMarkets report, AI in the manufacturing market is expected to be valued at $1.1 billion in 2020 and is likely to reach $16.7 billion by 2026; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 57.2% during the forecast period. The major drivers for the market are the increasing number of large and complex datasets (often known as big data), evolving IIoT & automation, improving computing power and increasing venture capital investments.

Technologies, such as AI and high-speed machining, are changing the face of the manufacturing industry. Given how manufacturers are willing to invest in robust technologies, high-speed machining & AI will set a strong foothold in the industry.

Image Gallery

  • Difference between conventional and high-speed machining

  • Collaborative robots (cobots) have become a popular adoption in the manufacturing industry. They interact with humans to reduce human effort and boost productivity.

  • Ritika Nigam

    Tech Co-founder

    Lincode Labs Inc

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