The world of manufacturing has seen a significant shift with the introduction of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining. This advanced technology offers precision, reduces production time, and cuts on waste significantly. A vital part of this process involves the application of rivets and tack welding, two methods that foster durability and strength in finished products.
To gain an appreciation for how crucial these elements are to CNC machining, one first needs to decipher what they entail. Riveting is a joining process where metal parts are joined together using a rivet- a short, cylindrical rod with a head integral at one end. On the other hand, tack welding is a temporary hold method in preparation for final welding.
How then do rivets and tack welding come into play during CNC machining?
Rivet Joining in CNC Machining
In CNC machining, creating robust structures necessitates more than shaping individual pieces accurately. The process requires joining several machined components securely together, usually through bolting, screwing or welding. However, there might be instances where these techniques aren’t applicable, raising the need for riveting – another powerful joinery method that allows assembly of various components.
Typically, once the machine finishes shaping the necessary components, holes compatible with the size of the desired rivets will be drilled. This is followed by inserting the rivet in the hole before hammering down or squeezing its naked end until it expands and locks the parts tightly in place. When dealing with harder metals, heated rivets are often used as they can be easily flattened out. Once cool, they provide solid, permanent joints.
Tack Welding in CNC Machining
Unlike riveting which provides permanent joints, tack welding comes as a convenience in CNC machining when needing temporarily fix parts together before definitive welding. It eliminates the use of clamps or fixtures, allowing unrestricted access to the workpiece for accurate machine welding.
Machinists commonly apply tack welds at strategic locations on an assembly to hold different components in position. The brief, shallow penetration attribute of this weld ensures ease of removal after completing the final weld without leading to significant alterations or any damage in the machined parts.
To achieve exceptional accuracy with either riveting or tack welding during CNC machining, strategically positioned sensors and advanced programming are needed. High-end CNC machines offer this functionality, ensuring precision when drilling holes for rivets or applying tack welds, hence guaranteed quality assurance.
In conclusion, as much as most lay emphasis is usually on Computer Numerical Control’s ability to cut, shape, mill or turn metals, it’s also important to note that joining fabricated pieces securely together, using methods such as riveting and tack welding, forms part of these solutions’ offerings. They prove instrumental in a wide range of applications where complex assemblies need high-strength joints – from building large ships to delicate jewelry designs. Henceforth, shop operators should consider investing in technologically equipped machinery capable of performing both tasks effectively to ensure optimal product quality and increased productivity.