CNC machining, an indispensable part of modern manufacturing processes, has revolutionized industries worldwide. From creating intricate car parts and aviation components to crafting detailed sculptures and jewelry, there’s hardly any sector where it doesn’t find a role. This article focuses on a specific aspect of CNC machining related to two keywords, rivets and tack welding, and endeavors to describe the evolution from traditional riveting to innovative techniques like tack welding.
Rivets have been strengthening joints for decades. Undeniably, they’ve played pivotal roles within the industrial sector for their proved durability and ability to hold robust structures together. In a process termed riveting, a machinist inserts the unheaded pin into the hole before smashing its end with a tremendous force using a bucking bar or pneumatic hammer exactly matched to the size and shape of each type of rivet.
However, despite these advantages, using rivets also present certain challenges. It necessitates precise drilling and alignment of all pieces being joined, demands intensive labor for installation, and can increase production cycle times.
To help alleviate this pressure and minimize potential risks linked to human error, Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines were introduced. These automated machines are programmed to perform tasks that require high precision meticulously. They do countless jobs – from turning and milling to threading, and yes, even replacing traditional methods like the use of rivets for joining.
This is where our second keyword, tack welding, comes into play. Tack welding is a technique used to temporarily bind materials together during fabrication. It involves applying a small, controlled burst of heat via an electrode onto the work piece surface areas that touch or almost touch. The resultant welds, referred to as ‘tacks’ or ‘spots,’ act like massive rivets holding metal pieces together until final assembly through full welding.
In CNC technology, tack welding serves as a reliable and rapid alternative to riveting. Implementation of tack welding is mainly done by advanced robots capable of applying precise heat at intensely fast speeds in a continuous sequence providing flawless welds. This process considerably increases production output, reduces turnaround times, and offers cleaner and more aesthetic end-products compared to traditional methods.
Moreover, the research advancements have given rise to hybrid techniques like friction stir welding (FSW). FSW performs under the same principle as tack welding, but it employs a non-consumable tool that generates frictional heat between work-pieces due to its rotating and moving aspect simultaneously. As a result, we obtain solid-phase joints without melting the components being welded – making it advantageous for alloys with high thermal conductivity and low melting points such as aluminum.
Despite these progresses, changing from one method to another isn’t overnight accomplishment. It demands adequate investment in machinery infrastructure, skilled labor training, and careful planning. Establishing parameters for successful automated tack welding involves assessing the thickness and type of material, determining the correct current settings, wire feed speed adjustments, selecting suitable electrode types and sizes among other critical factors.
To conclude, CNC machining signifies much more than enabling brisk forms of manufacturing – it’s a stepping-stone towards our industry’s future. While the use of rivets was fundamental during much history, solutions provided by innovations like tack welding are taking over. Industries need to stay ahead through frequently updating their processes and latching onto data-driven models offered by modern CNC technologies. The move from rivets to tack welding in CNC machining marks a massive leap, promising productivity boosts, enhanced cost-savings, greater precision levels, and a futuristic approach toward fabrications on a global scale.