Quality has several meanings in precision engineering. For the 5 axis machining of complex components, the quality of the finished parts is critical. Inconsistencies in finish or failure to match CAD data are a big no-no.

This blog post covers five ways quality counts in precision engineering, how Axis measure up and a quick way to find out how well your current supplier is doing…

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1. Quality Sourced Materials

Axis have been around for over thirty years, we know how to source the best materials. There’s no room for cheap Far Eastern rubbish when the project demands quality materials. We source metal from only the best suppliers throughout the UK and Europe. If required we’re delighted to provide a Certificate of Conformity.

Materials for complex components

The engineering of complex components usually requires quality materials, so this point is critical in the success of your project. Does your current supplier have access to the best materials?

2. Quality Control

Our full-time quality control manager, John Waters, has his beady eye at the ready. Although, of course an eye is not enough… We use temperature regulated quality control machines including:

  • Hexagon CNC Co-ordinate Measuring Machine, utilising the latest PC-DMIS software
  • Tesa Micro-Hite 350
  • Trimos Height Gauge

Of course, FAIRs (first article inspection reports) and first off inspection is available, John is only too happy to oblige!

Quality inspections and complex components

By definition quality control inspections are critical, is this where your current supplier is lacking?

3. Quality Finish

The quality of finish of a completed component has to be consistent across the entire batch. Inconsistencies mean re-working and that always means delays. Of course, if the profile and surfaces of the completed parts fail to accurately match the CAD data, you’re in trouble.

At Axis, we manufacture to model rather than relying on drawings. Greater accuracy, consistency – and parts that fit first time.

It’s all in the finish…

Obviously, the quality of the finished component is critical. If your supplier is struggling here, you’re struggling down the line…

4. Quality 5 axis machines and software to run them

The software and the CNC machine go hand in hand, a lack of investment in one compromises the other.

Older 3 axis machines may be able to cope with most of what a 5 axis machine can handle but it takes more operations and… obviously finish quality will suffer on a curved surface.

Which machine, 5 axis or 3 axis will make a better, faster job of the aircraft seat bezel in the video? There’s only one winner!

Older machines really struggle with the latest sophisticated software and so fall short again. Investment needs to be across the board. The latest machines require high-end software to push them to the limits AND to take advantage of improved tools.

Investing in the machines

For a top notch CNC service your workshop needs both quality machines and software. Your supplier needs to commit to a continued investment just to stand still!

5. Quality People

5 axis machines without the personnel to run them effectively may as well be a paper tape machine from yesteryear. If the programmer hasn’t the experience or expertise, a complicated project will be a struggle. Expect substandard work, in other words.

Our programmer, Pete Selfe, is a dab hand at squeezing the most from our DMG machines via Open Mind Hypermill software. The software and programming brings the machines to life, pushing them to their precision engineering limits!

At Axis everyone you talk to is an engineer with years of experience. We relish the challenge of a complicated project, pulling together the top-end machines, software, experience, materials and inspections to ensure the job is finished on time and to the specified standard.

People run the machines and the company

The technology is one thing but the company couldn’t run without the right people. If the quality of staff and the skills they possess isn’t up to scratch, it’s the finish of your components that will suffer.

Substandard Quality? 

Not something to worry about with Axis. But, if your current supplier comes up short in any of the quality measures we’ve talked about in this article, your project will suffer!

Talk to engineering experts.