TCI Precision Metals offers machine-ready blanks, which reduce the cost of labor by 20 percent, leading to 15 percent lower part costs and greater operational efficiency, the company says. If the time of the machine freed up for additional jobs is considered, the total value often exceeds 30 percent, according to the company. Machine-ready blanks allow production to start immediately. Blanks can be loaded directly into the machine without prep operations, including sawing, grinding, flattening or squaring. Additionally, the operator reduces time spent adjusting setups and fixture offsets. By ending prep time and minimizing setup time, operators and machines are more productive and increase throughput capacity.
The company's blanks arrive with tolerance guaranteed as close as ± 0.0005" dimensionally and ± 0.0002" flatness, squareness and parallelism. The blanks are processed using double-disc grinding, Blanchard grinding, duplex milling and sub operations such as flattening, deburring and surface improvement. The blanks are available in virtually any material available, including aluminum, stainless, brass, copper, titanium, plastics, high temperature and nickel alloys, tool steel, and controlled expansion alloys.
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Over the past decade, technology has advanced to the point that lights-out machining is more seamless than ever before, with built-in safety systems and even the ability to switch from one part to another in the middle of the night.