TCI Precision Metals Expands Machine-Ready Blank Offerings
TCI Precision Metals now offers both round and square precision machine-ready blanks, converting the blanks from raw round stock.
TCI Precision Metals has added capability for converting specialized round stock to squared, high-precision machine-ready blanks. This means that TCI now offers round and square precision machine-ready blanks, both of which start from round raw stock.
“Some customers prefer to start with round stock material even when the finished machine-ready material needs to be square, but most of the time it comes down to alloy selection and availability,” Ben Belzer, president and COO of TCI Precision Metals, says. "For example, 144 Cold Finished Carbon Steel and 465 Stainless Steel are both far more readily available in round stock. There tends to be more waste converting round materials to square machine-ready blanks, but if specifications or material availability dictate, TCI can now efficiently deliver on the request.”
TCI’s sawing, milling and grinding equipment are all designed for high-volume production and are configured to convert and prep materials to precision machine-ready specifications more efficiently than most shops can do in-house, with TCI saying it increases client throughput by up to 25 percent.
With a single purchase order, customers receive custom precision blanks ready to load directly into their CNC machining centers. Precision blanks eliminate the need for in-house sawing, grinding, flattening, squaring operations and outside processing. Each blank arrives deburred, clean and to customer specifications – guaranteed as close as 0.0005” dimensionally and as close as 0.002” in flatness, squareness and parallelism. Customers are able to use the time they previously spent in setup and prep for more productive use of CNC machining centers, adding to their bottom-line profitability.
TCI Precision Metals is a family-owned, one-stop materials source for precision machine-ready blanks from aluminum, stainless steel and other alloys. The company also welcomes customer supplied materials and can perform sawing, waterjet cutting, grinding, milling and finishing operations.
Roughing and finishing on a single machine, using a single setup, has appeal for most shops. The advantages in time savings and accuracy are obvious. Eliminating the transport of workpieces between machines, as well as the setup for those secondary operations, is a boon for throughput. Critical features that need to maintain dimensional relationships can be much more reliably produced if machined complete in one clamping.
Because of the high material removal rate creep-feed grinding can deliver in challenging materials, grinding might not be just the last step in the process—it might be the process.
Two enabling technologies -- superabrasive wheels and high precision servo control -- come together to provide a contour grinding process that resembles an OD turning operation. For many medium volume OD grinding applications, this method may be a means to consolidate several manufacturing steps into a single setup.