CNC Machine Applications in the Marine Industry

Applications of CNC machining extend beyond dry land to include boats of all sizes that travel the global waterways. Manufacturing parts to construct high-quality, high-performance boats requires precision and efficiency, two primary characteristics of CNC machining.
Here’s a closer look at the role a CNC machine plays in the manufacturing of marine vessels, from start to finish.

Mold Construction

The hull is the foundation for all marine craft. A boat’s quality, durability and overall look are directly dependent on a hull that’s created from a mold built precisely to specifications.
Hand-crafted molds are time-and labor-intensive, and the human element results in a lack of consistency and accuracy. It’s difficult to create the clean edges, straight lines and identical corners that mark a high-quality hull.
A CNC machine is programmed electronically to produce uniformly precise molds and detect errors before they occur. In addition, CNC machining provides the versatility that enables manufacturers to work with a wide variety of materials.

Hull and Deck Trimming

Forming the hull and deck structures is just the beginning. Once they’re outside of the mold, these structures must be joined properly, without any gaps, uneven lines or shifting.
Determining proper alignment of the joins while these structures are “free” can be a painstaking process. Large-scale 5-axis CNC machines are capable of easily and efficiently trimming excess materials from even the largest structures while perfectly matching all parts.

Ribs and Stringers

Ribs and stringers are lengths of wood that form the “skeleton” of the hull. These parts reinforce the hull’s strength and help it retain its shape.
Stringers and ribs usually require a number of production templates and take up storage space with in-process inventory. CNC machines enable a wood-nesting process that optimizes yield while accommodating movement and placement of non-linear edges.

Interior Furnishings

Furnishings in high-end yachts and sailboats often rival those found in luxury condominiums and apartments. A typical layout might include a gourmet galley kitchen with granite countertops, plush wraparound seating and beautiful wood cabinets.
All of these items and more can be easily created with a CNC machine. The systems can accommodate everything from clean lines to intricate designs in wood, stone and a wide range of materials.
Boat building has a long and proud tradition dating back to prehistoric times. CNC machining brings the marine industry into the 21st century with unmatched levels of efficiency and precision.

Tips for Efficient Aluminum Machining

CNC routers are frequently used with wood and acrylics, but they’re versatile enough to handle the demands of materials such as aluminum. The key to successful aluminum machining is adapting the process to accommodate its different characteristics.

Incorporate these tips to minimize the challenges and produce high-quality parts.

Calculate Proper Feeds and Speeds

As with most metals, the optimum feeds and speeds combination for aluminum is a more narrow range than that of wood or acrylics. Cutting aluminum requires a higher spindle speed that may push the outside limits of your CNC machine.

  • Feed rates that are too slow can cause rubbing that reduces the lifespan of tools.
  • Feed rates that are too fast can overburden the machine, resulting in breakage.

The old-school method of “playing it by ear” allows too much room for error. A feeds and speeds calculator will help you determine more precise rates.

Use Carbide-Coated Bits with Smaller Diameters

With the higher RPMs involved in cutting aluminum, high-speed steel and cobalt are not likely to be up to the task. Carbide is a more rigid material, making a preferable solution for bits.

Speedier machining rates also call for smaller diameter bits. The rigidity of carbide is another benefit here, as it will protect against potential tool deflection.

Maintain a Stable Temperature

Aluminum is more vulnerable to variations in temperature, causing waste as completed parts are out of tolerance. Use hardware and software that are capable of holding temperatures at an acceptable level.

Clear Chips Thoroughly

Aluminum chips have a certain “stickiness” factor that causes them to become essentially welded to the tool, resulting in poor quality work and excess wear and tear on machines.

  • Don’t rely exclusively on dust collector systems. Check the machine faithfully to ensure chips are cleared out.
  • Run a coolant mist or other lubricant through the machine to reduce the tendency of chips to stick.

Go Slow and Steady

There’s a temptation to save time by making deeper cuts, but this strategy can backfire by making it harder to clear chips. Stick with frequent shallow passes that allow greater control and better access for chip removal.

Reduce the Number of Flutes

Too many flutes can aggravate the chip problem by causing them to get packed in too tightly. Switch to a maximum of three flutes with aluminum machining. Increased space between the cutting edges makes it easier for larger chips to escape.

Our patented stacked aluminum machining process makes it possible to create perfectly finished parts without the cumbersome traditional stacking, drilling and riveting.

Common Industry Usage of Thermoformed Products

Photo Of Products Made With A Plastic Machining Center - CMS North AmericaPlastics have become ubiquitous in nearly every industry, in part due to the impact of the thermoforming plastic machining process. Thermoforming involves the use of heat and pressure to create new products. The use of this technology has been incorporated by companies around the world to create reliable, durable goods at low costs.

Thermoforming Overview

Thermoformed products are created using CNC machines, which utilize a three-step process. First, a flat sheet of plastic is heated, then the sheet is placed in a mold and is finally trimmed. The types of plastics used in thermoforming are nearly as varied as the products themselves and include synthetic, semi-synthetic, or natural materials. The majority of plastics are made from petrochemicals, but those made from plant-based materials, or bioplastics, are becoming increasingly common due to their sustainability.

Thin-gauged plastic products include items like disposable cups, storage containers, plates, and many other products used in the food and medical fields. Thick gauge materials include products such as vehicle panels, refrigerator and shower liners, and shipping pallets.

Some of the many industries that have harnessed the potential of CNC plastic machining include:

Automotive Industry

Thermoforming is used most often in the automotive industry for creating items like vehicle doors and interior panels, such as dashboards. Multi-axis cuts with thermoforming CNC machines are typically required for compatibility with the additional parts used in automobile construction.

Building Industry

The building industry utilizes a broad range of thermoformed products in the construction of homes or businesses, including HVAC components, shower stalls, and more.

Medical Industry

Products often used in the medical industry include storage units and covers for contaminated items, bezels, and instrument enclosures. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), for example, is often used in the industry as sterile packaging to ensure the integrity of medical products.

Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry uses thermoformed products for the creation of seat backs, interior panels, and instrument coverings. In an industry that relies heavily on weight, plastic parts are an ideal lightweight building component.

CMS North America provides CNC machines and resources to meet a variety of plastic machining objectives, including thermoforming machines. Contact them for more information on the benefits of CNC machining center technology.

Waterjet 101: What You Need to Know

Photo Of Waterjet Machining Equipment - CMS North AmericaWaterjet cutting technology encompasses a wide range of subtractive industrial machines used in the process of material cutting. These units have gained a reputation for their low-cost, high-precision cuts.

What Is Waterjet Cutting?

In the simplest terms, a waterjet is any cutting tool that uses a high-pressure stream of water to cut materials. Diverse machining models can either utilize the pure force of water or be paired with abrasive accelerants, such as garnet. These machines can be preferable to other cutting methods because they utilize a low volume of water to create a very thin stream of high-pressure water to perform difficult tasks. There are multiple varieties on the market today, including those with multiple cutting heads to produce multiple cuts at the same time.

How Is This Type of Cutting Used?

Waterjet technology can be used for part manufacturing for nearly any industry. Typically, pure waterjet units are used to cut softer materials like foam, paper, plastics, or carpet. Abrasive machining, on the other hand, is used to cut harder materials such as metals, wood, and glass.

Though there are many types of waterjet units, the process remains largely the same. Water or abrasive material is shot at a cut surface at anywhere from 60,000 to 90,000 psi. The water or abrasives act similarly to a mechanical saw to create fine cuts.

What Are the Benefits?

When waterjet cutting materials were becoming increasingly common in the 1980s, the cut kerf was much larger. Today, CMS has waterjet CNC machining, which can make complex cuts with up to 5 axes. One of the many benefits of using this variety of CNC technology today is that the cut material is not affected, as no heat is created during the process.

Another of the major benefits of using this technology is its versatility, both in the materials capable of being used and the range of items that can be cut. Most waterjet machines can be adjusted to meet the demands of diverse materials.

Industries as diverse as medical, defense, maritime, and aerospace have discovered the benefits of this type of machining. Additional material is available for companies interested in learning more about the technical aspects of waterjet CNC cutting capabilities.

CMS’ Adaptive Technology: Complex Surfaces in Reduced Cycle Times

CMS North America’s CNC machining centers have long been famous for their speed and precision. Our newly-developed adaptive technology makes roughing and semi-finishing processes even faster, while maintaining the same unparalleled quality and accuracy that users expect from CMS equipment.

Easier Operation, Greater ROI

Created by our brilliant R&D team, CMS’ innovative Adaptive Technology consists of 10 machine mapping parameters, each of which is optimized for different material types or different machining operations, as well as a specialized roughing parameter. Parameter settings can be entered directly through a part program. Adaptive Technology provides a balanced solution for the machining of all types of parts and components.

With our Adaptive Technology, CNC operators no longer need to spend time searching for the best machine parameters for the project at hand. Instead, operators can instantly set their CNC system for the best possible material removal rates. Considering the amount of NC setup time and testing that is usually required for complex machining operations, this feature alone will provide significant time savings.

DSCF2949 from CMS NA

An example of CMS North America’s adaptive technology.

CMS’ Adaptive Technology allows complex surfaces to be machined in substantially reduced cycle types, without a drop off in surface quality or accuracy. All axis commands remain the same, but the machining center will rough out at as much as twice the feed rate of the finishing paths. When paired with the right cutting tools, roughing and semi-finishing operations can be completed in a fraction of the time.

By enabling faster and more efficient operation, Adaptive Technology helps improve users’ ROI in their CMS machines. Adaptive Technology will be especially useful to OEMs and machinists in markets such as aerospace (for machining composite and aluminum parts), automotive (for composite and light alloy parts for road cars, racecars, and motorcycles), marine (for composite hulls, decks, masts, and interior components), and wind energy (for turbine blades and internal components), among others.

CMS’ Adaptive Technology system is available as an optional feature on our Ares, Antares, and other CNC machining centers. Contact us today to learn more about our Adaptive Technology and how it can benefit you.

For more info, read the following PDFs:

Adaptive Technology from CMS

Adaptive Technology from CMS_Antares

Tree of Life | CNC Technology | CMS NA

Tree of Life Sculpture at Milan Expo 2015

CMS CNC Macines for Timber Frame Processing

If you happen to travel to Milan, Italy, some time before October of this year, you might see a fantastic example of modern engineering. In the Italian Pavilion at EXPO 2015, you’ll see the “Tree of Life,” a 121-foot sculpture made from steel and wood laminate beams that weave around the ‘trunk’ and flare out into a twelve-pointed star at the top. The sculpture is in the center of Lake Arena, where water fountains provide an additional sparkle while colored lights provide a captivating glow.

CMS and the Tree of Life

Fixed Rails CNC Machining

Our CNC machines are capable of cutting wood laminate beams, like the ones that wrap around the trunk and form the branches of the Tree of Life. Take a closer look at the Tree of Life and you’ll see how precisely each beam is cut; CNC technologies are essential for achieving the kind of accu

racy necessary for replicating a design as intricate as this one. CMS is proud to acknowledge that one of our machines was used to craft this beautiful sculpture.

Other Notable Projects Made with CMS Machines

Another well-known example of prime engineering is the Alfa Romeo. Many of the Alfa Romeo’s parts are made on CMS machines. Alfa Romeo relies on our CNC machines for the same reason that the makers of the Tree of Life chose our machines: repeatability and precision. CMS has developed a wide array of CNC machines, which is why we are able to serve so many different industries, and machine so many different materials, including wooden beams, thermoplastics and much more.

CMSNA’s New Balestrini CNC Woodworking Systems

Introducing CMSNA’s New Balestrini CNC Woodworking Systems

If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art, high precision CNC woodworking machining center, look no further than CMS North America’s new Balestrini series. Available in Europe through our parent company, CMS SpA, since 2011, CMSNA is pleased to announce the addition of this line of innovative CNC systems to our product lineup.

Now available to the North American market for the first time, the Balestrini series includes both traditional, precision wood processing machinery and innovative CNC solutions such as 5-axis machining centers, gantry-type systems, compact mortise and tenon machines, and more. Our Balestrini systems are specially engineered for woodworking and wood processing applications of all kinds, from chair making to cabinet doors to musical instruments.

CMS’ Balestrini series provide unparalleled precision for even the most complex woodworking project, and fast, automated machining capabilities that will make short work of high volume production. The Balestrini series is divided into smaller “families” of machines that perform similar processes; the different families are designed to work together to form a complete, start-to-finish woodworking system.

From 1954 Italy to 2015 North America

The original Balestrini woodworking machine company was founded in 1954 by Renzo Balestrini. Mr. Balestrini’s first workshop was dedicated to constructing and repairing special woodworking machines, and in the decades since has grown into a leader in the industry, providing innovative solutions for chair makers and other specialized woodworking applications.

Balestrini became part of CMS SpA in 2011, enhancing our company’s commitment to the production of woodworking CNC systems. In the few years that CMS has been producing machining centers in the Balestrini series, we’ve developed numerous advancements, such as our T-CAS (Tool Collision Avoidance System) software, that further enhance the performance and precision of our CNC machining centers.

From trimming and cutting to milling and drilling to joinery work, there is almost no woodworking process that the Balestrini series can’t perform, bringing unparalleled precision and perfect repeatability to woodworking companies everywhere. For more information on CMS’ Balestrini CNC woodworking systems, click here.

CMS Tecnocut’s Idroline Waterjet Systems A Perfect Fit for Tenaris & R4T

Tenaris Dalmine is Italy’s leading manufacturer of seamless steel pipes, serving customers in energy, automotive, and other industries. The company’s products range in size from 12 millimeters to 711 millimeters in diameter. Tenaris produces up to 950,000 tons of finished product per year.

R4T (Ready For Test) is a manufacturing company that specializes in producing custom test tubes and similar products for mechanical, chemical, or other testing purposes. Based in Italy, the company provides clients around the world with test samples that meet international standards as well as the customer’s requirements.

Both companies found themselves in need of powerful, versatile new machining solutions for their production facilities. And both wisely chose CMS Tecnocut’s Idroline waterjet cutting systems.

Continue reading

CNC Machines – The Effects of Acceleration/Deceleration

Let’s talk about acceleration! One of the simple joys of life. Whether it’s in Grandpa’s ’68 Nova or the catapult at the county fair, it’s fun stuff! At least it is for me; it makes my wife cry!

CNC Machining acceleration

For a CNC, and my wife, it’s, their worst nightmare.

CNC Machine acceleration and deceleration

Types of Acceleration

There are two types of acceleration we need to talk about. Linear acceleration and lateral acceleration. Linear acceleration is acceleration in a straight line. Like the intended direction of a top fuel dragster. Lateral acceleration is the acceleration around a corner or sometimes referred to as lateral force or in automotive terms, cornering forces.  Many times these forces will be measured in “G” forces. One “G” refers to the force of gravity. As an example, when you first step on to an elevator, assuming it’s not moving, you “weigh” 1G.  If the elevator goes up you feel yourself being pushed down slightly. Once the elevator reaches full speed everything is normal again.  On the flip side of that is if the elevator starts down you get that little butterfly feeling of reduced weight. But once the full speed is reached you weigh the same again.

Continue reading