CNC Turned Products vs. Screw Machine Products

CNC Turning Verses Screw Machine

When the screw machine product was created 100 years ago, it’s original purpose was to make screws for a variety of different products. However, while the name has remained the same, the technology behind a screw machine product has evolved throughout the years to meet the needs of modern turned components. CNC (or computer numerical control) turned products is the automation of machine tools that operate via computer-programmed commands, as opposed to mechanically automated machines such as a screw machine. So, what are the benefits of each?


Screw Machine Products

A screw machine product is a class of automatic lathes for small to medium sized parts. The name “screw machine” is considered to be a tad misleading, as these machines don’t only create screws anymore or screw anything into place. Instead, these machines work by spinning metal bar stock on a rotating lathe, which essentially shaves the metal down to a desired size and shape. A screw machine functions with a disc cam, which is a rotating piece used to transform rotary motion into linear motion, or vice versa, using either a single spindle or multiple. Because a screw machine operates with closed spindle collets which hold the cutting tool, deflected debris is reduced to minimal or none at all.

Screw Machine Manufacturing Capabilities

Screw machines are used for bar work in a variety of shapes such as round, hex, or square. The entire bar stock is passed through and turns with the spindle, and is then separated from the part and fed forward, making the screw machine ready for the next part. Screw machines are more time efficient than CNC with their ability to turn 6 to 8 operations simultaneously depending on the number of spindles the machine has. Typically, most automatic screw machines have 6 spindles with some having up to 8 spindles. Screw machines can hold and repeat with tolerances of .0025” of an inch.

CNC Turned Products

The first CNC machines were created in the 1940s and 1950s, modifying existing tools and implementing motors into the design. CNC products essentially function the same way as screw machine products, but instead of being operated by cams, they are mainly controlled by computers. Having transformed a great deal throughout the years, CNC turned products are now equipped to feature more sets of tooling than screw machine products, which allow the machines to perform multiple operations on a part in a shorter amount of time.

CNC Turning Manufacturing Capabilities

CNC turned parts are known for being more precise than its predecessor the automatic screw machine. A CNC machine can rotate parts to speeds up to and exceed 10,000 RPM’s, with accuracies as tight as .0002” of an inch. With accuracies that are able to be achieved and its repeatability it has become the most dependable and efficient way to manufacture precision parts worldwide. Because of the machine’s extreme precision, it is used in a variety of industries such as automotive, aerospace, medical, agricultural, and more.

Do you need a part created but aren’t sure what would be the best process – CNC turning or screw machines? Ask us! We’ll be happy to help you figure it out.

7 Reasons to Use a Job Shop for Metal Machined Parts

Working with experts at a job shop for metal machined parts offers many benefits. Some of these benefits are clear from the outset, while others might need further examination. Whether you are working with large volumes, small runs, or prototypes, there are many benefits to working with the right job shop. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons to use a job shop for metal machined parts.

7 Reasons to Use a Job Shop for Metal Machined Parts

1. No Equipment Costs

The right milling, turning, screw machines and other equipment for metal machined parts requires substantial investment. High-quality CNC mills with even the simplest configurations cost over $50,000 for a single machine. And you’re unlikely to use just one machine for your machined parts. One of the first and most obvious reasons to use a job shop for metal machined parts is there’s no upfront investment required on your part—the machine shop tackles this for you.

2. No Training Costs

Even the most advanced equipment isn’t very useful without people who know how to use it. Proper training is essential to not only produce a high-quality product, but also to protect employees from hazards. Training employees to use machine shop equipment takes time. However, machine shop clients don’t have to worry about this aspect of the job.

3. Work With Experts

The right training will show someone how to use advanced milling, turning, or similar machines, but it’s experience that allows them to produce exceptional products at great speed. Working with experts at a machine shop, you can rest assured that your project is in good hands. Look for a job shop that has experience working with your products and materials, so there’s no trial-and-error phase.

4. Reduce Liability

Metalworking equipment poses some obvious hazards. Workers who don’t know how to use or install these machines properly can be exposed to serious risk. Machine shops protect themselves and their workers with the right insurance and employee benefits, as well as training to ensure a safe workplace. Working with a job shop for metal machined parts, you don’t have to take on any of this liability yourself.

5. Design Assistance

There are often multiple ways to machine a part, but usually one way that is most efficient in terms of materials and time. Making one or two small changes to a design can make the machining process more efficient and save thousands of dollars in the long run. With CNC machining, it’s easy to make small changes to a design and then produce an accurate prototype or product. A design expert knows how to make these changes and make your parts with maximum efficiency.

6. Existing Partnerships

Whether you are working with stainless steel, nickel alloys, titanium alloys or another metal, stock metals are expensive. Existing partnerships with suppliers can help you save money, but these take time and effort to forge. Instead of forging these partnerships yourself with stock suppliers, work with a job shop that already has strong supplier relationships.

7. Get the Latest Tech

Job shops specialize in machining services and they have the resources and expertise to get the latest equipment for the job. When you find a job shop that specializes in what you do, you can take advantage of the latest equipment and techniques for doing it. This ultimately means your parts can be created faster, with fewer errors and with the highest level of precision.

There are many reasons to use a job shop for metal machined parts. The right job shop will have the equipment and experience necessary to complete your job quickly and within a reasonable budget. If you have questions about metal machined parts for an upcoming project, get in touch. We’d be happy to tell you more about our job shop, our expertise, design assistance, and more.

The Importance of High-Quality Screw Machining

From common connectors and fasteners to delicate watch screws and much, much more, screw machines have been an important part of manufacturing for decades. Screw machining technology has continued to improve, allowing for greater accuracy and precision, the ability to work with tougher metals, increased speed, and much more. Finding the right screw machine for your project can help create a high-quality, affordable finished product with a quick turnaround time.

The Importance of High-Quality Screw Machining

Working with The Right Materials

Different screw machines can work with many different materials, including stainless steel, brass, aluminum and more. Choosing the right materials for your components or finished product can help you save significant time and money. As you might expect, tougher metals take more time and require a machine with more power to work with. If the screw machine is not made to work with these metals, it will take much more time and your components are more likely to have defects.

Precision and Accuracy

Precision and accuracy are important for almost every product and component, but they’re especially important for components that are made to connect to or secure other parts. If the screw machine doesn’t operate at the right tolerances, your components will have defects. At best, this will increase expenses and, at worst, it will cause defects in your end product if your fasteners or similar items don’t connect properly. Screw machines with high levels of accuracy will reduce the chances of defects and help to ensure that your products work properly.

Quick Production

Screw machines can operate with great precision as well as great speed. These features have made screw machining equipment a preferred choice for many mass produced components. However, setting up a screw machine improperly can significantly lengthen production times. For this reason, it’s equally important to find the right screw machine as well as experienced operators. With the right equipment and the right set up, screw machines can produce your components in a tight timeline.

Reducing Expenses

Efficiency is one of the most appealing aspects of screw machining. However, if the machine shop isn’t using the right equipment for the job, the efficiency gains can quickly be lost. The right screw machine for the job uses minimal materials, time, and energy, ultimately reducing expenses on your project. Machine shop experts can help you select the right screw machine for the job, with the right size, power and level of detail. This ensures that you aren’t paying for a machine with features that you aren’t using, but your parts will still be constructed optimally.

Finishing On-Time and On-Budget

Whether you are working on the first run of your prototype, specialized parts for a custom build, or another project, it’s important to finish within your timeline and your budget. High-quality screw machines in the hands of experienced machinists can help you stay on-target. Utilizing the wrong equipment can quickly lead to delays and defects, ultimately throwing off your project.

If you’re wondering about screw machining for fasteners, connectors and similar components for your project, we can help. Contact us for more details on screw machining, CNC machining and custom fabrication.

Choosing Aluminum, Brass or Stainless Steel for Your Custom Screws

M&M Automatic Three Parts

Custom screws come in a vast variety of specifications, but when selecting a suitable material you have to first consider what your intended application is. Choosing one material over another can affect the quality and duration of the joint it forms. When choosing between aluminum, brass, or stainless steel for your custom screws, you’ll want to make your decision based on the material’s mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, fabrication operations, total cost, and, of course, material availability.

Why Choose Aluminum Screws

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, and it is also one of the most affordable materials you can manufacture custom screws with, if not the most affordable. It’s very light and versatile, and it is conducive to high heat and electricity, making it ductile. As such, it is extremely reliable for maintaining its shape and strength. These properties make custom aluminum screws ideal for a number of industries, including the aerospace and automotive industries.

Why Choose Brass Screws

Brass is a relatively affordable material that possesses a strong malleability, which makes it a popular material for custom screws. It is the most common alloy of copper and has high electrical conductivity and great corrosion resistance. Custom brass screws are used in a wealth of commercial applications, and they are also a good option for decorative or low friction components.

Why Choose Stainless Steel Screws

Stainless steel is a strong, durable, lustrous, and malleable material with which to manufacture custom screws, making it ideal for many applications. The chromium component found in stainless steel gives it a high degree of corrosion resistance that is not impacted by deformation or long-term use. This means that custom stainless steel screws perform well in high wear and harsh conditions. The strength, durability, and corrosion resistance of stainless steel make it so that it requires little maintenance.

Is there another material you’re considering or looking for? Let us know, and we’ll help you figure out which material is best for your custom screws.

Guide to Selecting Materials for Screw Fasteners (by Application)

M&M Automatic Fastener

Custom fasteners can be manufactured from a variety of materials, but it’s crucial to select the right material that will work for your particular application. Whether you’re planning to screw manufacturer fasteners to be used under extreme circumstances like military defense or need them for just cosmetic reasons, here are a few of the most common materials fasteners can be manufactured out of and the most common applications.

Most Common Custom Fastener Materials by Application

Steel Fasteners

Steel comes in a wide variety of strengths and forms, but four types are common in making custom fasteners:

Low carbon steel is great for a wide variety of applications including machine manufacturing, automotive manufacturing and medical manufacturing, but provides low strength in comparison to its steel counterparts.

Medium carbon steel is ideally used in making fasteners for automotive parts and manufacturing and sits on the medium level in the strength scale.

Alloy steel is often used in socket head products or critical joints because of its high level of strength.

Stainless Steel can also be used in a wide variety of applications, depending on the grade. 300 grade stainless steel fasteners have a medium level of strength and exceptional corrosion resistance allowing it to be used in a wide variety of applications. While 400 grade stainless steel has a medium to high level of strength and good corrosion resistance, but is best used in applications with thread cutting or forming.

Titanium Fasteners

Titanium is known as the premier material to manufacture fasteners from, with a high level of strength and top resistance to corrosion and wear. While it can be used in a variety of applications, it is most often found in high impact and wear instances such as within the aerospace industry.

Brass Fasteners

Brass is the most common copper-based alloy, and is relatively inexpensive to purchase and manufacture. Its strength is on the low scale, but it does provide relatively good resistance to corrosion. These are commonly used in marine applications or for purely cosmetic means.

Aluminum Fasteners

Aluminum is one of the most affordable materials to manufacture fasteners with and provides versatility. In a more pure form, it is best used for lightweight applications because it has lower strength level but good resistance to corrosion. However, when alloyed with other metals, it can resemble something that of a mild steel with a fraction of the weight.

These are just a few of the materials that these custom “screws” can be manufactured out of, but is a good place to start when you’re considering which materials would be best for your custom fasteners.

Not seeing the material you’re looking for? Let us know, and we can help you determine which materials would be best to manufacture your custom fasteners with.