CNC machining utilizes computer-controlled equipment to automate and precision-machine components. When paired with quality materials and skilled operators, CNC machining delivers exceptional accuracy, repeatability and efficiency for producing all varieties of rivets.
Benefits of CNC Machining for Rivet Manufacturing
Compared to manual machining, CNC offers numerous advantages for rivet production:
- Precision - CNC machines can hold incredibly tight tolerances down to +/- 0.005 inches for rivet dimensions including head height, shank diameter and overall length. This level of consistency and precision ensures rivets meet specifications.
- Speed - CNC machines work much faster than manual operations. Multi-axis CNC mills can rapidly shape rivet blanks while automated feeds allow continuous production. This increases throughput.
- Flexibility - With easy digital programming adjustments, CNC equipment can switch between different rivet types and sizes quickly. This facilitates low-volume or high-mix production.
- Reliability - Advanced computer controls maximize uptime and minimize errors during unmanned overnight production shifts. The results are improved consistency and quality.
- Scalability - CNC machining capacity can be cost-effectively increased by adding machines. This enables manufacturers to scale production to match demand.
Key Steps for CNC Rivet Production
While styles vary, common production steps for CNC machined rivets include:
1. Sourcing Raw Material - Aircraft-grade rivets start with aluminum or titanium rods or bars stocked to specific diameters. Stronger alloys are selected for high-strength applications.
2. Facing/Squaring - The first CNC operation faces the rod ends square to ensure a precise reference surface for machining the rivet blanks.
3. Cutting Blanks - Next, the faced rod is indexed to the required rivet length and a cutting operation slices off blanks. This may utilize an automated feed for volume production.
4. Head Machining - A CNC mill then machines one head profile into the blank, often using an end mill tool. Multi-axis machines speed this process with synchronized axes motions.
5. Shank Creation - The rivet shank is precision-turned on a CNC lathe which rotates the blank against cutting tools. This produces the smooth, uniform shank diameter.
6. Head Machining 2 - The partly completed rivet is returned to a CNC mill to cut the second head profile, completing the component.
7. Deburring - The rivets go through a mass finishing or deburring process to remove any rough edges and improve surface finish.
8. Quality Inspection - Finished rivets must pass inspection checks for dimensions, defects, hardness and other attributes per applicable standards before acceptance.
9. Packaging - The rivets are organized into sturdy boxes, sleeves or rivet strips for protection during transit to customers.
Programming Optimized CNC Machining Processes
To produce quality rivets at the lowest unit cost, CNC programmers optimize the machining processes for maximum efficiency. This involves:
- Determining the most effective sequence of operations to minimize handling.
- Selecting the best cutting tools, speeds and feed rates to balance rapid metal removal with tool life, surface finish and dimensional accuracy.
- Programming exact tool paths, coordinated machine motions and precise feed rates to reduce cycle times.
- Configuring workholding fixtures and vises to allow rapid loading/unloading of rivet blanks.
- Utilizing quick-change tooling, pallet shuttles and other automation to maximize productivity.
By leveraging their machining application expertise, skilled CNC programmers develop highly efficient and repeatable processes for rivet manufacturing.
From stage and theater rigging to railroad tracks, CNC machined rivets deliver trusted performance across countless critical applications. By enabling automated precision production, CNC technology empowers manufacturers to cost-effectively produce millions of rivets with superb quality and consistency. This highlights the unique value of CNC machining for reliably supplying this vital mechanical fastener component. CNC Milling