Basic Skills Required to Conduct CNC Milling Operations – Part 2

In the last post, we have discussed the required skills and responsibilities of the management and design team of a CNC milling service provider. As a continuation, we will now discuss the other major departments and their roles and responsibilities. 

• Planning: Good planning determines successful milling operations, whilst avoiding confusions that may arise in between. It is important to plan the CNC milling operation based on the material type. Also, plan the operations such as side milling, face milling, or slot milling, as per the features required in the base materials. 

• Programming: The most important step in CNC milling process is programming. The personnel working here must be proficient in CAM/CAD software. They must have in-depth knowledge of various techniques to generate programs to conduct several milling operations. It is the programmer’s responsibility to make the right program considering the part specifications and production types. It is always helpful for a programmer to visualize what will happen during the execution of the program before actually starting with the programming. For a novice programmer, visualizations come with much practice. 

• Measurement:  Taking the right measurement of threaded elements and other such crucial elements is a basic requirement in CNC milling operations. The personnel responsible for measurement must know various types of measuring tools or gauging instruments and their typical applications. They are also responsible for selecting the suitable measuring tools or gauging instruments and use them correctly when conducting milling operations. Additionally, this personnel ensures the proper maintenance, quality control, and proper calibration of the measuring/gauging units. 

• Operating: CNC milling operators must have a clear understanding of the working of the unit. They must act as per the manufacturer’s instruction when operating the machine. A few of the major responsibilities of this personnel include:

o Knowing the set-up of the machine

o Several modes of machine operation

o Understand the functional parameters and operate the machine accordingly

o Understand basic troubleshooting techniques

• Machining: This personnel must be clear about the types of machine features and machining sequences and different machining processes on a CNC milling machine. The following responsibilities are bestowed on a CNC machining personnel:

o Optimizing machining strategies

o Adjusting cutting parameters 

o Performing roughing and finishing operations such as:

1. External contours

2. Island milling

3. Milling channels 

o Milling operations such as internal and external

o 3D machining operations such as roughing and finishing

Now that you have an idea of the kinds of things to watch out for when working with CNC milling machines. A minor error in any of these stages leads to unforeseen situations like damaging the part or producing parts far from customer’s specifications. Hence, the points aforementioned can be used as a tip to shape parts as per specifications, whilst sticking to safe working principles!

Your CNC Machine Shop in Portland, Hillsboro Oregon