There are a plethora of different machines that are utilised within the metalworking industry. However, they weren’t always like what they are today. The tools have evolved over a very long period of time, that has made it so that human effort is reduced to maximise efficiency.
Some of the most notorious machines include:
- Lathe Machine: Essentially, these machines rotate the piece you are working on. Lathes can operate in such a way, that results in the production of various different meals, woods, and plastics. They are available in several different sizes, with several different accessories, that all aid in processes such as cutting, sanding, drilling, threading, and so on.
- Milling Machine: Based off the name you would expect the machine to ‘milly rock’, however that isn’t the case (unless…). It uses rotary cutters to remove any unwanted material. It does so by using a rotating tool to move the piece vertically. Although it can move, it is still held fairly tightly on the portable worktable.
- Grinding Machine: As the name suggests, it grinds (obviously). In all seriousness, the rotating wheel amounts to the final touches of the piece, by removing very fine amounts of materials along the surface, which becomes smooth. The abrasive wheel is what allows the machine to spin at such high speeds.
- Drilling Machine: I’ll let you take a guess at what this machine does. Correct! It drills. This is one of those machines that are much more common and known by the public. They are used to make holes in materials such as metals, concrete and cement. These are easy to install and replace, which is why they are also used for household repairs. Whilst we’re on the topic, let’s talk about the Drill Press. Now I’m not categorising these as 2 different tools as they are both practically the same thing. This is a more practical and consistent version of the standard hand-held drill, as the workbench allows for holes to be made with good precision.
- Shaper Machine: This is a simple machine that requires less practicality. It moves in a rectilinear motion to make a cut on the piece of work. It only uses a single-point cutting tool which is why it is so easy to use.
- Broaching Machine: This machine is used to remove material from the workpiece. There are 2 broaching processes which are linear and rotary, which use a toothed tool to function.
- Saw Machine: We all know what these are used for. They are meant for cutting metals and similar kinds of things (not like the movie Saw) in two, with its blade that tends to be rotating fairly quickly. So, make sure to be careful when putting your hands near the blade! There are also 3 different types of saw machines, hacksaw, circular saw, and band saw. However, they all do have the same purpose.
- Planer Machine: This is basically the ‘Shaper Machine 2.0’. It works very similarly, apart from the fact that the cutting tool doesn’t move. These also tend to be fairly bigger than the Shaper Machines.
- Shearing Machine: No it isn’t for sheep (so don’t put your sheep anywhere near it)! It is used for cutting metal sheets without forming any residue material or chips. Blanking and piercing are fairly similar to this process.
- Hobbing Machine: This relatively inexpensive tool is used to make gears and splines. Not hobbits. It uses a special cutting tool that is mostly used to produce spur gears.
To conclude, these are the types of machines you tend to normally see within the metalworking industry. Although there are more that are specific to certain operations and situations, these are the most common ones that you should expect to see.
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