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Precision Engineering

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by: Alan hoyle
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Word Count: 373
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 Time: 8:32 AM

What is precision engineering and who needs it?

Precision engineering is one of the most important industrial processes and is the lifeblood of manufacturing all over the world. The process is needed for everything from car and bicycle components to tools and machinery to white goods so it is something which we have all benefitted from.

Put simply the term refers to any sort of process of altering components which needs to be done within very fine tolerances. Within this context tolerance means the margin for error. For example a component may not fit in its housing and will therefore be unusable if its diameter is more than a thousandth of an inch (or 0.0254mm if we are talking modern metric units!) too big. Therefore precision engineering gets its name as precision is of paramount importance. This refers to a variety of processes such as drilling holes in particular places, turning things down so they are the right dimensions or milling them into a particular shape.

These days the vast majority of precision engineering equipment has been computerised. Machines are commonly managed using a computer numerical control (CNC) which has given engineers excellent accuracy. They also make the whole process more efficient as CNC systems allow settings for different components to be saved in a central brain so less time is spent remembering and gearing equipment up to specifications. However precision engineering is still a highly skilled profession. Tooling such as jigs holding components at certain angles to ensure they are machined correctly are needed and machining parts such as castings is very labour intensive.

Where can I go for precision engineering?

When looking for precision engineering it is important to find a firm which is comfortable with meeting your requirements. For instance it is difficult if you need a one off piece doing or want very low numbers of parts engineered as it is not financially viable for firms to work on such small batches and the cost can be passed on to you. It is advisable to have a detailed discussion with potential engineers. If you are after precision engineering visit, a company in the engineering sector that can supply pin point accurate mechanisms and other specialised equipment.

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