Producing High Quality Rivets with CNC Machining(g#m Thomas)

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Rivets are a crucial hardware component used in many manufacturing and construction applications. While rivets may seem simple, producing rivets of the highest quality requires precision machining processes. This is where CNC machining comes into play. With CNC (computer numerical control) machining, manufacturers can achieve repeatable accuracy and consistency when making rivets in high volumes.
In this article, we’ll look at how CNC machining enables the production of superior quality rivets through precision capabilities, process control, and automation. We’ll also overview the steps involved in CNC rivet manufacturing.
The Benefits of CNC Machining for Rivet Production
Here are some of the main benefits CNC machining offers for rivet manufacturing:
Precision Capabilities
Rivets must be manufactured within tight tolerances to ensure proper fit and clamping force when installed. CNC machining uses programmed commands to control tools that can hold tolerances down to thousandths of an inch. This level of precision results in rivets that conform perfectly to specifications.
Process Control
CNC machines perform rivet machining tasks such as cutting, drilling, and grinding in an automated fashion. Operators can control feeds, speeds, depth of cuts, and other parameters through the CNC programming. This facilitates excellent control over the entire machining process, leading to high consistency.
By automating rivet production on CNC equipment, manufacturers can avoid reliance on operator skill. The CNC machine repeats the same machining operations without deviations, enabling high volumes of uniform rivets. Automation also improves efficiency and reduces labor costs.
How CNC Machining Produces Quality Rivets
The typical steps involved in using CNC machining to manufacture quality rivets include:
1. Design
Engineers design the rivet and create technical drawings with all necessary specifications. The drawings indicate measurements like shank diameter and length, head shape and size, and other attributes.
2. CNC Programming
Next, CNC programmers convert the rivet design into machine code with instructions to guide the cutters. Programs control the movements and actions of the machine tool.
3. Workholding
Operators fixture the rivet blanks – the materials from which rivets are machined – onto the CNC machine. Common workholding methods include vises, chucks, jigs, and other clamping devices.
4. Machining Operations
The CNC machine then performs a sequence of machining operations on the rivet blanks, such as:
- Facing – Flattening the material surface
- Drilling – Creating the rivet shank hole
- Turning – Reducing shank diameters
- Milling – Shaping rivet heads
- Threading – Cutting threads on shank ends
- Deburring – Smoothing cut edges
5. Inspection
Finished rivets are inspected to verify they meet all dimensional, geometric, and surface quality specifications. Coordinate measuring machines and optical comparators are commonly used for inspection.
6. Packaging
Accepted rivets are sorted, packaged, and shipped to customers. Rejected rivets go back for rework or recycling.
CNC Machines for Rivet Production
Typical CNC machines used to make rivets include:
- CNC lathes – Turn shanks down to diameter and cut angles, threads, and grooves.
- CNC machining centers – Shape rivet heads with end mills and drill shank holes.
- CNC drill and tap centers – Accurately drill and tap holes.
- CNC threaders – Cut high-quality internal and external threads.
Selecting the right CNC machines and tools is critical for efficiently producing flawless rivets.
Key Rivet Quality Factors
Some important quality factors to consider for CNC-machined rivets:
- Dimensional accuracy – Rivet dimensions must match specifications precisely.
- Surface finish – Smooth, burr-free surfaces prevent damage during installation.
- Defect elimination – No cracks, porosity, or tool marks.
- Consistent hardness – Proper heat treating ensures uniform hardness.
- Concentricity – Shank holes are centered to prevent failure under stress.
- Deburring – No leftover metal fragments that can cause issues.
- Head shape/style – Heads designed to grip properly during installation.
CNC machining delivers repeatable precision across all these critical quality factors.
In summary, CNC machining is an ideal production method for manufacturing high volumes of rivets with reliable quality. With programmable accuracy and automation, CNC machines can churn out extremely consistent rivets at a lower cost compared to manual machining processes. The capabilities of CNC allow manufacturers to fabricate tiny but mighty rivets that perform reliably when joining materials in industrial equipment, aircraft, bridges, and our built world. CNC Milling