Types of Machining Processes Commonly Used in Industry


Machining is the process of removing material from a workpiece to achieve the desired shape, size, and surface finish. It is a crucial technique used in many industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. There are various machining processes, each with its own unique characteristics and applications. In this article, we will explore the types of machining processes commonly used in industry and provide practical examples of their usage.

1. Turning

Turning is a machining process that involves rotating a workpiece while a cutting tool is moved along the length of the part to remove material. The workpiece is typically held in a chuck and rotated at high speeds, while the cutting tool, mounted on a tool post, cuts the material to the desired shape. This process is commonly used for creating cylindrical parts, such as shafts, bolts, and bushings. It can also be used to produce complex shapes, such as threads and tapers. Examples of turning machines include lathes, screw machines, and CNC turning centers.

2. Milling

Milling is a machining process that uses rotating multi-point cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. The cutting tools can move in multiple axes, allowing for the creation of various shapes, slots, and features on the workpiece. The workpiece is held stationary while the cutting tool is moved across it, producing the desired shape. Milling is commonly used in the production of flat surfaces, slots, gears, and threads. Examples of milling machines include vertical milling machines, horizontal milling machines, and CNC mills.

3. Drilling

Drilling is a machining process that involves creating holes in a workpiece using a rotating cutting tool called a drill bit. The drill bit is held in a rotating spindle and is fed into the workpiece to create a round hole. Drilling machines come in various types, such as bench drills, pillar drills, and radial drills, depending on the size and complexity of the workpiece.

4. Grinding

Grinding is a machining process that involves the use of abrasive particles to remove material from a workpiece’s surface. It is typically used to achieve a smooth and precise surface finish on hard and brittle materials such as metal, ceramics, and composites. The workpiece is held in place while an abrasive wheel rotates against its surface, removing material in small increments. Examples of grinding machines include surface grinders, centerless grinders, and cylindrical grinders.

5. Electric Discharge Machining (EDM)

EDM is a non-traditional machining process that uses electrical discharges to remove material from a workpiece. It involves creating sparks between a conductive workpiece and an electrode, which is separated by a dielectric fluid. The intense heat generated by the sparks melts and vaporizes the material, creating the desired shape. EDM is commonly used for producing complex and intricate shapes in hard and tough materials such as titanium, stainless steel, and hardened tool steels.

6. Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is a non-traditional machining process that uses a high-powered laser beam to cut through materials. The laser beam is focused on the workpiece, and the intense heat generated by the beam vaporizes or melts the material, creating a clean and precise cut. Laser cutting is commonly used for cutting metals, plastics, wood, and other materials in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and electronics.

In conclusion, machining is a highly specialized process that plays a crucial role in the manufacturing industry. The types of machining processes discussed in this article are just some of the many methods used to produce complex and precise parts. Each process has its own unique characteristics and applications, making them essential in different industries’ production processes. By understanding the various machining processes available, manufacturers can choose the best method to achieve the desired result effectively and efficiently.