Archive: May 2024

What Is Milling?

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What Is Milling?

Milling is one of the most popular fabrication methods used across a range of industries because of its unique advantages. With milling, companies can create high-quality custom components made with various materials to meet their needs.

Milling involves the removal of material from a stock workpiece using a rotating cutting tool. In this subtractive fabrication process, the workpiece forms the desired final shape after the removal of enough material. Modern milling machines often work in conjunction with computer numerical control (CNC) technology to increase automation, precision, quality, and consistency of the produced parts.

Here we’ll discuss the benefits and applications of milling operations across a diverse range of industries.

Benefits of Milling

Many applications require milling solutions because of the specific benefits they offer over other types of processes. These advantages include:

  • Versatility: This manufacturing process offers more versatility, with the ability to create many types of shapes out of varying materials. Other processes like additive manufacturing or 3D printing have material restrictions that limit design flexibility.
  • Precision: Medical, aerospace, and other industries require high-precision designs in their components and end products, which CNC milling can produce.
  • Efficiency: Milling is also highly efficient, allowing you to develop top-quality parts and components much faster than you could with alternative manufacturing methods. As such, this process is ideal for large-volume production runs.
  • Superior Quality: Milling operations offer better quality than what you would get with less precise and accurate processes, eliminating the need for additional finishing.
  • Automation: With the assistance of programmable CNC machines, the milling process can be completely automated, which reduces the need for manual intervention while increasing productivity.
  • Greater Consistency: Another advantage of milling is more repeatability to produce parts of consistent quality.
  • Cost-effectiveness: The reduced need for human labor and increased productivity translate into overall cost reduction, making the end product more profitable.
  • Ability to Machine Hard Materials: CNC milling equipment can work with many types of materials of varying hardness, including Inconel, steel, and titanium. These materials are much more difficult to effectively machine using other types of fabrication techniques.

Industries Served

A wide range of industries and applications use milling to manufacture parts and components, including:


CNC milling helps manufacture many components that allow for safe flight while adhering to weight restrictions. Applications for milled parts in this industry could include everything from prototypes and replacement components to manifolds, transmissions, and aircraft frames. CNC milling helps fabricate even the most intricate parts using lightweight, high-strength materials such as aluminum.


This industry often relies on milling operations for producing large volumes of parts for oil and gas equipment, natural gas pipelines, nuclear energy plants, and more. Additionally, energy suppliers may use this process to develop parts for use in solar, wind, and hydropower systems, allowing for more efficient energy production.


Farming components such as incubator parts, gearboxes, and transmission housings depend on CNC milling for fabrication.


Automotive manufacturers and OEMs often use CNC milling to manufacture water pumps, cylinders, piston rods, engine blocks, vehicle headlights, and interior lighting.


Manufacturers of medical equipment often need complex designs fabricated with high precision, which CNC milling offers. Parts made with plastic and metal materials benefit from CNC milling’s efficiency and precision, helping produce equipment and instruments of all types.


Pistol locking mechanisms, drones, weapon components, and many other military applications frequently utilize CNC milling in their fabrication.

Reliable Milling Services from H&S Manufacturing

Want to benefit from high-quality CNC milling services for your application? H&S Manufacturing offers custom manufacturing solutions, specializing in milling operations, sheet metal fabrication, mechanical and electromechanical assembly, and testing. Whether your project is for a military, medical, aerospace, or other application, we can design and fabricate products to your unique specifications.

Contact us today for more information about our capabilities, or request a quote to get started on a new project with our team.

Aerospace Foreign Object Damage – AS9146 Compliance

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Aerospace Foreign Object Damage – AS9146 Compliance

Foreign Object Damage (FOD) is a major concern in aviation, aerospace, and defense craft and operating environments, including maintenance facilities, airfields, and aircraft manufacturing plants. FOD can risk the safety of personnel and cause serious damage, including direct damage to aircraft parts like sensors and engines. Indirect costs of FOD include delays, increased maintenance, and risk of injury to personnel.

Managing FOD effectively can minimize operational interruptions, prevent safety breaches, and minimize repair costs. Read on to learn more about how you can protect your aircraft, personnel, and facilities from unforeseen damage.

Understanding FOD

FOD is any object, particle, substance, or agent that could cause economic or physical damage to an aircraft. The acronym “FOD” can refer to foreign objects or the damage caused by said objects. This includes wildlife strikes during operation, debris on the runway, or maintenance tools inadvertently left in the aircraft.

Minimizing and managing FOD can take many forms. Best practices include taking proactive measures to control wildlife near airports, utilizing strict tool control protocols, and meticulously cleaning work zones.

AS9146 Standard and FOD

The FOD Prevention Program requirements defined by AS9146 standards provide guidelines for organizations involved in the development and design of defense, space, and aviation products and services. Under this standard, organizations must conduct thorough risk assessments for FOD, establish mechanisms for continuous monitoring, and encourage a culture of awareness and prevention.

AS9146 compliance increases safety and operational integrity by addressing FOD risks systematically at each stage in product development, handling, and delivery. The AS9146 standard is intended to complement common customer specifications and their applicable regulatory and statutory requirements, rather than replace them.

FOD in Manufacturing

FOD risks can significantly impact the efficiency of production processes and product quality in manufacturing. Proper control and management of FOD in manufacturing are critical in reducing the risk of product damage and avoiding unintended costs or delays.

FOD management protocols to integrate into manufacturing procedures and processes include:

  • Routine inspections of the facility
  • Using the proper equipment
  • Personnel training
  • Strict tool and part controls
  • Organization and cleanliness
  • Work area oversight

Some valuable best practices to prevent FOD in aerospace manufacturing include using protective coverings during sensitive part assembly, utilizing magnetic sweepers to collect metal debris, and establishing clean zones to carry out critical operations.

FOD Detection Systems

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) evaluates various detection technologies as they serve to elevate safety standards in aerospace applications. Major U.S. airports use automated FOD detection systems to detect and remove hazardous foreign object debris before they can damage aircraft. Optical sensors and radar help teams monitor surfaces at the airport for FOD, providing real-time monitoring and alerts to airport operation centers.

The FAA highlights the critical nature of integrating technology in FOD management protocols to maintain airport operations and enhance airfield safety.

Take Action Against FOD: Join Us in Leading Aerospace Safety and Compliance

A preventative approach is critical to safeguard operations and ensure compliance with AS9146 standards. Implementing FOD management practices with a trusted partner can help you manage risk and remain competitive in the aerospace industry.

H&S Manufacturing offers various solutions to meet your organization’s FOD management and control needs. Our services include precision forming, shearing, punching, extruding, bending, notching, welding, and graining, as well as assembly and finishing.

Contact us or request a quote to learn how our expertise in aerospace manufacturing can help you reduce costs and maintain the highest quality and safety standards.