Archive: Jun 2024

The Importance of Precision Medical Device Manufacturing

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The Importance of Precision Medical Device Manufacturing

Medical instruments, equipment, and devices have strict specifications for materials, dimensions, tolerances, and finishing processes. They must be safe for critical healthcare applications and meet US and international standards in order to be brought to market.

Manufacturers serving the medical industry use several processes to achieve highly precise and accurate parts and components. Here, we’ll take a closer look at precision in medical manufacturing and some of the tools and operations used to achieve the highest quality components.

What Is Precision Manufacturing?

Precision is how closely parts match each other in terms of their finished dimensions. High precision means parts have little to no variation within a batch or production run. Achieving high precision is possible in manufacturing with computerized and automated equipment, such as laser cutting, programmable CNC equipment, and laser welding.

Ideally, components will also have a high level of accuracy, meaning the finished parts very closely match the design on the part print and correspond to dimensions and tolerances. Achieving both high precision and accuracy is the goal in medical device machining and manufacturing, regardless of the equipment and processes that are used.

The Importance of Precision Manufacturing for Medical Devices

Manufacturing for precision and accuracy is critical in medical applications to ensure proper function, long service life, patient safety, and compliance with regulations and standards.

Whether part of an assembly, instrument, enclosure, or other medical component, the more accurate it is, the better it will function in the real world. Likewise, higher precision makes it more likely that all finished devices or equipment in a batch or production run will function correctly.

Precision and accuracy come into play in every aspect of medical manufacturing. Some examples include removing small amounts of material to achieve hole diameters, forming proper bend angles and minimizing springback, or correctly locating welds in critical components. In most cases, the machines’ movements are controlled by computer programs. This makes each process highly repeatable and efficient because it avoids human fatigue, error, and variation.

Some examples include:

  • CNC medical precision machining: Subtractive operations, such as drilling, boring, cutting, milling, or turning, remove material from a workpiece to achieve part features and dimensions. All movements, blade angles, and operations are based on a computer-aided drafting (CAD) file of the part that is translated into coded instructions the CNC machine follows over and over.
  • Electromechanical Discharge Machining (EDM): An electrical discharge, or spark, between the electrode and workpiece creates thermal energy to remove material, forming complex or intricate shapes that are hard to achieve with standard CNC machining.
  • Laser cutting: The high heat of the laser cuts through and vaporizes substrate material to form an exact shape. The laser can be programmed for accuracy and efficient material use. This process leaves a clean edge that requires little additional finishing.
  • Laser welding: A high heat laser beam is concentrated to a small point to make accurate welds with a minimal heat affected zone (HAZ) on the material. It produces clean joints that rarely need additional grinding or polishing.
  • Additive manufactured prototyping: A special printer deposits a stack of very thin layers of polymer or powdered metal to create a test model of a part. This is an effective way to test design functionality and identify possible points of physical stress or failure prior to full production.

Benefits of Using Precision Machining for Medical Devices

Advantages of precision machining include:

  • Improved part uniformity: CNC and other computerized machining, laser cutting, and welding use the same operations and parameters on each cycle so there is very little variation between cycles.
  • Enhanced speed, efficiency, and production volumes: High-speed equipment performs operations more quickly than a person can and does not become fatigued.
  • Minimized human error: CNC machines use computers programmed with instructions so that all movements, cuts, and dimensions are consistent from part to part. This minimizes the risks of human error or inconsistency.
  • Minimal waste: Computer-controlled manufacturing processes can be programmed to use material efficiently for less waste. Their high precision and accuracy also result in less scrap and rework.

Precision Machining for Medical Devices From H&S Manufacturing

At H&S Manufacturing, we work with a variety of tools and techniques for automated and semi-automated medical device machining, including CNC and EDM machining, laser cutting, laser welding, and additive manufacturing. Our capabilities also include mechanical and electromechanical assembly, sheet metal fabrication, and several secondary and finishing services.

Contact us to discuss your next medical device machining project or to request a quote.

CNC Lathe Machines — What You Need to Know

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CNC Lathe Machines — What You Need to Know

Automation technology plays a substantial role in modern industrial production. Computer numerical control (CNC) machining has long been one of the driving forces of automation in the manufacturing sector, as the various CNC processes allow businesses to produce large volumes of high-quality, accurate, and repeatable goods in complex shapes. Learn more about lathe machining and the advantages of the process for diverse industries.

How CNC Lathes Operate

While manual lathing processes require an expert machinist to make high-quality cuts, CNC lathe machining achieves unmatched precision and repeatability. In CNC lathe operations, a computer translates a part’s design into highly detailed instructions that the automated lathe machine will follow exactly. Directing the movement of the rotating workpiece and cutting tools, these pre-programmed instructions detail the required cutting path of the tool, along with the proper depth, velocity, and other factors to generate a part per your specifications.

CNC lathes are quite versatile, facilitating the following processes:

  • Cutting and shaping. Lathing machines apply one or more stationary cutting tools against a rotating workpiece. As part of the subtractive manufacturing process, the tools carve away excess material with precision to leave behind a cylindrical part in the exact desired shape, with a central axis of symmetry. Common examples of lathed components include shafts, gears, and axles.
  • Drilling. When you secure a drill bit to a lathe, you can then drill circular holes in a workpiece. These holes are useful for fasteners like screws and bolts.
  • Facing. Facing tools on the lathe’s mounting system generate uniform cuts on the surface of a workpiece, generally decreasing the part’s length.
  • Knurling. Utilizing a roller with raised spikes, knurling processes pierce holes in a workpiece to texturize its surface.
  • Sanding. This finishing process creates a smooth surface on a part by rotating a workpiece pressed against an abrasive material or tool.


The CNC lathe machining process is compatible with a wide range of materials, including:

  • Stainless steel
  • Galvanized steel
  • Cold rolled steel
  • Hot rolled steel
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Plastics
  • Reinforced epoxy (FR4)

Applications of CNC Lathe Machines

CNC lathe machining is a versatile, effective production option across major industries. Some of the markets that use CNC lathing to produce high-quality components include the following:

  • Aerospace. The aerospace industry demands tight-tolerance components to safely fulfill the needs of mission-critical applications, and CNC lathing can successfully achieve that.
  • Automotive. Pistons, gears, brake drums, and shafting parts for vehicles are all components that CNC lathe machining can create uniformly.
  • Electronics. The small and intricate components within electronic devices require precision manufacturing. CNC lathing makes heat sinks, shafts, and more.
  • Medical. Precision devices are essential for healthcare applications, and CNC lathing is capable of producing everything from surgical tools to implants for the medical sector.
  • General manufacturing. CNC lathing supports the manufacturing market by creating cylindrically shaped parts in high volumes for diverse industries.

Advantages of CNC Lathe Machines

Some of the key benefits of using CNC lathing are:

  • Superior accuracy. One of the main benefits of CNC lathing is that computer-controlled lathes generate precise, repeatable, high-quality parts with tight tolerances.
  • Enhanced productivity and efficiency. Automated CNC lathes operate at high speeds without needing breaks or vacations like human workers, making lathing a good choice for high-volume projects. Lathing streamlines production, delivering optimal efficiency and throughput.
  • Complexity. CNC lathing equipment can produce components with highly complex designs and shapes as well as intricate details, especially compared to manual alternatives.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Automated machining is more precise and less reliant on manual labor, which means you’ll benefit from decreased labor costs and material waste.
  • Safety. As automated CNC lathes only require minimal human intervention to operate, they are much safer and less likely to cause worker injuries.

CNC Lathe Machining From H&S Manufacturing

Providing high-quality contract manufacturing services since 1968, H&S Manufacturing Co. specializes in precision CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, laser cutting, testing, finishing, final assembly, and more to create innovative, comprehensive solutions for our clients. Our ITAR-compliant, well-equipped facility features advanced, specialized machinery to support our custom manufacturing capabilities, integrating CNC and laser cutting. In addition to CNC lathes, we operate vertical and horizontal CNC machining centers, lasers, and brake, drill, and punch presses. Our expert team produces CNC-machined parts in dimensions of up to 24″ x 24″ x 12″ with tight tolerances of ±0.001″ (0.0254 mm).

Contact us to learn more about our extensive CNC capabilities, or request a quote on our lathe machining services today.

What Is Tapping in CNC?

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What Is Tapping in CNC?

The tapping process fulfills many important functions for industries that depend on precision-engineered threaded parts. Computer numerical control (CNC) machines enhance the accuracy and consistency of tapping in manufacturing, improving quality and making finer threads and tighter tolerances possible, even at mass-production volumes. Learn more about this versatile process, its benefits, and the markets that CNC tapping supports.

What Is CNC Tapping?

Tapping is a manufacturing technique for cutting threads into the walls of rounded drilled holes using a tap. CNC tapping follows pre-programmed computerized instructions to operate and precisely control the tap, making accurate internal threads per the needs of your application. The hole will be chamfered to eliminate rough edges and allow for an optimal fit with other threaded components like bolts and screws.

Benefits of CNC Tapping

In manufacturing, CNC tapping delivers numerous advantages for parts production. Primary benefits of CNC tapping include:

  • High-quality replicability and consistency. The CNC tapping process achieves consistent internal thread quality, reducing part variability and meeting tight tolerance windows. It’s also possible to save and reemploy a tapping program on a later production run for optimal repeatability.
  • Heightened productivity. Automated CNC tapping machines operate at much higher speeds than manual processes, resulting in maximum throughput and threading rates.
  • Flexibility. This process is capable of generating many types of threads in holes with various features and dimensions, making tapping highly versatile for achieving most tapping application requirements.
  • Minimized errors and scrap. CNC machines are highly precise, making accurate and controlled movements. Their capacity for repeatable production minimizes errors during manufacturing, equating to less part rework and scrap waste.
  • Safer operations. Controlling tapping machinery with computers minimizes human-machine interaction and keeps operators safe from hand tapping accidents.

Common Applications of CNC Tapping

CNC tapping fulfills the needs of numerous industries’ manufacturing applications, for products such as the following:

  • Aerospace parts. The aerospace industry demands repeatable, precision products for mission-critical applications. CNC tapping is capable of achieving identical threads with tight tolerances for landing gear, engine parts, aircraft structural components, and more.
  • Optics devices. CNC tapping in engineering can achieve precision down to the micron level, making it a suitable process for creating various casings, lens mounts, and adjustment devices for everything from prisms and lasers to microscopes and telescopes.
  • Automotive components. Accuracy and the ability to create high volumes of uniform components are important qualities for automotive manufacturing. CNC thread tapping is indispensable for transmission housings, cylinder heads, and engine blocks at full-scale production.
  • Telecommunication and electronic devices. Threading for sensitive or miniature electronic components, devices, connectors, and housings requires the precision that CNC tapping provides.
  • Healthcare devices. The medical sector often requires that its devices feature fine threads of exact dimensions. Many prosthetics, surgical devices, and MRI components benefit from precision CNC tapping.
  • Oil and gas components. Precise and reliable tapping is important for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of threaded oil and gas parts like pumps, valves, pipes, and meters at extraction sites and refineries.
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders. Creating threaded connection points and part ends for large amounts of hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders is more efficient with CNC tapping.
  • Valves and pipe fittings. Plumbing manufacturers rely on CNC tapping to quickly and accurately produce high volumes of threaded valve bodies, pipe fittings, sprinkler heads, and related components.
  • Dies and molds. Forging dies, injection molds, and other manufacturing tools and equipment rely on CNC tapping to apply threading to fitted components like core bolts and ejector pins.

Precision CNC Tapping Services From H&S Manufacturing

The CNC tapping process is essential for numerous precision engineering and mass-production manufacturing applications. Achieving quality results with the correct thread depth, pitch, and chamfer depends on the precision control made possible through advanced CNC tapping equipment.

Since 1968, H&S Manufacturing Co. has specialized in producing custom components to meet the exacting specifications and unique needs of our client base. For demanding industries ranging from aerospace to medical, we’re proud to offer high-quality threaded parts tailored to your application. In addition to CNC tapping, our diversified contract manufacturing and precision machining services extend to milling, boring, drilling, lapping, welding, plating, heat-treating, painting, and silk screening.

To learn how we optimize products for quality, reliability, appearance, innovation, and cost reduction, contact us or request a quote on our CNC tapping services today.