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.

Comments are closed