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.

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