The advanced engineering and manufacturing techniques applied in the production of precision systems require highly accurate techniques. From the smallest component to the exterior housing and final packaging, every detail needs to be carefully planned and executed. Precision engineering is the science that provides solutions for designing sophisticated and reliable equipment. During the process, qualified engineers evaluate the function of each separate part and its relationship to the entire system to create an effective well-tuned system.
After the design completion, precision manufacturing is used to produce a finished part or system that meets accurate specifications. These methods often provide the only solution to ensure a product that withstands full reliability requirements and produces consistent results. During both the engineering and manufacturing phases, specific methods are employed that incorporate tight tolerances, rigid machining processes and provide full production control. Throughout the process, engineers and manufacturing personnel trained in precision applications work together to provide a fully qualified product.
Precision Engineering Fundamentals
Compared to human engineering design methods where flexibility and greater variations are acceptable, precision engineering requires exact measurement control. If the system is intended for use in the medical industry, aerospace, transportation or consumer goods, for example, applying the technical expertise of precision engineers guarantees consistent and reliable results. In many cases, errors in design or manufacturing could lead to bodily harm or critical equipment failure. Using precise engineering technology eliminates the possibility of experiencing uncontrolled or unexpected results.
The use of highly accurate engineering methods is often applied when designing equipment that requires superior performance. Typical precision applications incorporate very low tolerances where only slight variations between units are allowed. Precision engineered systems must also meet stringent reliability criteria where a guaranteed lifespan is required and where equipment failure during that period becomes unacceptable.
Precision Manufacturing Techniques
The key to producing a successful precision component or system involves finite control during the manufacturing process. Extremely low manufacturing tolerances must be held at all times and the equipment used to manufacture units must always be consistent.
In contrast, systems that feature manual controls and can be adjusted to varying levels without harm to other equipment can be manufactured in less controlled situations. Units manufactured in a clean room environment reduce the risk of pollutants and foreign substances affecting their performance. Moving parts that rely on close interaction and highly mechanized functionality benefit from precision manufacturing.
Manufacturing facilities that incorporate state-of-the-art lathes, polishing equipment, and ultra-precision machinery with the ability to hold extremely tight tolerances are used in precision applications. In qualified facilities, repeatability specifications meet higher standards than in non-precision manufacturing houses. Customers rely on consistent quality assurance levels between units, an important consideration when incorporating components within a larger system.
Examples of Precision Engineered Equipment
Precision engineered equipment is generally used in applications where unexpected changes could be detrimental to other equipment or personnel. Measurement systems that require exact calibration, for example, must be manufactured under the tightest controls to maintain consistent quality. Equipment used for producing components used in highly accurate applications such as in optical equipment or biomedical systems requires precision design techniques. Other examples include products featuring precise instrumentation, robotics, electro-mechanical assemblies and complex automated mechanisms.
Learn more about high quality precision engineering and other professional services involving precision manufacturing.