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What is a Tight Tolerance Machine Shop?

What is a Tight Tolerance Machine Shop

Every industry requires a different level of precision for the parts they use. Some industries like the medical, aerospace, and automotive, require highly precise parts. If the parts aren’t kept within the specified tolerances, they become unusable. Many parts need to be within fractions of a millimeter to function properly.

A tight tolerance for parts is usually plus or minus 0.001 inches. If the parts are too small, there will be excess movement within the system, and if they’re too big, moving components can stick or grind.

A tight tolerance machine shop is a manufacturing shop that has the equipment, systems, and process required to produce highly precise components. These shops have highly skilled machinists who know how to use the latest machining equipment, and quality assurance teams who check the parts at various points during the machining process. Even with the latest technology, the people running the machines and checking the parts need to have the knowledge to maintain high precision.

At Spex, we use precision machining processes to manufacture metal and plastic parts and components. Our CNC machines can cut and drill parts within a 0.0002in tolerance. This is ideal for industries that require tight tolerances. 

Quality assurance maintains tight tolerances

Spex is an ISO 9001:2015 certified machine shop. This means that our teams are required to maintain quality standards and make investments for continuous improvements.

During the prototype and set up phases, every part that’s machines is measured based on the customer’s part blueprint. Our team communicates with the customer to ensure the part specifications can be met. After that, a percentage of the parts are measured to ensure they’re within the specified tolerances. 

Throughout the machining process, the cutting tools need to be checked and routinely replaced. When harder metals like stainless steel and nickel alloys are being machined, the cutting tools usually wear out faster and need to be replaced more often. Knowledgable machinists and high quality CNC machines helps maintain the tightest tolerances possible.

Industries that use tight tolerance parts

The industries that require tight tolerances usually involve moving metal components. These parts need to be exact so the assembled parts fit together properly. Tight tolerances are also needed when the parts experience high speed, pressure, and temperatures. 

Tight tolerances are most commonly used in the aerospace and automotive industries. These industries often require parts that can withstand pressure and have longevity while maintaining the right tolerances. If essential parts wear out too quickly or are the wrong size, it can cause a lot of issues. 

They’re also needed for the defense industry and in medical machines. These industries rely on precision machined parts that meet very specific measurements and can’t fail. When an airplane or helicopter is flying, or a semi truck is driving down the highway in traffic, part failure simply isn’t an option.

Many of the industries that use tight tolerance parts also need complex part designs. Parts that are too small result in extra movement or vibrations, and parts that are slightly too big cause friction. Tolerances as tight as 0.00005 inches are common. As the parts are being machined and before they’re shipped to customers, they go through rigorous quality inspections. 

To manufacture parts requiring such high levels of precision and accuracy, CNC machining is often the best solution. CNC machines can produce thousands of identical parts within the specified tolerances. 

Our machining capabilities

Spex offers a great range of tight tolerance parts and diverse material and design abilities. We have worked with customers in a variety of industries and work with engineers and product designers to manufacture the exact parts they need. 

Our machine shop and industry relationships allow us to produce virtually any part, and use any material. The CNC machines we use allow for 100% customization of production, rapid prototyping, and ultra-precise mass production. Whether you need 1,000 custom parts, or 1,000,000 our machine shop can help maintain the quality and help you avoid supply chain issues. 

CNC machines also allow us to run jobs 24/7. Modern CNC machines require very little human intervention which results in customers getting large orders quickly and efficiently. 

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Phone: (585) 467-0520

Email: sales@spex1.com

85 Excel Drive
Rochester, NY 14621