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Micro Machining

7/31/13 The definition of micro machining varies from OEM to OEM. Some see it as machining down to the size of a micron, while for others it is introducing a level of precision previously impossible.

Either way, as the name implies, micro machining means tiny tolerances and tiny features on parts. Used throughout industry, micro machined parts can be either metal or plastics, and the demand for the process has grown exponentially in recent years as the trend towards miniaturization has accelerated.

In many ways the principle behind the process is the same as traditional machining, only as in common with most micro manufacturing processes, the behavior of processes and materials at the micro level are not the same as on the macro scale. Feed and speed characteristics are all different when using tiny tools, as are the characteristics of coolants. In addition, work holding is a major challenge for micro components, and metrology is extremely tricky.

This is why the selection of a micro machining partner is so vital. In many instances, micro machining represents the fastest and most cost-efficient way of producing actual physical parts, but this is only the case if the design is sensitive to the contingencies of the process, and there is an inherent understanding of the applicability of various materials to micro machining.

While the opportunities that exist for OEMs that fully embrace the possibilities made available through micro machining are immense, it takes the use of the right equipment and an in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of the process to achieve commercial success. MES is expert in the most appropriate micro manufacturing and assembly techniques for your project. In all successful projects, MES is engaged early and is a strategic partner in a client’s micro manufacturing and assembly endeavors. MES has an in-depth understanding of the scaling problems that are characteristic of micron-sized components or components with micron sized features.

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