Video: Why Small Job Shops are Buying High-Tech Five Axis CNC Machines

Five-axis machining is an expensive technology, but it's not just for big, deep-pocketed companies.

Small manufacturing operations with less than twenty employees make up a large part of the American manufacturing industry. But at trade shows and in trade publications (including!) the focus is on cutting-edge, high-end technology and equipment that may seem out of reach or irrelevant for these smaller shops.

One such technology, however, is very much in play in small job shops, and that’s five-axis milling. While these machines are more expensive than traditional three-axis machines, the benefits outweigh the costs for some applications.

Preben Hansen, president of Heimatec, inc. (now called Platinum Tooling Technologies, inc.) advises manufacturing professionals interested in five-axis to think about tooling and workholding sooner in the process, rather than leaving it as an afterthought. Without the right tooling in place, it will take longer and be more expensive to get a new machine up and running.

Check out the video to see our full conversation with Hansen. 

Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.