Your Top 3 Questions About Machine Tools, Answered

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Machine tool repair service, Phoenix machine shop, Sumner material lift

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If you’re learning about nearly any modern manufacturing or repair business, you’ll probably come across the term “machine tools.” What does this term actually mean? Read on to learn the answers to the top three questions people ask about machine tools:

  1. What Are Machine Tools?

    Machine tools are heavy, non-portable industrial machines used to work on or make parts for other machines. They typically have several moving parts but a base that stays in place, and they’re used to cut and shape materials such as wood or metal. Typically, the material (called the workpiece) stays in place or is automatically shifted as the industrial machine parts perform the desired actions by moving on one or more axes.

  2. When Were Machine Tools Invented?

    Early machine tools were handcrafted as early as 1200 BCE. The lathe, for example, dates back to Ancient Egypt. These machines were manually operated, and started including gears and levers as time went on. During the Industrial revolution, water power and steam engines were used to power machine tools.

  3. How Are Machine Tools Used Today?

    Today, machine tools are used for heavy machining or making the parts used in all sorts of other machines (cars, for example). Machine tools perform a variety of functions, such as turning, facing and boring, and are generally divided into seven categories: turning machines, shapers, power drills, milling machines, grinding machines, power saws and presses.

    Modern machine tools often feature automated industrial machine parts or worktables that reduce the possibility of human error and allow for extremely high precision machining. CNC equipment (computer numerical control, meaning that the movement is controlled electronically, rather than manually) revolutionized the machining process starting in the 1940s and ’50s, and today many processes are automated start to finish using computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing.

Do you have anything to add about machine tools or machine tool repair services? Join the discussion in the comments.

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