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Avoiding warping of large plates

How do we avoid warping large plates during the machining process to meet tight flatness and parallelism specifications? It’s a well-known challenge in the industry: deforming plates during the machining process, particularly if the material removal rate is as high as 90% of the raw material size. Only a few companies master the process, which makes outsourcing difficult or almost
impossible. The specialists working in our plant in Penang (Malaysia), the Silicon Valley ofSoutheast Asia, have become the go-to people in the industry. Their Managing Director, Paul Morach, explains how it became an obsession to master the process: “Our site opened in 2013 with the machining of turned parts for the hard disc industry and changed over the years into a high precision CNC milling specialist. Subsequently, mechanical and module assemblies for customers in various industries were added to increase customer value while benefiting from lower labour costs in Malaysia. Soon, we noticed that machining plates without grinding was a niche market, so we started mastering the process ourselves. We found out it’s quite tricky: a lot of tension and stress
built into the material from the material production process, leading to unwanted deformation during the machining process. To control deformation, we designed our own classified clamping method and production process, which included flipping the plate multiple times, holding it firmly into place without curving it, and ensuring that the plate is not ‘flying off the machine’ during the machining process.”

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