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Machining– essential guide

Machining – what is it?

Machining – what is this ? Machining is the process of shaping a workpiece body, also known as a blank or an initial body, by removing successive layers from it with a sharp tool. A side effect of machining is chips or small particles – in the case of abrasive machining, the process is therefore called subtractive machining.

Depending on the desired final effect, various cutting techniques and tools are selected. We have turning, milling, drilling, grinding and less popular ones, such as planing, chiselling, honing, superfinishing, broaching and lapping, at our disposal.

We use machining to create elements / details necessary in the production of, for example, engines, machines, vehicles. It is indispensable in any industry.

Machining materials

What materials are processed ? Not only metals can be processed, but also glass, wood, foam, composites, MDF boards, plywood, HPL laminates and stone. Each of them has unique properties and requires a different one
treatment. However, Alabus specializes in the processing of metals and plastics. We have a wide selection here:

  • tool steel, structural steel, acid-resistant steel, carbon steel, black steel, stainless steel
  • cast iron
  • aluminum
  • bronze
  • brass
  • copper

Plastics are also popular in processing and widely used in various technological processes. We have a choice here:

  • polyacetal 
  • polyamide 
  • teflon
  • textolite
  • plexiglass
  • polycarbonate
  • polyethylene

We can see that the machining process gives us a very wide spectrum of possibilities to operate in various materials.

What machines are involved in machining?

We choose the machine depending on the effect we want to achieve. If the details are to be simple, a milling machine or a conventional lathe will be better. If, on the other hand, it is necessary to produce parts in series or more complicated – it is more effective to use a numerically controlled CNC machine.

​Milling machine

​The work of a milling machine consists in treating a surface that is stationary. This tool performs a rotary motion, removing excess material – shaping the surface the way you want it. The movement can be counter-rotating – when the cutting edge moves against the material advance, and concurrent when it is in line with the material advance.


A machine in which, thanks to a turning knife, a layer of material is separated from an object that is subject to rotational movement. The treatment of external surfaces is called turning or turning, and internal.A machine in which, thanks to a turning knife, a layer of material is separated from an object that is subject to rotational movement. The treatment of external surfaces is called turning and internal – boring.

CNC machines

Technical development is accelerating, world economies are modernizing, and the industry is automating wherever possible. Manually controlled machines are able to make many details and accurately reproduce drawings, however serial production (products in big quantity) requires numerically controlled machines: CNC – Computer Numerical Control.

CNC machine tools are machines based on a control system that uses a computer to control the entire process. This does not deprive the human being whose key and most difficult task is to properly program the device. Thanks to the automation of elements processing, we have a guarantee of very high precision and repeatability in serial production.

Examples of finished parts made of various materials

All companies have unique portfolio. Alabus presents some work to be proud of too. Below, you will find some elements resulting from the processing of various types of machines in various metals and materials. For more samples click here.