3 Important Types of Machining Operations

While manufacturing a part, many different machining operations and processes are necessary to remove excess material.

FREMONT, CA : To remove excess material during the manufacturing of a component, various machining operations and processes are necessary. Cutting tools, abrasive wheels, and discs, among other things, are commonly used during these operations.

Machining operations can be carried out on stock mill shapes like bars and flats or parts created by previous manufacturing techniques like casting or welding. With the advent of additive manufacturing, machining has been termed a "subtractive" process, referring to the removal of material to create a finished part.

Different Types of Machining Operations

Turning and milling are the two most common machining methods. Other systems are often integrated into these processes or are carried out on their own. A drill bit, for example, can be mounted on a turning lathe or tossed into a drill press.

Earlier, there was a difference between turning, in which the part rotates, and milling, in which the tool rotates. With the introduction of machining centers and turning centers that can perform every operation of the different machines in a single machine, this distinction has become quite blurred.


Turning is a machining method conducted by a lathe. In it, the lathe spins the workpiece as cutting tools move over it. To make cuts with accurate depth and width, the cutting tools move along two axes of motion. Traditional manual lathes and automated computer numerical controlled (CNC) lathes are the two main kinds of lathes available in the market.

The turning process may be applied to the exterior or interior of a material.


Drilling uses drill bits to make cylindrical holes in solid materials. It is one of the most critical machining processes since the holes made are also used to help in assembly. Drill presses are often used, but bits are also used in lathes. Drilling is a preliminary phase in most manufacturing operations for creating finished holes, tapped, reamed, bored, respectively, to establish threaded holes or carry hole dimensions within appropriate tolerances.


Compared to turning operations, where the tool does not spin, milling removes material using rotating cutters. The workpieces are placed on moveable tables in traditional milling machines. The cutting tools are fixed on these machines, while the table shifts the material to make the necessary cuts. 

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