Custom machinery is designed and produced to the client's specifications to perform an operation that may not be available with other machines. Standard models of machines are convenient for some applications but are expensive and wasteful for others. When that is the case, machinists and other industrial workers design and manufacture custom equipment that will better meet their needs.
Quick links to Custom Machinery Information
Applications of Custom Machinery
Custom machinery is used in many industries and applications, such as:
- Fiber Optics
- Food and Beverage
- Medical and Medical Devices
- Textile and Telecommunications
- General Industry Processes That Require a Specialized Machine
Custom Machinery Design and Manufacturing Process
By its very definition, there are no typical custom machines. However, certain machines are customized with more frequency than others, such as lathes, mills, hydraulic presses, shears, press brakes, MIG or TIG welders, drill presses, band saws, magnetic drills, and other machines. Such items may be customized in terms of power source, capacity, operating speed, blade size, bit diameter, length, width, and height, among other variables. The only other option for specialized machinery besides custom machines are retrofitting existing machines, as machines can be changed and adjusted to become more cost-effective or to perform new operations.
Custom machinery begins with the tooling design. Engineers and design specialists consult with the client to determine their full requirements. It is important that the manufacturer understands what exactly the client wants or else they will produce a custom piece that no one wants or uses. The engineer or specialist may work with the client to find a solution, or they may use the client's ideas as they are presented. Engineering and design departments then produce plans and specifications for the machine. These are often very detailed because of the many parts that are made from modified existing parts or that must be manufactured from scratch. The machine is then manufactured and any necessary machining or finishing processes are performed. When ready, the machine is assembled and tested. Some custom machinery may add a palletizer or conveyor system for continuous inline motion along a non-standard path. Other changes may include upgrading the machine to a high speed system that can operate at speeds ranging from two hundred to one thousand parts per minute. Factory or manufacturing automation systems are primarily custom designed because it is a cost-effective way to create parts, it is labor-saving and easy and results in consistent production.