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An Overview of Aerospace Swiss Machining

The Aerospace Sector Takes Off Again


The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the aerospace industry, particularly on commercial airlines. The pandemic grounded two-thirds of the world’s passenger jets, significantly reduced maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations, and folded various airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said the sector could return to pre-pandemic figures in 2023. That’s great news for aircraft manufacturers and the aerospace Swiss machining industry, which slowed down production during the pandemic.

Is your company ready to take on the post-COVID increased maintenance demand? At Aztalan Engineering, we can help you take on any aerospace Swiss machining project. Contact us today.


What is Swiss Machining?


Swiss machining is a CNC machining process. In CNC Swiss machining, electro-mechanical CNC machines manipulate tools around a varying number of axes to cut complex, slender, or delicate parts out of certain metals. These metals might include titanium, kovar, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, bronze, and some types of plastic. 

Swiss machine designs have been around for over a century. Swiss watchmakers faced demand for smaller and smaller components necessitated by the growing market for pocket watches and wristwatches; over time, technology developed to machine tiny pieces without flexing and ruining the part. Today’s Swiss machines rely on these same principles, but now benefit from advancements in CNC programming technology that can accomplish precise cutting tasks with a single push of a button.


Benefits of Swiss Machining in the Aerospace Industry


Swiss machining can be used in a variety of industries and is commonly employed within every sector of the aerospace industry to make small or long and slender parts. Compared to other manufacturing processes, CNC Swiss Machining has various benefits that make it perfect for producing precise parts.


Tight Tolerances


Precision is of utmost importance in the aerospace industry. Dimensions, tolerances, and performance have to be exact to ensure parts don’t fail during flight. CNC Swiss machines support the workpiece right next to the point of operation during the machining process. The piece — being so close to the tooling operation — remains steady and virtually unaffected by the force of the tools. This detail ensures the highest level of precision even for small parts. 


More Complex Parts


The bar stock is well-supported throughout the machining process, meaning Swiss machines can make parts with thinner walls, more delicate features, and deeper cuts that are not possible on other machines.


Quick Turnaround Times


CNC Swiss machines can operate unmanned, meaning they can produce parts around the clock. Additionally, CNC Swiss machines are faster than other machines. A Swiss machine may often have three or four tools cutting at the same time. Since a Swiss machine can mill, drill, ream, and saw, secondary operations are often eliminated. While other machines might need an hour or more to machine a single part, Swiss machines can make more than 30 parts per hour, depending on the part’s size and complexity.


Looking for an Aerospace Swiss Machining Partner?


At Aztalan Engineering, we can offer fast cycle times and more flexibility for your aerospace swiss machining needs. We employ an experienced team of Swiss lathe experts and our CNC Tsugami Swiss-type lathes are perfect for making precision parts with high profiles and configurations.

Our lot sizes normally hover around 2,000 pieces, but we are capable of producing high-volume orders. Our Swiss lathes can operate unmanned, allowing for lights out machining and cutting the run times for larger outputs. We’re also able to use our machines to create prototypes for the aerospace industry, along with other sectors.

Aztalan Engineering is proud to be an employee-owned company with a team of talented engineers, CNC machinists, and assemblers. We’re an ISO 13485 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company focused on ensuring the highest quality products for our clients. The state of Wisconsin has also acknowledged our commitment to quality by recognizing us as a Certified Precision Machine Shop.


Get Your Aerospace Swiss Machining Ready for Takeoff


We would love to help you get your aerospace Swiss machining project off the ground. Click here to get in touch with one of our team members.


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