What Makes Large Part Machining Different?

Reko International Group

Machining large components presents challenges at every turn. For example, complex parts that need to undergo multiple stages of machining and finishing are difficult to move from station to station. Large parts also can be too big to fit within CNC machine work zones or inspection areas and they can be too heavy for workers to move or lift safely. When your next project calls for large part machining, it’s important to look for professionals who have the specialized equipment and experience to meet the job’s unique challenges.

Design Considerations

High-quality, large part machining starts with the equipment that can produce the parts. Manufacturers must have the machinery and work processes to handle the challenges of machining large parts, including the following:


Machining parts generates heat, either directly through the cutting mechanism or indirectly due to friction. This heat drastically increases during the machining of large parts, often requiring a cooling period between the various machining operations. This must be accounted for to ensure the integrity of the part.

Accuracy and Speed

Rather than completing the piece in a single pass, large part machining professionals make incremental changes. This initial time investment increases the quality of the workpiece and decreases the risk of expensive delays and modifications.

Another accuracy factor that can affect large pieces is distortion. Large parts are even more vulnerable to distortion caused by stress throughout the production process. While careful machining techniques are essential, it’s also important to use CMM verification processes to inspect the part at different stages and ensure it stays within acceptable tolerances.


Large part machining requires the use of equipment with larger work zones and greater reach. For example, a large Gantry style vertical CNC machine has a larger work envelope than a vertical machining center.

Machining Processes

To best meet the above manufacturing considerations of large parts, the machining processes need to use different equipment and techniques. Some common large part machining processes include:

Multi-Axis Machining

These machines can move along Multiple axes, or different directions, across the X, Y, and Z axes and the A and B rotational axes. This is more versatile than 3- or 4-axis machines and leads to more efficient machining of large part sections from different angles.

Contour Boring

Machining also can involve contour boring, a process that finishes uneven surfaces. A machine fitted with contouring tools can finish hard-to-reach sections, radii, or angles of the workpiece to create consistent, high-quality finishes.

Deep Hole Drilling

Deep holes are ten times greater than the diameter of the hole itself. The machining processes to achieve deep hole drilling need to be precise and preserve the integrity of the part. Specialized deep hole drilling systems can perform these tasks, which are common on many large parts.

Large Diameter Boring

Large diameter boring is a multi-step process that carefully centers the cut and bores through the metal with minimal disruption to the surrounding material. The process involves milling, rough boring, and finishing stages.

<Explore the difference between drilling and boring for large components.>

Choose Concorde Precision Machining for Large Part Machining

Large part machining is a specialized set of processes for oversized parts that need careful handling and machining. Because of their size, these parts have unique heat, distortion, and weight considerations. Work with a professional large part machining service to ensure the parts are machined and finished with the specialized equipment to meet tight tolerances and protect the integrity of the parts. Contact our team at Concorde Precision Machining today to learn more about our large component machining capabilities, including remanufacturing of large industrial components.

Machining Solutions: Drilling vs. Boring

Reko International Group

Drilling and boring are sometimes confused, but the two processes are used for different purposes. The drilling process creates a hole in the workpiece, while the boring process enlarges a preexisting hole. Boring may be used to create closer tolerances and higher quality finishes in drilled holes.

What is Drilling?

Drilling uses a drill bit that rotates rapidly as it moves through the workpiece, effectively shaving away the solid material and creating a round hole. Drill bits are available in a comprehensive range of sizes to facilitate different hole sizes. Manufacturers of cutting tool equipment are constantly in a state of research and development to provide their customers the most cost-effective solution. Working with technically smart tool salespeople is important so that you are always at the cutting edge of what is available.

Drill bits are multi-point tools, which means they provide a minimum of two cutting edges. As such, the drilling process is fairly efficient and is particularly beneficial for increasing the axial length of a hole. The depth and diameter of the hole is directly dependent on the size of the drill bit.

It is important to note that improper chip evacuation can be a problem in this process, particularly on vertical style machines when drilling deeper holes. High pressure coolant will in most instances take care of this issue. Machinists must use the correct machining strategy to evacuate chips properly rather than continuing to drill without pause.

The drilling process is versatile and can be used to create holes of a variety of diameters and depths. Depending on the available equipment, machinists can drill using:

  • Horizontal or vertical milling machines
  • Machining centers
  • Drill presses
  • Hand tools

What is Deep Hole Drilling?

Deep hole drilling is a specialized drilling process which creates holes with a depth-to-diameter ratio of 10:1 or more. This manufacturing process is performed using specialized deep hole drilling machines or systems, which are designed to efficiently evacuate chips and deliver high pressure coolant. As an example, this process is commonly used to create barrels for firearms, though there are a variety of other applications across industries. At Concorde we have a portable deep hole drilling system which can be moved to one of three machines that have been set up for deep hole drilling. This allows us to deliver quick turn-around for deep hole drilling services.

<Find out what makes large part machining operations different from standard machining.>

What is Boring?

Drilling is the primary process used to create the hole, while boring is a secondary process that can enlarge or finish a preexisting hole. As the size of the initial hole is entirely dependent on the drill bit, boring can be a vital step in creating a hole closer to required tolerances.

There are two major types of boring operation: roughing and finishing. Roughing enlarges a hole by removing significant portions of metal to prepare the hole for finishing. This process is best for tolerances of IT9 or larger. Conversely, finishing is a more precise process which utilizes shallow cutting depths to improve the surface finish and positional accuracy of a hole. This process helps achieve close tolerances of IT6-IT9.

Unlike drill bits, boring bars are single-point tools and are capable of creating accurate holes. Contour boring operations are able to accurately produce tapered bore as well as bores with added features such as radii and chamfers. As the boring process does not drill straight through solid material, chip evacuation is rarely an issue. As such, boring bars may be fed continuously into the workpiece without much risk of clogging.

While some applications call for specialized equipment, such as jig borers and boring mills, boring can typically be achieved with more generalized machining equipment such as mills and machining centers.

Drilling and Boring Services from Concorde Precision Machining

With over 40 years of industry experience, Concorde Precision Machining provides expert large-part machining services for a wide variety of industries. Our capabilities include:

Our advanced machining capabilities produce high-quality components that you can depend on. To see how our offerings can benefit your next project, contact us today.

Concorde Precision Machining Response to Covid-19

Reko International Group

During these times of uncertainty, we at Concorde Precision Machining are focused on the safety of our team, community and families; meeting the expectations of our customers and finding innovative ways to achieve both these objectives. We continue to offer precision machining of medium to large components, complete with world class quality control all the way to cleaning and Millipore standard validation so that your parts are assembly-ready. If capacity is a problem for you, or your current vendor is letting you down, give us a call.

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