What is a CNC Machine and Why Is It Important for Compressor Parts

Computer numerical-controlled, or CNC machine operations are a manufacturing process that involves the use of tools controlled by a computer and is essential in manufacturing compressor parts.

A Laser Metal Cutting CNC Machine - KB Delta

These automated tools are used to create predefined shapes from a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, ceramic, wood, or composite. Some examples of CNC machines include routers, mills, lathes, and grinders.

On the other hand, CNC machines rely on pre-defined sequential programmed instructions written in a machine language known as G-code, and as such, they can perform without a manual operator.

The code instructs the tool on what to do, and specifically, determines the movement of the machinery.

It also controls the tool’s features, including speed, location, feed rate, and coordination. On the same note, the G-code can be written by a programmer or a graphical computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Types of CNC Machines

Various types of CNC machines are employed in the manufacturing process of compressor parts and other materials.

The mode of each machine varies; hence, they are best suited for the application they will be used in.

Some types of CNC machines include:

1. Lathes

Lathes are also known as CNC turning machines, and they cut workpieces while they are being rotated. They take advantage of indexable tools and drills to provide fast, precision cuts. On the same note, these machines feature a workpiece that is mounted on a spindle and whose rotation is done at high speed.

Next, the CNC-controlled tools advance toward the spinning workpiece in a bid to cut it to the desired shape. What’s more, this machine is suitable for complicated programs that are written to design parts that would’ve been difficult to create on manual lathes.

2. CNC Mills

These are CNC machines that take advantage of programmable input.

A machine of this kind translates programs made up of letters and numbers to move the spindle to different locations and depths.

What this means is the program’s input helps to guide the movement of rotating tools, which helps to cut and shape a fixed workpiece.

Some functions of CNC mills include:

  • Drilling
  • Face milling
  • Turning
  • Shoulder milling
  • Tapping

Furthermore, CNC mills these days may have around 3 to 6 axes. A good number of CNC mills require that your workpiece is placed on or in them. Similarly, the machine needs to be as big or bigger than your workpiece, even though there are cases like the new 3-axis machines that can be smaller than the workpiece.

3. Plasma Cutters

In a plasma cutting CNC machine, a material using a plasma torch. The method has been employed in cutting steel.

In plasma cutters, an electric arc is passed through the gas to create a high-powered torch that can cut a wide range of metals.

Gas is blown at fast speed out of a nozzle, and then an electrical arc is created through the gas from the nozzle’s surface that is being cut – the latter causes some of the gas to turn to plasma. Also, the plasma is hot enough to melt the material that is being cut. It is also fast to blow away molten metal from the cut.

4. Electric Discharge Machines (EDM)

EDM is also referred to as:

  • Spark eroding
  • Spark machining
  • Die sinking
  • Wire erosion

To generate high pressures and temperatures, EDM relies on electrical discharges. This enables the machine to cut and shape metals into the desired shape.

What happens here is the removal of material from a workpiece by a series of recurring current discharges between two electrodes.

One of the electrodes is called the tool electrode, while the other is a workpiece electrode. These electrodes are separated by a dielectric fluid that is susceptible to an electric voltage.

5. Water Jet Cutters

Water jet cutter is a tool that is used in operations such as cutting, carving, shaping, and reaming.vA machine of this type takes advantage of high controlled velocity and high-pressure jets of water to cut and shape metals, granite, and other materials.

This machine is employed in the fabrication or manufacture of parts meant for machinery or other devices.

On the other hand, water jet becomes a preferred method when the material that is to be cut is sensitive to high temperatures that may be generated by other methods.

Laser Cutting Compressor Parts - KB Delta


Why a CNC Machine is Important in the Design of Compressor Parts

The CNC machine has made it essential in the design of compressor parts. Here’s why it is so important:

1. Variety of Designs

CNC machines can be used to create materials in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They are also controlled by a program that enables them to carry out each function.

That being the case, it can be employed in building compressor parts while at the same time strictly maintaining a similar design irrespective of the number of components to be made.

It’s worth noting that CNC machines maintain precision and repeatability due to being compute-controlled. And for this reason, they are suitable for designing precise metal and components.

In the end, this ensures that each part is a perfect fit, and there are no loose ends that may affect the performance of the compressor – or worse, cause it to a breakdown in the long run.

2. Faster Designs

A CNC machine takes away the need for live operators to guide the commands of the machining tools. A software program in a CNC machine handles all the processes involved in creating and cutting the material.

Hence, it can be done faster and with more precision.

3. To Create Highly Durable Parts

CNC machines are sometimes designed for niche manufacturing, and as such, you can find those for designing compressor parts.

In electrochemical machining, highly durable metal products can be cut, while conventional CNC machines are used for prototype development during the manufacturing stage.


CNC machines have taken over manual operation of manufacturing due to the numerous benefits they provide. With just a software program, a variety of materials can be cut into various sizes, which helps to take away the need for a live operator.

What’s more, the creation of these parts is even faster, and the same design is maintained. It is also worth noting that there are different types of CNC machines, and they are tailored to a specific application.

That being the case, they can be strictly tailored to the use case you want to put the machines to.

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  • Metallic Plates

    KB Delta manufactures and stocks a complete range of metallic compressor valve plates and rings for the natural gas, refrigeration and P.E.T. industries.

  • Thermoplastic Plates

    Our specialized precision tooling and proprietary lapping process gives our customers the highest quality thermoplastic plates and rings in the industry.

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    We manufacture our own springs and stock over 2 million springs for a variety of OEM spring styles, forms and materials.

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    KB Delta offers one of the most complete lines of valve internals in the industry. All of our parts are manufactured to OEM Standards in performance and efficiency.

  • Complete Valve Repair Kits

    KB Delta offers a full line of valve repair kits for all the major reciprocating compressor manufacturers.

  • P.E.T. Compressor Parts

    KB Delta specializes in manufacturing compressor valve parts for high pressure air compressors used in the P.E.T. plastic bottle manufacturing industry.

Industries we serve

Natural Gas Industry

The processing and refining of Natural Gas into a marketable products, by separating gas into pipeline-quality natural gas and a stream of mixed natural gas liquids and the transportation of natural gas to through a series of reciprocating compressor stations and pipes, and from there to end users.

Blow Molding Industry

This industry manufactures blow molding machinery. Injection stretch blow molding process has two main different methods, a single-stage and two-stage process; these are the methods by which hollow plastic parts are formed.

Medical Technology Industry

The medical technology industry is an important part of the healthcare sector. It includes most medical devices which aid the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and illnesses. Established centers of this industry include the United States and Western Europe.