The Photo Chemical Machining (PCM) process offers many advantages.
- Burr and stress free
PCM is a subtractive process by chemical dissolution, so there is no induced stress and no formation of burrs. Because the adjoining metal is dissolved away, there are no imperfections introduced to the edge of the component that would be there if the part were stamped, laser cut or wire eroded.
- Low tooling costs
PCM uses 'soft' photographic film tooling, which offers cost and time advantages over 'hard' mechanical centred processes. Tool creation and modification is a simple 'CAD-to-plot' process, which takes hours, not days. Different metals can be processed using the same tooling.
- Prototype to production
PCM can be used to make one or a million parts, with the same tooling used every time. This allows the quick and easy development from prototype to pilot to full production.
- Etched fold lines
Etched fold lines can easily be incorporated in the tooling to simplify post-process hand forming, removing the need for expensive 'hard' form tools.
- Range of suitable metals
Virtually all metals (ranging from 0.01mm up to 1.50mm in thickness) are suitable for PCM.
- Material properties unaffected
Metal hardness, grain structure and ductility are unaffected by PCM.
- Complex designs easy to tool
Flexible tooling accommodates complex designs.
- 'Tagged-to-sheet' parts
Parts may be supplied independently or 'tagged-to-sheets' for ease of handling, counting, transportation and storage.
- Identification marks
Identification marks such as company logos or part numbers can easily be etched into the surface during manufacture.