Electrochemical, photochemical and chemical milling services use etching, electrochemical, and photochemical processes to create unstressed, high-precision parts. Electrochemical machining (ECM) is based upon the controlled, anodic dissolution of a workpiece (anode) and tool (cathode) in an electrolytic cell. To achieve electrolysis, an electric current is passed between two electrodes. The resulting electrochemical reaction dissolves the metallic ions at the anode’s surface and copies the cathode’s shape into the workpiece. Photochemical machining is similar to ECM, but can remove metal by either etching or electrochemical reaction. With photochemical machining, the resulting parts have a very high tolerance and precise shape. Other processes performed by electrochemical, photochemical and chemical milling services include electrochemical milling, electrochemical machining, chemical blanking, photomilling, and photomachining.

Electrochemical, photochemical and chemical milling services may provide additional services such as CAD/CAM support, design assistance, just-in-time (JIT) delivery, rapid prototyping, low-volume production, and high-volume production. Computer aided design or drafting (CAD) is used to design parts quickly and accurately. Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) is used to fabricate products directly from CAD outputs. Electrochemical, photochemical and chemical milling services that provide design assistance can help with concepts, manufacturing costs, manufacturing techniques and material considerations such as sourcing. They may also be able to assist with upgrading, redesigning, reevaluating or modernizing existing products to increase performance and/or reduce manufacturing costs. Some electrochemical, photochemical and chemical milling services have just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing capabilities or can provide prototypes for use in presentations or functional testing. Others provide low-volume or high-volume production.

Electrochemical, photochemical and chemical milling services are located across the United States and around the world. They adhere to a variety of certifications, regulatory requirements, and quality standards. Electrochemical, photochemical and chemical milling services follow four main specifications from the International Standards Organization (ISO): ISO 9001:2000, ISO 13485:2003, ISO 14001, and ISO/TS 16949:2002. AS 9000, AS 9100, and QS-9000 are industry-specific quality standards that are based on ISO 9001. Both AS 9000 and AS 9001 define quality management system (QMS) requirements for suppliers to the aerospace industry. QS-9000 is a quality standard for suppliers of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. Some electrochemical, photochemical and chemical milling services are registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or comply with U.S. military specifications (MIL-SPEC). Others meet internal company specifications or requirements from original equipment manufacturers (OEM).


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