Lapping services use a free-abrasive machining process to produce finished components with extreme dimensional accuracy and superior surface finish. They use a variety of lapping tools and lapping compounds to remove surface imperfections and achieve extremely close tolerances. Unlike other finishing processes, lapping does not introduce dimensional stress or high-temperature damage. Material capability is the most important specification to consider when selecting lapping services. Some companies specialize in working with metals such as aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, nickel, nickel alloys, steel, stainless steel, or titanium. Others work with carbides, precious metals, or hardened metals. Lapping services that finish non-metal materials such as ceramics, glass, composites, quartz, sapphire, ruby, marble, granite and stone are also available.
Lapping services may provide CAD/CAM support, design assistance, just-in-time (JIT) delivery, prototype services, low volume production, and/or high volume production. Computer aided design or drafting (CAD) is used to design products quickly and accurately. Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) is used to fabricate products directly from CAD outputs. Lapping 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. Lapping services with just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing capabilities can help customers reduce inventory costs. Companies that provide low volume or high volume production handle different lots sizes and may use different types of lapping machines.
Lapping services are located across the United States and around the world. They conform to a variety of certifications and regulatory standards, including AS 9000, AS 9100, and QS-9000. Lapping services follow four main quality standards from the International Standards Organization: ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001, ISO 13485:2003, and ISO/TS 16949:2002. Some lapping services comply with U.S. military specifications (MIL-SPEC). Others are registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Companies that provide certifications for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications are also available.
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