Category Archive: Articles

  1. Custom Manifolds : CNC Machined Manifolds : CNG, Pneumatic, Hydraulic, Fluid Distribution

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    At Ktech one of our specialties is CNC machining custom manifolds. We CNC machine manifolds from a variety of different materials including Stainless Steel, Aluminum, and Plastics such as PEEK and Vespel. We machine custom manifolds for a variety of different applications such as Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), and Fluid Distribution. Our use of “light-out” manufacturing on many of these designs helps us keep our costs competitive on these CNC machined custom manifolds.

    Below are some examples of the custom manifolds that we CNC machine here at Ktech.

    Aluminum Pneumatic Manifold

    Aluminum Pneumatic Manifold – Transportation

    CNG Distribution Manifold

    Aluminum CNG Distribution Manifolds – Transportation – 7 different ports requiring many different live tools to produce in one operation.

    Hydraulic Manifold

    Stainless Steel Hydraulic Manifold – Defense Industry – This is an extreme high pressure application.

    CNG Distribution Manifold

    CNG Distribution Manifolds – Transportation

    PEEK Fluid Distribution Manifold

    PEEK Fluid Distribution Manifolds – Medical Industry – 9 very small radial ports with critical surface finish requirements at the bottom of the ports.

    CNG Distribution Manifold

    Aluminum CNG Distribution Manifolds – Transportation Industry

    Fluid Distribution Manifold

    Fluid Distribution Manifolds – Medical Industry





    If you have custom distribution manifold requirements please contact us for a competitive quote today!


  2. Design for Manufacturing (DFM) – CNC Machining

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    At Ktech, we work with our customers in the design process in order to help achieve the best functionality and aesthetics while keeping unit costs at a minimum. We plan our processes and machining methods with both Design for Manufacturing and Design for Assembly at the forefront.

    Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and design for assembly (DFA) are the integration of product design and process planning into one common activity. The goal is to design a product that is easily and economically manufactured.

    When considering design for manufacturability for CNC machining there are a number of factors that are paramount:

    Material type: Better “machinability” = lower cost material removal

    Some materials that we consider to have the best machinability include non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and brass, plastics such as delrin and peek, and steels such as 304 stainless steel. As materials get harder, denser and stronger, such as steel, stainless steel, titanium, and exotic alloys, they become much harder to machine and take much longer, which means longer cycle times and shorter tool life. A choice of material that is unnecessarily hard or tough makes a part less manufacturable. Most types of plastic are easy to machine, however some have additives such as glass which reduce the machinability.

    Tolerances: Tighter tolerances = higher costs

    One of the most significant contributing factors to the cost of cnc machined components is the geometric tolerances to which the features must be made. The tighter the tolerance required, the more expensive the component will be to cnc machine. When designing, specify the loosest tolerance that will serve the function of the component. Tolerances must be specified on a feature by feature basis. There are creative ways to engineer components with lower tolerances that still perform as well as ones with higher tolerances.

    Design and features: The cost is in the details

    As cnc machining is a subtractive process, the time to remove the material is a major factor in determining the cost to machine a component. The volume, shape and fine details of the material to be removed as well as how fast the tools can be fed will determine the machining time. What seem like simple features can make a part much more expensive to machine. Things such as small corner radius call outs at intersections, radius’s on outside corners instead of chamfers and undercuts can all add considerable cycle time when perhaps not necessary.

    Material shapes and forms:

    Metals come in all shapes and forms. The most common ones we cnc machine at Ktech are bar stock (round, square, rectangular, etc…) and plate. The size and shape of the component may determine which form of material must be used. It is common for engineering drawings to specify one form over the other. Bar stock is generally close to 1/2 of the cost of plate on a per pound basis. So although the material form isn’t directly related to the geometry of the component, cost can be removed at the design stage by specifying the least expensive form of the material.

    Please contact us if you are interested in our CNC machining services!