Milling Aluminum Enclosures and Electronics Housings using DATRON high speed CNC milling machines

Machining SHIMS


Custom Shims:
Custom shims or specialty shims are often required by manufacturers in runs from tens to thousands. The come in all shapes and sizes and are made from a wide range of materials. The one characteristic that is common among most of them is that they are flat and made from sheet material. DATRON high speed milling machines equipped with integrated vacuum tables provide a high level of quality and efficiency to the production of custom shims. The vacuum table allows the operator to quickly secure sheet material from plastic foils as thin as 0.001” up to to 0.250” aluminum sheets. This vacuum table features airflow-optimized ports, with recessed chambers, to provide superior vacuum distribution. A low cost, gas-permeable substrate serves as a sacrificial vacuum diffuser, allowing the cutter to machine through the workpiece, without cutting into the table.


Aviation/Aerospace Shims:
Within the aerospace industry shims are used in a broad range of applications, like motor and vibration mounts, washers and seals. The requirement for physical characteristics such as corrosion resistance, EMI/RFI protection and strength or durability typically dictate the material used. Common aerospace shim materials include stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, carbon steel, titanium and nickel alloys.


Gearbox Shims:
Gearbox shims are often used to reduce stress or friction and to minimize noise. Since the gearboxes in many machines are small, the gears and shims are small as well. Therefore the cutting tools used to machine them are are small and running small tools is where DATRON high speed milling machines excel. For larger gearbox shims, manufacturers can benefit from the large work envelope of DATRON milling machines like the M8Cube that provides and ample 40" x 32" X, Y travel that can be used to mill larger shims or batch machine many shims in a single production run. The list of materials used for gearbox shims verylong and included metals, plastics and composite materials.


Custom Shim Materials:
302 Stainless Steel
304 Stainless Steel
316 Stainless Steel
410 Stainless Steel
Carbon Steel
Stainless Steel


Custom Shim Industries:
Construction Equipment
Electric Motors
Material Handling
Medical Components
Military and Defense Equipment
Mining Equipment
Oil and Gas Drilling Equipment
Power and Utilities
Steel Mill Equipment


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Machining Shims Showcase (Sample Photos):

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Milling Machines for Custom Shims:
While all DATRON milling machines are designed for precise machining of custom shims, there are some differentiators that may help you to narrow your search. The M8Cube offers an ample 40" x 32" work area for milling aluminum thermoforming molds. Using our PerfectCut filter this machine will produce molds with exceptional surface finish.

For machining shims that are a bit larger or require the highest quality surface finish, the M10Pro is best suited. This is our fastest and most precise CNC machining center. It features a 41" x 35" bed Its solid granite machining table adds rigidity and accuracy. HSK-25E tool holders yield less than 1 micron runout. All of this adds up to mirror-like surface finishes.

Now, if an extremely large work area is required, as is the case when batch machining shims, the MLCube features a 60" x 40" work area. Due to features like automatic tool change, batch machining can be run unattended or during lights-out production as a means of cost reduction.