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What is a Skiving Machine?

Larry Ray Palmer
Larry Ray Palmer

A skiving machine is used in an industrial setting to cut or shave the edge of a moving strip of material into a desired shape or to create cross-sections of stock. Also called scarfing machines, skiving machines are commonly used in applications where uniform sizes and shapes are needed but are not obtainable using other manufacturing processes, such as cold rolling. Although skiving machines are most commonly used in the process of metalworking, they also see a significant amount of use in the edge shaping of leather and similar materials.

The process of using a skiving machine is called skiving or skivetek. Using a tungsten carbide blade, the skiving machine can cut metal and other materials with greater precision than many machine tools. Advances in the technology used in skiving machine parts has made these machine tools easier to use by introducing a floating blade system that moves both the blade and the material to achieve uniform sized cuts, rather than the older style machines that required careful adjustments of the stock to the blade to achieve the same effect.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Advances in the technology used in modern skiving processes have also made it possible to plane metal and other materials at slower speeds than were attainable in the past. Using vibration to simulate an increase in speed of the moving stock, the modern skiving machine is able to cut materials that would not have been possible in early machine tool shops. This ability to cut metal at a slower speed makes it possible to utilize the skiving machine in conjunction with low-speed welding on assembly lines.

Skiving machines are commonly used in the manufacture of automobile parts, including seat belt springs and hose clamps. These machines are also used to bevel the edges of metals used in the manufacture of pipes and tubing. This beveling allows the tubing product to be seam-welded in a way that avoids pinholes in the final product.

The electronic supply industry uses the skiving machine to create highly effective heat sinks. The skiving machine's cutting abilities are why these heat sinks can be made from a single piece of metal, thus allowing the heat sinks to transfer and dissipate heat more effectively. The process of skiving leaves the fins of the heat sink with a roughened texture that creates a greater surface area and further enhances heat dispersal.

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      Man with a drill