Computer Numerical Control, or CNC is a form of machinery that has been continuously increasing in popularity, which is not a surprise. CNC is a high tech manufacturing method that allows many designers to efficiently create the product they have envisioned.
This effectively means that CNC machines allow one to create highly complex components that require extreme precision and accuracy, which unfortunately is not an option, when using conventional machining methods.
CNC machining has its own specialised software that allows it to control cutting tools or other manufacturing components. The machine effectively reads a digital model of the component and uses a coding language to tell the cutting machine where to perform the cut, the speed at which the cut needs to be performed, and much more. This allows the machine to be highly sophisticated and precise in nature.
Benefits of CNC machining, for the manufacturing industry
Conventional machinery often requires the operation or supervision of an engineer throughout the process. However, CNC machines are generally hands off. They can operate in the complete lack of any direct input and are ready to go as soon as they receive their instructions from the computer and the raw materials are supplied. This lack of manual labour, or downtime allows CNC machines to even operate on a 24 Seven basis, allowing them to effectively speed up the manufacturing process.
Lack of Human Error
In industries like automotive, dentistry, and aerospace, it is highly important to use components and parts that are extremely precise and have a high degree of uniformity. This is because the machines in these industries are quite complex and require different parts to fit together absolutely perfectly.
Even the slightest variation in size or shape could end up causing the final product malfunction, which is not a viable option. When using conventional methods or creating a product by hand, there is always a margin for error, which does not exist with the high level of precision and accuracy of CNC machinery. CNC machines are capable of making incredibly complex and detailed products, with a high level of precision.
Lower Manufacturing Costs.
As mentioned earlier, using CNC machines, creates a reduction in the need for manual labour.
This effectively means that the amount of resources used to create a certain part is significantly reduced. The only thing that needs to be bought are the software licences for the CNC machine and a skeleton crew to oversee the process. This effectively means that your manufacturing costs and overheads are significantly reduced, especially in the long run.
As mentioned earlier, the margin for human error with conventional methods is extremely high.
When manufacturing components, you can be sure that there are a lot of mistakes made in the process of production which leads to a pile of raw materials that cannot be used and often need to be discarded. CNC machines, however, are extremely precise and exact leaving zero room for error and effectively utilising 100% of the materials in the production process, increasing efficiency.
One of the biggest cons with traditional manufacturing methods is the creation of a new product.
Any new product requires a prototype that needs to be designed in advance. This means creating a new device with its own drilling and cutting axes to produce the brand new prototype, which has never been created before. It’s easy to see why CNC machines are ideal for this purpose as it negates the need to purchase separate parts for manufacturing. All one needs to do is make small changes to the design in the software and it will be relayed to the machine that will carry out the creation of the prototype with absolute precision.