Other sectors have also invested in CNC machining and custom fabrication from window and door manufacturers to household appliances and electronics. CNC machining or Computer Numerical Control is a process involving the use of computers to control certain machine tools. Some of these tools controlled by advanced computer systems include lathes, mills, routers and grinders.
CNC Machining: Automating The Manufacturing Process
If you think back to the early days of the manufacturing industry, many processes were hard, intensive labour. The advent of technology, like CNC machining, has automated so much of the process resulting in less manual labour. Computer software transfers the required data to a CNC machine that does the work automatically with limited input from a person.
Computer Numerically Controlled or CNC machining has become more versatile over the years with the introduction of additional axis. This has increased the types of machines available that can manufacture smaller and more intricate parts with absolute precision.
Related: ‘5 Axis Machining In Modern Engineering’
What Does The CNC Machining Process Include?
As mentioned earlier, CNC machining works through numerical control which is a computer program. CNC machines are programmed with a CNC machining language or ‘G-code’ that controls the feed rate, coordination, location and speed. The software controls the exact positioning and velocity, making CNC machining ideal for manufacturing metal and plastic parts.
First, they create a drawing using 2D or 3D CAD software and then input code that the machine will understand. The program is loaded and before machining takes place, a human operator tests everything to ensure there are no issues. This is known as a trial run and many refer to it as “cutting air”. A trial run is a vital step in the process as any mistake with speed or tool positioning can easily lead to a scrapped part or damaged machines.
Why You Should Use CNC Machines
CNC machining is an increasingly popular method as it streamlines the manufacturing process. The decision to use CNC for your business may be daunting but there are so many benefits for your business, manufacturing processes and staff.
1. CNC Machining Increases Productivity
CNC machines have enabled manufacturers to work at a much faster pace while delivering the same high standard of products. Unlike other manufacturing methods, CNC machining can do all of that without requiring any additional resources.
2. Saves Time And Money
These machines can go continuously overnight, even weekends and holidays where they only time they stop is for maintenance or repairs. CNC machines can produce multiple customer orders within less time than traditional labour-intensive methods. It doesn’t require extra staff which means less time and money spent on training. Fact is, you only need one skilled operator to run several autonomous CNC machines while one programmer loads the required designs.
3. Eliminates Human Error
Nobody is perfect and people make mistakes, even the most experienced engineer. With CNC machining, however, human errors are all but eliminated as the machine is programmed to perform exactly as the software dictates.
4. Reduced Material Waste
Due to CNC machines being exceptionally accurate, they eliminate human error which therefore reduces the amount of wasted material. It certainly helps that the design parameters and specifications entered into a CNC machine consistently executes repetitive processes. Everything works according to scale and specifications which leaves almost no room for material waste. This can help your business save big on costs and rework time.
5. CNC Machines Are Safe And Easy To Use
Considering that CNC machines are automated, there is no need for operators to be in close proximity to the cutting tools. This result in a massive decrease in occupational health and safety accidents which is a bonus for business and staff alike. While it’s not as simple as operating a cordless drill, CNC machines are relatively simple to use with some training and practice.
6. CNC Machining Prepares You For The Future
CNC machines are all around us in almost every industry and implementing it into your business will help you prepare for the future. Technology is forever changing and you will, undoubtedly, need to adapt to changing designs, building codes and other standards. This enables your business to keep up with the latest trends in manufacturing while keeping ahead of technological advances.
7. Advanced Fabrication
In terms of fabrication, CNC machines play a vital role as several operations are involved. This includes welding sheets of metal, shearing, punching holes and flame cutting which CNC machines can perform. Due to the advanced precision, CNC machining can produce complex shapes that manual machines simply cannot.
Larger machines can be fabricated using CNC according to any desired specification and input from the operator. Because CNC machines can be programmed, and are highly flexible, they should be your first choice for fabrication.
The versatility of CNC machining is incredible and you’ll know how impressive these machines are if you’ve seen them first-hand. They serve a multitude of industries with great success, especially in the aerospace sector where they favour the five-axis option. This functionality means they can manage hard-to-cut materials like Inconel.
CNC Machining At PRV Engineering
If you want to reliable and effective CNC machining services from the top drawers, look no further than PRV Engineering. We are one of the leading engineering services in the UK providing state-of-the-art CNC machining technology for various industries. Some of these include food and chemical processing, pharmaceutical, railway, military, defence, automotive and aircraft.
Get in touch if you have any questions about PRV Engineering or how we can help with your project. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #PRVtech.
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