A new generation of computer programmers and design engineers have transformed the practice of machining into a precision art, CNC machining (computer numerical control). The manufacturing industry depends heavily on CNC machines, replacing certain operations that once required engineer operated equipment like vertical millers, routers and shaping machines.
Despite the ubiquitous nature of CNC machining in manufacturing, we still receive inquiries questioning the benefits of this process. Continue reading to learn the basic benefits associated with using CNC machining for your next project.
What Exactly is CNC Machining?
Computer numerical control (CNC) is a process that incorporates computers in order to control tools which create different types of products. CNC machining incorporates common tools like mills, routers, grinders and lathes. CNC machines require specialized software to operate properly. Before the machining process begins, a custom computer program is used to design the object that needs to be machined. The computer program helps the user control the machine tools, as well as aspects such as speed, feed rate, velocity, etc.
What are the Benefits of Working With a Company Who Uses CNC Machines?
No Rest for Machines: Unlike humans, CNC machines can operate 24/7 if desired. They only stop working when they require maintenance ore repair.
Precise Component Machining: At CAMM Metals, we use CAD Software (Computer Aided Design) to create the 3D designs of the final component. When the specifications are fed into the CNC machine’s computer, the machine is able to create the product from the material to exact specifications. This is immensely beneficial, as it allows for components of complex shapes to be created easily in a timely manner.
Suitable For a Wide Range of Materials: CNC machining can be used to manufacture products from a variety of materials. CAMM Metals offers 3 axis and 4 axis vertical CNC machining of aluminum,steel and stainless steel for general and commercial use with a maximum part size of 50” x 20”x 25”.
Expanded Capabilities: When used in conjunction with advanced CAD/CAM software, CNC machines can create outputs that cannot be rivaled by manual human-operated machines.
Limited Human Supervision: It only requires one trained worker to monitor the output of several CNC machines. The technology behind these machines has become advanced enough that one person can watch the machines work efficiently for hours on end after they’ve been programmed. Companies who use these machines can pass along the savings received from reduced manpower.
Scalability: Once the design parameters and specifications have been entered into the machine, it can process huge quantities without requiring rest.
What are the Limitations of CNC Machining?
No process is perfect; although there are numerous advantages to using a CNC machine, there are naturally a few drawbacks. For instances, CNC machines may cost more than manually operated devices, however, the benefits will eventually offset the initial costs. Beyond that, these machines require workforce training, as operators must learn how to use the necessary software while maintaining their mathematics and engineering skill sets.
That being said, the advantages of CNC machines outnumber the drawbacks, especially when you’re tasked with approaching a large project that requires a high level of consistency. Of course, there will always be applications where a manual machine will allow for a more nuanced approach.
CAMM Metals | CNC Machining in Connecticut
It's crucial to do your research when choosing a metal fabrication, as not all companies are capable of completing the same quality of work. CAMM Metals has years of experience, honing our skills across the board to deliver a quality product and measurable bottom line value to our customers.