CNC, which is short for computer numeric control, is the process of using programmable commands to execute a precise and exact outcome, as opposed to a machine which is controlled manually.
Using a CNC machine shop for manufacturingcomponents has a vast number of benefits over the manual method, as we will now explore further.
Use of CAD and CAM
If you are creating a product, or component, then there is a high chance that you will use either CAD (computer-aided design) or CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) in the design process. In using these programs, you are able to generate a computer file containing all of the commands required to produce the component, which is then read and actioned by a CNC machine.
This computer file can then be passed onto a CNC machine shop, who can start creating the product right away, using the correct material, with little or no further information required. A CNC machine shop will also often have machines that are able to switch between different tools, such as milling, drilling, saws and routing, allowing this all to be completed in a quick, easy and efficient manner.
Once you have the CAD or CAM computer file, it is much easier to recreate multiple copies of a component. This is particularly useful if you are mass-producing an item, or if you have multiple components that must be the exact dimensions for them to function in the correct manner. With CNC machining, subsequent production runs will be exactly the same as previous runs for consistent quality.
One of the main benefits in using a CNC machine shop is that the human input is reduced, meaning that there is less chance of an error occurring during the manufacturing process. While a manually-operated machine is only as good as the operator, you can be sure that a CNC machine shop will create the component precisely and with a much smaller margin for error.
More efficient and quicker
There is also no doubting that a CNC machine shop can produce components much faster and more efficiently too, as there is less human input and supervision of the process required. The overall production time is often reduced considerably.
As CNC looks set to continue its manufacturing dominance, any companies still using manually-operated machines are likely to be left behind by the competition, unless they upgrade in the near future.