What Is A CNC Machine Do?

What Is A CNC Machine Do

In industry, computer numerical control (CNC) is a method of automatically controlling, moving, and manufacturing precision parts using computer software built into the machine tool.

In industry, CNC is often used to cut metal and plastic parts. Common cutting tools include mills, lathes, cutters, drills, grinders, water jets, and lasers. These tools can be automated to work with CNC. Additionally, CNCs can be used to handle non-machine tools, such as machines that weld, and assemble electronic equipment, or wind wire.

Through the following content, let us take a closer look Does a CNC Machine Do?

Table of Contents

History of Computer Numerical Control

Over the past few decades, CNC technology has evolved from devices controlled by punched belts to machines that can read CNC code and create very accurate three-dimensional mechanical parts.

John Parsons was the man who came up with the idea of CNC machines. He built the first CNC machine in 1949. This machine worked by using a set of punch cards to tell the machine what to do. Later, in 1952, a group of experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology built the Cincinnati Milacron Hydrotel, the first CNC machine available to the public.

CNC Machining Service

How Computer Numerical Controls Work?

In a CNC system, the machine control unit (MCU) is a microcomputer connected to the machine. This microcomputer stores and runs a unique computer program for each item that needs to be manufactured. These programs are usually written in the international standard language G code. The programming language M code can also be used in conjunction with G code for CNC work.

G code tells the machine tool how to move and work, while M code tells the program how to move externally. The program also contains instructions and settings for the machine tool, such as the speed at which the material is fed and the position and speed at which the part moves.

At the beginning of the process, the engineer uses computer-aided design (CAD) to draw a diagram of the part to be manufactured. The drawing is then converted to G-code. The program is installed on the microcontroller and then a test run is done without raw materials to make sure everything is set up correctly and working well. This step is very important because if the speed or position is set incorrectly, it can cause damage to the machine and the part.

Once everything is ready, the CNC machine will start the program and complete the job as required. These tasks can be fabricated from scratch, printed, or cut.

Read More:What  You Should Know Before CNC Production Machining

Why Is CNC Important?

With CNC, different machine tools can create smoother, more accurate products faster. This process eliminates the need for manual machining or heavy labor input, which saves a lot of time and labor costs.

Here are some of the benefits of CNC:

Reduced Costs

Since CNC tools can be machined more accurately, it reduces the cost of production, making it more cost-effective. Less material waste, higher productivity, and the ability to scale up all lead to lower energy consumption, which reduces running costs. There is also no need to worry about the financial obligations associated with worker safety, which also helps to reduce costs.

Reduced Waste

Thanks to simulation and iterative optimization improvements, the software used to run different types of CNC machines creates little waste during the manufacturing process. This means that reducing material waste will also further reduce the cost of machining.

Improved Worker Safety

By eliminating the need for excessive human interaction, CNC computers ensure worker safety and prevent accidents from occurring. Most CNC machines are now able to operate independently, allowing people to control them from a distance for software updates, design changes, or other routine maintenance.

Reducing Human Error

CNC machines are believed to offer greater precision, complexity, speed, freedom, and repeatability. This is because it prevents people from making mistakes during the manufacturing process. Ultimately, this means that fewer mistakes will be made when manufacturing a product.

Cutting Along the Contour

With a CNC, you can do things like contouring. This allows you to mill out shapes with curves, just like in 3D printing and designing. This also opens up more options and possibilities for machining parts.

Faster MCU Code

Some CNCs can have built-in CAD software and computer-aided manufacturing software. This can speed up the writing of MCUs. Increased programming speed also means shorter machining processes, providing efficiency in the machining of parts.

Improve Operational Intelligence

Adding enterprise resource planning software and related programs such as enterprise asset management software can make operational and business intelligence tasks easier. This will help to improve plant performance and maintenance, resulting in a more cost-effective plant.

No Bottlenecks

CNCs make things better because they use more automated equipment, which reduces throughput and manufacturing bottlenecks.

Although CNC machines have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages.CNCs are more expensive, require more maintenance, and require companies to hire skilled CNC programmers.

Important Application Areas of CNC

CNC machines are important in many important fields such as health, aerospace, military, and defense. Companies in these fields need parts that are as precise as possible, as a broken part can be life-threatening. CNC tools can provide this precision.

The following are common industries that use CNC machinery.

Aerospace

CNC technology makes it easier to get the precision needed to manufacture every part of an airplane. This includes exterior casings and interior components. When CNC machining aircraft components, they need to be as precise and accurate as possible because they are often mission-critical. In addition, computer-aided machining is often the only way to meet stringent standards for flatness, roundness, and cylindricity. Tolerances as small as 0.00004 inches are also common.

Aerospace CNC machining can be done with many different materials. These materials include aluminum, stainless steel, brass, nickel, bronze, ceramics, plastics, magnesium, titanium, and high-performance metals such as Inconel.

Below are some examples of parts manufactured using CNC machines:

  • Landing gear components
  • Titanium shrouds
  • Airfoils
  • Bushings
  • Stator assemblies
  • Manifolds
  • Magnesium gearbox housings
  • Electrical connectors

Medical Equipment

In order to meet the needs of patients, the medical field relies heavily on CNC machine tools to manufacture precision, quality, and customized products. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for more masks and respirators increased the reliance on CNC machines. People receiving medical care also often use disposable medical tools to prevent contracting infectious diseases. Because of this, it is even more important for the medical field to use CNC machines to make more medical supplies faster.

Here are some of the common products that can be manufactured on CNC machines:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging machines
  • Implants
  • Orthotic devices
  • Electronic enclosures for monitoring devices
  • Research equipment
  • Shielded enclosures
  • Parts made from high-temperature plastics
  • Medical instruments
  • Customized sterile packaging
  • Food and Drug Administration-approved products

Automotive

The automotive industry is one of the most important industries for CNC machining. From creating prototypes for research and development to making large quantities of parts, every aspect of the automotive industry needs to be improved using CNC machining.

In addition, CNC mills and lathes are used to make many different parts, from large engine block sections to small gears and panels. For internal combustion engines alone, several CNC tools are required. These tools can be used to machine huge chunks of metal into engine body panels, as well as to make cylinders, pistons, and other parts used to assemble the cylinder components in an engine block.

Here are some of the parts that can be machined with CNC machines:

  • Gearboxes
  • Engine parts
  • Axles
  • Valves
  • Dashboard panels
  • Cylinder blocks
  • Gas gauges

Electronics

CNC cutting is both precise and flexible, making it an effective way to manufacture items for the electronics industry. CNC tools can work with a variety of polymers and metals, including conductive and non-conductive materials.

Manufacturing computer parts using CNC is faster because there is no need for a pre-made mold stage. Designs can also be modified and tried over and over again with little guidance. There are reports that Apple has 10,000 CNC machines and has manufactured a large number of laptops using CNC machines.

CNC machines can make the following products:

  • Consumer electronics
  • Semiconductors
  • Heat sinks
  • Printed circuit boards
  • Electrical insulation
  • Amplifier housings
  • Radiofrequency interference shieldings

Gas and Oil

CNC machine tools are used to design the large machines used on drilling rigs and in factories to make sure they fit together perfectly. If parts don’t fit together properly, cylinders may not inflate, pistons may not release enough pressure, and valves may leak. For this reason, oil companies use CNC machined parts to ensure that parts fit perfectly.

Here are some examples of what is manufactured using CNC machines:

  • Drill bits
  • Rods
  • Pistons
  • Valves
  • Hydraulic components
  • Valving systems

Marine

The marine industry relies heavily on CNC machine tools because ships require very precise components to stay afloat and function. Ships require many different types of gear, such as underwater sensors and transmission gear. As a result, the marine industry must use CNC precision when manufacturing boats and other marine equipment.

Here are some of the common parts manufactured on CNC machines:

  • Propellers
  • Insulating cases
  • Components for the engine
  • Prototype molds
  • Ribs
  • Stingers

Concluding Remarks

In conclusion, CNC machine tools are a technological marvel that has changed the face of manufacturing and machining. Its ability to perform complex tasks accurately and efficiently based on digital designs has revolutionized industries ranging from aerospace to woodworking.

These machines, guided by computer programming, have achieved previously unimaginable levels of precision and repeatability. As technology continues to advance, the capabilities of CNC machines are likely to expand, opening up new possibilities for complex and efficient production in a wide range of industries.

In essence, CNC machines are more than just a tool; they are the cornerstone of modern manufacturing, streamlining processes and advancing the field of precision engineering.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Pinterest
Subscribe to get expert design and manufacturing tips
Scroll to Top