CNC machines increase efficiency and scalability in manufacturing
Like all industries, modern manufacturing is rapidly changing. One particular thing driving this growth is CNC machines. A Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine makes it possible to scale manufacturing without losing quality and accuracy. These machines were first introduced in the 1940s and 50s, and they started with “punched tape” technology.
Today, this technology has come a long way. Now, CNC machines rely on Computer-Aided Design (CAD) files to create prototype parts. Because it’s all controlled by the computer, these are highly technical and highly automated products. There’s no more need for manual intervention within the manufacturing process, and this saves time and money. Let’s explore the different ways in which CNC machines have impacted manufacturing today.
1. Faster Than Ever
One of the biggest and most obvious influence is the increase in manufacturing speed. There are countless man hours saved by automation and pre-established movements. Because a computer file is generated before commands are extracted, the machine knows exactly what to do. There is no more human intervention throughout the manufacturing process, and this is big news.
Not only are they faster, but they can operate much longer. These machines can operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They don’t need breaks like humans, and they don’t need to take days off. This allows for greater efficiency and speed than manufacturing has ever seen.
Prototypes have often been expensive and complex. As a vital stage of the product creation process, prototyping is a way to prepare a new product or material for mass production. Traditionally, manufacturers require a product to be produced in mass quantities in order to be affordable to the creator, but this isn’t always possible when trying to figure out design flaws.
Today, CNC machining has revolutionized prototyping. Because the creation of the product is all computer-enabled, it’s easy to make small adjustments to perfect designs. There is also no more need for costly production methods or large quantities of production prior to more advanced manufacturing stages. Read more about the powers of CNC machining prototyping.
3. Less Waste
Traditional manufacturing involves quite a bit of waste. This is mostly seen with the materials. If workers made mistakes during the production process, these materials would simply be thrown out. This drove up costs for both customers and manufacturers. Today, thanks to CNC machining, machines are able to utilize the most material for every project. There are no more small errors that lead to a waste of materials, and this is only one of the ways machines are more efficient than humans.
In addition to fewer materials, you also don’t need as many machine parts. Purchasing separate devices like drills, saws, and more is costly. With CNC machining, many of these are all-encompassing, so there’s no more need for owning several different parts. It’s like getting several machines for one price.
4. One-Step Manufacturing
Finally, the last way we’re going to explore is one-step manufacturing. With CNC machining, the process will always begin with a CAD model. The design is finalized at this stage before being introduced to the CNC machine. There’s no need for a lengthy and complex process to manufacture. Because CNC machines are additive, the product is all one step. There is no interaction from the operator of the machine during this build phase.
In essence, one-step manufacturing means new products can be created in as little as a few hours. This is revolutionary. There’s no longer a dependence on the different manufacturing processes, and the designer has more control than ever before.
Today, we have a lot to thank CNC machining for. In the next few years, the reach of this technology will likely be much father, and it may expand beyond manufacturing alone. Who knows where this technology will take us in the future?