Comparing the Principles and Benefits of CNC Machining and Manual Machining

14 June 2022

The needed parts of various industries, especially those made from metals, should be designed and planned thoroughly before prototyping them. Once their specifications have been adjusted or modified, manufacturers can now produce them in large quantities.

Not all industries share similar parts. Hence, they would have to maximise various types of machining so they can attain their needed products. Two machining processes that manufacturers can utilise are computer numerical control (CNC) and manual machining. Knowing the difference between the two in terms of their principles and benefits can give you an idea of how they can be utilised effectively.

Here are more details about CNC machining and manual machining.

CNC Machining

CNC machining is a product of various technological advances as it utilises software in controlling the movement and behaviour of tools. Basically, this type of machining uses digital files to provide the necessary cutting and tooling instructions for the whole process. These files are then modified by engineers and machinists, who rely heavily on digital tool libraries to effectively control CNC machines. The software used for this process is often used to apply digital instructions and design 3D models, allowing manufacturers to achieve the required dimensions and properties of parts.

Since CNC machining mostly permits software to control the tools, it does not require a lot of operators anymore. With only a few skilled machinists, they can already carry out the production tasks right away. The upkeep needs of machines and tools used for CNC machining are also minimal, providing significant savings to manufacturers. CNC machining can likewise fabricate parts precisely, efficiently, and consistently. It can even make the production process safe.

CNC machining can be effective in handling CNC milling machines, CNC lathe machines, and electric discharge machines.

Manual Machining

Manual machining, alternatively, is the primary source of machining evolution. Without manual machining, it would not be possible for CNC machining to exist. You see, this type of machining conducts everything manually. From the positioning of the tools down to the placement of the workpieces, all of these are handled by operators. Some of the machines that can be manually operated are bandsaws, lathes, grinders, drill presses, and endmills. These tools do not rely on software for their movement. Instead, they rely on the machinists who must position them carefully to avoid wasting resources.

Even though CNC machining looks more advantageous than manual machining, the latter still has some benefits over its automated counterpart. For one, manual machining can still be beneficial for production plants that have to manufacture parts in small quantities. It can even be used for low-budget operations. Another benefit of manual machining is that it can be effective in producing simple metal parts. The simplicity of manual machining makes it beneficial for businesses with small operations.

The tools utilised in manual machining can be hazardous. Hence, they must be handled with care. Additionally, they must only be maximised by experts.

Both CNC and manual machining can be advantageous to specific applications. To know more about these machining processes, you can contact us at Amon Engineering.

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