The Advantages of Using CNC Machines for High Precision Material Production

17 July 2019

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) piloted machines have, in some cases, replaced conventional machine shop tools. Sure, there’s still room for manually operated routers and milling equipment, plus the radial drills that apply precisely bored openings, but automated CNC systems provide certain advantages. Frankly, those benefits can’t easily be replicated on a similarly specced, manually operated shop machine.

A Centralized Material Processing Environment

Before becoming familiar with the multi-axis machine frames, let’s step back for a moment to see how well a machine shop is doing now that it has been furnished with CNC gear. Previously, every partitioned tool station required a skilled technician, someone who would manipulate the drills and lathes with an expert hand. Now, with proprietary software operating the equipment, one tech can take care of all of those machines. The operator sits at his workstation, inputs instructions, and the automated 3 or 5-axis cutting and drilling tools swing into action.

Employing A Computerized Workflow

With a project slip received from a client, it takes time for those instructions to filter down. With computers, it’s a whole other matter. That client can draw up his own technical drawings, as is his right. Alternatively, the project administrator can take the original drawing, input its parameters into a software package, then he can generate a specially formatted version of the product that the CNC software will recognize. Emailed in this software format, the digital rendering is immediately converted into real-world coordinates and dimensions. If the geometrical profile doesn’t work out for some reason, why it’s a cinch to add a few small edits to the 3D blueprint.

Precision-Based Machine Processing

High-precision material production environments use hardened steels and exotic alloys. Sure, it’s the job of a team of technicians to fit the carbide drill bits and milling cutters. Taking this information off of the project specs, those parameters are initially manually entered. From here, the automated machines swing their tables and tool heads. Moving at high speed, significant increases in product rejection rates seem inevitable. But that’s not the case, not with these incredibly precise automated tools translating a workstation’s digital instructions into pure precision-guided tool accuracy.

Make no mistake, there’ll always be a place of prominence for manually operated machines. It’s impossible to replace a skilled tool worker’s expert eye, after all. All the same, with high-volume production rates in demand, high-precision material production lines are every bit as work-essential as they’ve ever been. Pairing that feature with geometrically intricate end-line products, CNC machines are the clear front runners, for they deliver error-free, rejection-less parts, as required by the most demanding customers.

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