Why has CNC machining surpassed conventional machining?
As we enter a new decade, we look back at the steady rise of CNC machining and why it has surpassed conventional machining.
The term ‘CNC’ literally means ‘Computer Numerical Control’. The technology was introduced to reduce human effort and make production processes more efficient.
The main goal for both CNC machining and conventional machining aim towards one goal — producing quality machined parts.
The major difference is in the approach and the fact that one option requires manual labour while the other boasts 90% automation.
The recent shift of major manufacturing companies over the past 20 years to utilize the power of CNC machining over convention methods does not come as a surprise.
Below are some of the major reasons why CNC machining is where it is today and how it can help your business improve in best practise methods.
- Reduced Labour Costs
Every machine needs a dedicated technician with experience, skill, and extensive knowledge. In comparison, CNC machining is hugely controlled by a software program and requires very little human interaction apart from the initial set up and data feeding. CNC machining also demands less advanced training, further reducing the labour costs. With computers playing a major role, the chances of human error and compromised workplace safety are also reduced by a larger percentage.
- Large Quantity / Highest Quality
Conventional machining is mostly set for low volume, small-quantity projects. CNC machines, have been built to provide accuracy whether they are tasked to produce a few dozen machined boards or thousands of them.
The high-quality material gives them resistance to wear and tear, which is common with conventional machining. As a result, they can run 24 hours a day with timely but quick maintenance. Additionally, CNC machining utilizes advanced software, which can be updated regularly per specifications, to allow for the easy manufacture of super-complex parts.
CNC machines also come with automated cooling systems, reducing the chances of heat damage. Many advanced machine models come with built-in chip storage and a conveyor belt for chip management.
- Part Replication is 100 times better
Built to control exact velocity and positioning, CNC machines can produce several thousands of identical parts in a record time, a feat that is impossible to achieve with handheld or conventional machining. Machines can be programmed to apply the same cut or do the same finishing repeatedly without compromising the quality of the machined part. Conventional machining, on the other hand, requires a skilled operator to manually place the tool at every step of the machining process, which obviously would take a lot of time and patience. And even with such dedication, variations are to be expected.
- Ability to Develop Complex Parts
CNC machines can be reprogrammed and updated at any time, giving them the liberty to produce 3D, 4D or even 5D parts with ease. This allows for a smoother shift between regular CNC machined part production and complex part production if required. Additionally, the software can store designs, so you can revisit any desired shape or other design even faster.
CNC machining is designed to focus on precision; machines adamantly maintain the specifications provided by their operator. Throughout the production process, every step is visually tested to ensure the desired effect and dimensions.
- Works for Every Material Type
This is probably the biggest advantage CNC machining has over conventional machining. CNC machines can utilize almost every type of material, including metal, steel, wood, foam, or sensitive plastics.
CNC Machining Adaptability
Delivering top-of-the-line accuracy, precision, and speed for product quantities both high and low, CNC machining presents a highly beneficial choice for manufacturers across a variety of industries.
Contact us on how you can get in contact with a CNC manufacturer today.