In today’s manufacturing facilities, technology is making anything possible. Whereas before it may have been unlikely to come up with an idea and have the part or product created in a matter of hours, CNC has been a game-changer in many ways.
Also known as Computer Numerical Control technology, CNC is being used in more and more applications on a daily basis, helping manufacturers meet consumer demand as well as use innovation to create almost anything. If you are curious as to the specifics of how CNC has changed manufacturing, here are a few of the most important ways.
As technology has improved with CNC equipment, the result has been the ability to have it become far more user-friendly for various applications. Since CNC technology can now be easily integrated to work well with standard computers, companies can spend far less time on training employees in its usage.
Accuracy and Efficiency
Commonly used on projects involving the milling and cutting of materials such as plastic, foam, and even wood or glass, CNC machining has made it possible for projects to be completed with far more accuracy and efficiency than in years past. By being able to program the machinery more easily through a standard computer, employees can combine CNC and CAD technology to accurately create design plans that can be easily modified if needed during the manufacturing process.
Virtually No Limitations
Now that CNC technology has become more specialized and able to be paired with CAD systems, 3-D printers, and even linked to smartphones, there are virtually no limitations as to its capabilities. In fact, if a person’s imagination can think it, chances are CNC machining can be programmed to create whatever they see in their mind. Whether it is a robot that will be used for space exploration, a new kitchen gadget for consumers, or a part that will be used in a new vehicle, these and other applications are now not only possible, but easier to do than ever before.
As more and more companies are looking for ways to make manufacturing more cost-effective in terms of materials, training, and other areas, CNC machining has allowed this to happen. With the cost of CNC equipment having decreased dramatically in recent years, both large and small companies are now able to take advantage of this technology and its versatility. Because of this, less material is wasted due to mistakes made during manufacturing, companies can spend far less time and money on training programs, and additional projects can be taken on that may otherwise have had to be rejected.
Whereas before a machinist would have needed to constantly monitor the making of various parts and products, today’s CNC technology allows for many manufacturing processes to be fully-automated. In addition to creating greater efficiency, it also leads to a safer manufacturing process, since employees will not be needed to handle situations that in the past may have been hazardous.
Need for Only One Machine
Thanks to innovations with CNC technology, it is now possible for companies to purchase only one machine that is capable of performing several different tasks. In years past, a company may have needed to purchase plasma cutters, mills, lathes, and discharging machines in order to complete projects. But now, one machine can do these and other tasks, and usually cost far less in the process.
The Need for Speed
As companies know all too well, time is money. Therefore, having the ability to manufacture items as quickly as possible is essential for success. Using CNC technology, companies can now manufacture items much quicker due to the user-friendly applications and ability of more employees to use the systems with little training beforehand.
With more and more advances being made everyday in CNC technology, manufacturers are taking advantage of robotics and other state-of-the-art capabilities to ensure their manufacturing processes stay ahead of the competition.