In 1952, John Parsons of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launches the first computer-controlled machine (Numerical Control) on behalf of the US Air Force. This is how the story of the machines that today control complex systems used for CNC machining (Computerized Numerical Control) begins. Thanks to this technology, we can manufacture parts with precision and efficiency that exceed the production capabilities of conventional machines.
CNC Machining – how it is working?
CNC machining (Computerized Numerical Control) is an automated process of cutting material by a machine that includes a controller and electric drives that operate in accordance with the data provided by the technologist or operator.
CNC machining, however, is only the last stage of a much wider process. In fact, CNC technology consists of 3 stages:
1. Model of a part in a computer program
At this stage, a model of the subject is made in a specialized computer program (CAD - computer aided design). This digital model allows you to visualize all aspects of the workpiece and forms the basis for the machine software.
2. Machine control plan
CAD design now needs to be translated into a language understandable by Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). CAM programs, based on 2D drawings or 3D objects, create instructions on how to move the tool of a milling machine or CNC lathe.
3. CNC Machining
This is the last stage in which the computer-controlled machine performs the cutting in accordance with the loaded CAM program.
What types of CNC machining are there?
CNC machining allows you to shape surfaces made of any material. However, most often, CNC machining is used in the metal industry as aluminum processing, steel and other metal processing.
Due to the way the CNC machine tool works and the shape we obtain, we distinguish::
- CNC Milling – here the machine blades slide over a stationary object and we obtain grooves, cuts, threads or teeth.
- CNC Turning – here, in turn, the workpiece rotates and the lathe tool moves along its surface. With turning, you can give a workpiece cylindrical, conical and spherical shapes.
What are the advantages of CNC machining?
The possibilities offered by CNC machining for modern industry cannot be overestimated.
CNC technology allowed to shorten production processes, even for objects with complex shapes. As a result, products can be produced in series to meet the ever-growing market demand.
Standardization of production
CNC machining allows for cutting surfaces with extreme precision, thanks to which we obtain semi-finished products with identical properties, which allows for standardization of production.
Product quality and reliability
CNC cutting precision also means higher quality of manufactured items. Thanks to computer control, errors resulting from human inattention or fatigue have been minimized. The precision of workmanship also extends the life of the product.
CNC machining enables efficient execution of many versions of the object. It is enough to modify the CAM program to obtain new production parameters.
Economization of production
Thanks to the accuracy with which the CNC machine tool operates, the material can be used optimally, which, combined with shorter production times, reduces production costs.
CNC cutting does not require direct human contact with the machine. The specialist only monitors its operation via the interface. As a result, the safety of the machine operator's work increases.
CNC machining – challenges of industry 4.0
CNC technology - in addition to many advantages - poses many challenges for the industry.
High price of machines
CNC machine tools are electronic devices, so the cost of their production and maintenance is much higher than that of conventional machine tools.
High qualifications of operators
To operate a CNC machine tool, knowledge about metalworking or cutting tools is not enough. The CNC operator must also have programming knowledge. As a result, both the acquisition of the necessary competences and the implementation of an employee in a specific production company takes longer.
Cooperation of many production departments
CNC metal processing is a process that requires the coordinated work of many specialists. In order for the cutting effect to meet the high standards of approval for use, a system must be introduced:
- quality control,
- maintenance and application of failure prevention methods,
- designing production processes.
There is no doubt that the metalworking industry will have to face increasing challenges posed by production automation. We are on the threshold of the 4th industrial revolution, which turns the production process into a large network in which people interact, cloud-based IT systems and intelligent devices.
What affects the price of CNC machining?
If you are looking for a company that will perform CNC machining for you, you definitely want to know the cost of such a service. Unfortunately, it is impossible to price it without reading the specifications of a specific order. The cost of CNC machining depends on many factors:
- type of processed material,
- thickness of processed material,
- complexity of the project,
- additional services,
- the size of the order.
Therefore, at RADMOT we provide the final price for CNC machining only after we agree with the customer what the order should look like. We place great emphasis on ensuring that the information about the price is reliable for our clients. We also always explain where the valuation comes from and what elements it consists of.
CNC machining – contact us
Contact us and tell us what you need. Our valuation is completely free. And if you have doubts about which technology will work best for you, our expertise is at your service.