Has your manufacturing company been on the market for some time? Are you only starting out now? No matter the circumstances, understanding technologies will help to improve your production and business operations significantly.
You are probably familiar with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining since the technology isn’t as new as many assume. In fact, the oldest machined equipment dates back to 700 B.C.
Speaking of CNC machining, it is a pre-programmed process of manufacturing that helps in creating objects via cutting material, as well as forming an accurate shape.
The CNC machining technology has had quite a history. It remains a transformative method in the manufacturing world. Because it is digitized, it can perform more effectively than additive/formative manufacturing methods. CNC machining is often utilized in prototyping, as well as in the productions of various machined parts.
Although some manufacturing brands develop their own custom CNC machines, others hire added service providers in order to ensure smoother integration. CNC milling services usually offer custom CNC milled components for a wide variety of industries.
CNC Machining Materials – Explained
CNC machining services use a variety of materials for object production. One thing to note is that the materials you select play a vital role in the core designing process. You should consider the hardness of the material, as well as its temperature, strength, and chemical resistance. Plastic and metal happen to be the most common choices.
- Plastic parts: Plastic is an optimal choice for several different types of production. It has the added benefits of being lightweight, high resistance, and electrical insulation. Yet it is commonly utilized for prototyping, thanks to lower costs and the element being not so sturdy. The most utilized plastics are polycarbonate, nylon, and ABS.
- Metal parts: Concerning their strength and resistance, metal parts happen to be the most preferred manufacturing material. Metal is significantly more durable and versatile than plastic. It is often used for prototyping custom parts and crafting batch productions. The most utilized metal is aluminum, thanks to its durability and being lightweight. It also identifies with better thermal and electrical conductivity compared to other metals.
CNC Machine Types
Even though CNC machines vary, the majority of industrially used machines would be 3-axis or 5-axis. 3-axis machines are more common since they are easier to navigate and cost less compared to 5-axis.
5-axis CNC milling parts differentiate due to being more precise and comprehensive. This type does not involve much manual work. It can produce parts different from the original axes. Yet these machines tend to be more costly.
On the other hand, 3-axis CNC machining works by eliminating material from the original object via cutting tools at ultra-speed. It is a less flexible approach employed with turning technologies and CNC milling. With 3-axis, you’re able to produce everyday products without much experience in the field. That said, this is not as accurate as 5-axis.
No matter which type you’re using for your manufacturing brand, CNC machining is showing a lot of potential. It is taking the industry by storm, and for good reason. The digitized and versatile nature of these machines brings production to a whole new level.
The Future of Manufacturing
Since modernization is the most crucial part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), it is rare to find an industry that hasn’t changed in years.
Manufacturing is not an exception, and CNC machining implementation was a massive shift. It made the main production process flexible and more efficient. And that’s not all. Below are a few changes that make CNC the future of manufacturing.
CNC machines reduce the need for manual input. This saves time and makes production procedures much more efficient. Automated tasks are faster than human-based work and digitized manufacturing not only increases efficiency in production but also helps to reduce human-made errors.
Now, should you be worried about whether the machines will replace us one day? Not necessarily, as CNC machines will not replace humans but rather empower us and make our work easier.
In the complex manufacturing sector, prototyping is highly necessary.
Prototyping helps avoid errors later on in the production process. It also helps understand the product better. Having said that, many brands skip the prototyping bit or do not invest enough time in it as it is expensive and time-consuming.
With CNC machining, prototyping has never been so affordable and easy to attain. Today, manufacturers are able to create mockups and have a better understanding of the product. It also allows them to determine which further steps should be taken in the process. This new technology navigates via manufacturing and makes developing comprehensive designs much easier.
CNC machining may drive sustainability in a number of ways. The technology does not require any additional material. As a result, it does not leave a ton of waste. It also provides little to no chances of making a mistake, saving from throwing parts and materials away and wasting crucial production time.
Moreover, CNC machining does not require additional parts like sanders or separate drills as it has everything included in the core body.
As you’re probably aware, computers and software are two of the key components of monitoring CNC machines. CAD model pre-programs select projects and upload data directly to the device. Another advantage of this technology is that it is able to perform all steps by itself, reducing the need for manual work and additional machines and tools.
Implementing digitization is essential to succeeding in today’s technology-driven world. It doesn’t only make your business stand out from its competition but also helps accelerate business operations, as well as workforce performance.
So, determine what works best for your business and let CNC machining take your manufacturing processes to the next level.
Author’s Bio: My name is Sherryn de Vos and I live in the beautiful city of Cape Town. I currently work with a startup brand that launched in South Africa called GoBeauty where I assist with content generation, as well as conceptualized events focused on business development, WordPress, digital marketing, tech, and start-up to run alongside the brand.