CNC Machines: A Manufacturing Revolution
What is a CNC Machine? It is a machine used in manufacturing of machined parts usually mass manufacturing. What does the acronym CNC stand for? CNC means Computer Numerical Control and CNC machines have been used in manufacturing from the early 1970's. The precursor to CNC machines was a similar machine called an NC machine, which stood for Numerical Control, e.g., it did not have the computer to program and store the machines movements.
If you are working in manufacturing, then you most likely will be dealing with a CNC machine on a regular basis. CNC machines are used in almost every step of the manufacturing process; from drilling holes, turning, winding, milling, grinding, cutting and other fabrication processes. Where to find CNC machines or equipment? Superior Machinery buys and sells new and used CNC machinery on a regular basis.
The primary advantage of a CNC machine is that it is computer controlled. No matter how many iterations used in the machining process, it is all programmed and controlled by its computer eliminating most if not all of the manual work otherwise associated with conventional machines. CNC machines have several advantages:
- more efficient (reduces manual labor)
- produces consistent quality (reduces mistakes or scrap)
- is more productive (reduces time to manufacture parts)
- and many other advantages not listed
CNC machines come in many forms
CNC is involved is almost every facet of manufacturing where the machining processes have been improved or enhanced through the use of CNC technology. Below is a list of some CNC machines used for manufacturing and most of these are available through Superior Machinery as used and new equipment:
- CNC Turning Centers include all kinds of turning operations like facing, boring, turning, grooving, knurling, and threading.
- CNC Machining Centers which can be CNC Horizontals / CNC Verticals include all kinds of milling (face milling, contour milling, slot milling, etc.), drilling, tapping, reaming, boring, and counter boring.
- CNC Milling Machines, CNC Drill and Tap Centers, and CNC lathes are variations of the CNC Turning Centers and CNC Machining Centers.
- CNC grinders perform a variety of grinding operations like outside diameter (OD) grinding and internal diameter (ID) grinding and Contour grinding.
- CNC Electrical discharge machining (EDM) or CNC EDM is the process of removing metal through the use of electrical sparks which burn away the metal.