With the ever-increasing demand for production efficiency, the market for software-driven, or CNC, machining is expected to skyrocket. CNC machines are being paired with automation systems and simulation software to fuel the production rate.
Automation directs the tools to provide greater precision and accuracy relative to manual controls. A program only needs to be created once and can operate an entire factory of CNC machines with minimal human intervention.
The only situations where human intervention is desired are for loading and unloading workpieces, ensure quality control and troubleshooting.
The global market for CNC is being dominated by lathe machines and is expected to hold this position through the forecast period. Estimates show that the value of CNC machines will rise to US$70 billion in 2024.
Lathe machines are set to dominate the market, primarily due to their enormous area of application. Besides lathe machines, CNC mill machines are also predicted to witness substantial growth.
By including automation in the CNC machining process, the precision levels involved in the manufacturing of parts have risen significantly. Besides that, the pace of delivery to meet the surging requirements has also witnessed a boost.
Advanced programming spikes CNC machining productivity, and process automation streamlines the production processes while reducing the workload on human labour. Automated cuts enhance speed and accuracy, two factors that are crucial when developing prototype parts.
CNCs depend on digital directives from computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) in daily operations. The next step is for the CNC machine to interpret the design received from the CAM/CAD instructions.
Tips to automate CNC machining:
While the idea of incorporating automation in CNC machining sounds rewarding, here are some practical tips that can help you achieve this feat and proliferate profits for your CNC shop:
Despite the profusion of perks of integrating CNC with automation, CNC machines cannot be left uncatered to after being automated. You cannot expect them to operate all night and weekend in the dark.
CNC machines can only be set up to perform finishing cuts and operations overnight if appropriate programming and inspections have been made by the operator.
Here are a few scenarios where human intervention is paramount -
As market demands have constantly been on the rise, CNC machines must cater to specific requirements while ensuring timely delivery. Such a feat has been made possible via integrating automation, which not only streamlines the operational workflow but also delivers a better-quality finish.
Programming and automation are augmenting CNC machines to deliver results swiftly and accurately. While human employees cannot entirely be left out of the equation, several tasks that were earlier conducted manually have now been successfully automated.