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What is CNC Machining & What Role Does It Play in Modern Manufacturing?
CNC machining ;plays a vital role in the evolving world of modern manufacturing. ;
What is a CNC Machine?
Computer Numerical Control machines are automated machines, which are operated by computers executing pre-programmed sequences of controlled commands. CNC machines are essentially the opposite of “old-school” devices that are manually controlled by hand wheels or levers, or mechanically automated by cams alone. Today's modern CNC machines understand and function using CNC machining language – called G-code – which tells them precise measurements for production, like feed rate, speed, location, and coordination.
Today's design and mechanical parts for CNC systems are highly automated – unlike the old, dangerous, factory machines you’d think of back in the day. The parts' mechanical dimensions are defined using computer-aided design (CAD) software and then translated into manufacturing directives by computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Therefore, it is important to have knowledgeable CNC machinists and programmers in the industry to operate this high-tech machinery.
The Importance of CNC Machining
Manufacturers in Connecticut are leaders in making vital products in the industry, such as jet engines, helicopters, and submarines. And, thanks to recent advancements in technology, gone are the days of gritty factory life. Workers today use their machining skills in a clean, professional setting with advanced and cutting-edge technology.
What is CNC Turning?
CNC Turning ;is a manufacturing process in which bars of material are held in a chuck and rotated while a tool is fed to the piece to remove material to create the desired shape. A turret (shown center), with tooling attached, is programmed to move to the bar of raw material and remove material to create the programmed result. This is also called “subtraction machining” since it involves material removal. If the center has both tuning and milling capabilities, such as the one above, the rotation can be stopped to allow for milling out of other shapes.
The starting material, though usually round, can be other shapes such as squares or hexagons. Depending on the bar feeder, the bar length can vary. This affects how much handling is required for volume jobs.
CNC lathes or turning centers have tooling mounted on a turret which is computer-controlled. The more tools that the turret can hold, the more options are available for complexities on the part.
CNCs with “live” tooling options, can stop the bar rotation and add additional features such as drilled holes, slots, and milled surfaces.
Some CNC turning centers have one spindle, allowing work to be done all from one side, while other turning centers, such as the one shown above, have two spindles, a main and sub-spindle. A part can bPhotoGallerye partially machined on the main spindle, moved to the sub-spindle, and have additional work done to the other side of this configuration.
There are many different kinds of CNC turning centers with various types of tooling options, spindle options, outer diameter limitations as well as power and speed capabilities that affect the types of parts that can be economically made on it.