The manufacturing industry is easily the backbone of any economy. While it’s always played a critical role, manufacturing industries no longer operate the same they did years ago. Such changes can be attributed to technology with developments, such as automation and robotics, completely changing how operations are carried out.
One such technological development that’s dramatically altered manufacturing processes is CNC milling. Short for computer numerical control, CNC is a manufacturing process where pre-programmed computer software controls the movement of machinery and factory tools. The CNC industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% to 2026, demonstrating its popularity.
CNC milling, in particular, employs these controls and rotating multipoint cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece and produce custom parts.
How is CNC Used?
CNC milling is just one aspect of CNC machining, and, in fact, it’s used for countless other applications with an extensive range of materials, such as wood, titanium, aluminum, stainless steel, silver, and synthetic materials like polycarbonate.
Some of its most common tasks include:
Benefits of CNC Milling Products
Reduced labor requirements
CNC milling only requires one operator or supervisor to ensure the manufacturing process is executed smoothly. It’s not a labor-intensive process, which means your employees can utilize their skills elsewhere in areas that demand more attention.
This is especially important in areas that require the human touch. If you’re employing fewer people in the manufacturing department, you can employ more people in departments such as customer service that could benefit from manual attention.
Creating a top-notch product involves an extensive prototyping process. While this is effective, it’s also expensive since prototyping is the only way to ensure if your product is faulty or not. CNC machinery eliminates the need to create prototypes since it significantly eliminates human error and has massive capabilities.
Additionally, using CNC milling significantly contributes to multiple areas in your business, including its overall efficiency, productivity, and effective utilization of resources. All of these factors help you lower the cost of your product or service.
These lower costs, which could lead to economies of scale, can be used to create a competitive advantage in your relevant industry. So, when you save money in one area, you can also use the same capital to reinvest in your business and expand your operations.
Wherever there is human or manual involvement, no matter how great someone is at performing a task, there’s always room for error. Employees have to take a break and even a minor distraction could affect the quality and consistency of operations.
Since CNC machines work on a digital template, this manufacturing process results in greater uniformity and consistency. This is especially useful for manufacturing businesses that produce on an enormous scale.
CNC milling gives you the exact product you’re looking for, thereby ensuring everything produced matches your required specifications. These machines are high in accuracy and make CNC milling especially valuable if you need consistency and quality.
Workplace safety is key to smooth operations, and working closely with machines can sometimes result in job-related injuries. While employing skilled individuals who specialize in a particular machine can help reduce the probability of injury, CNC milling machines also help.
While an operator manages CNC processes, they’re controlled from a distance ensuring minimal in-person contact with the machine. With less exposure to sharp tools, your workers are less likely to injure themselves while working.
CNC machines result in higher productivity since they run automatically without any human intervention. They don’t need the constant supervision of an operator, thereby automating highly labor-intensive and technical processes.
Since the computer device controls machine tools, the resulting automation improves the accuracy and speed with which your business can create prototypes. Autonomous machining and a digital template eliminate any room for human error, ensuring the time spent fixing mistakes and managing manufacturing processes are spent elsewhere.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of CNC milling is how versatile it is. It can operate in various environments and can help you produce spacers, bushings, shafts, manifolds, dies, and other parts. Its wide range of functions ensures it can be used to create any component you want.
Essentially, you only need a designer that’ll help you create a template of the product you want to build. Using a combination of machinery, such as milling units to cut and drill and the material and lathe units to rotate materials, CNC machinery is flexible enough to operate on different kinds of parts.
Due to its versatility, CNC machinery is used to manufacture parts for multiple industries, like aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, dental, and food and beverage. Apart from this, reprogramming a CNC machine doesn’t take a lot of time, so you can easily switch it up to manufacture an entirely new product. Due to this, the technology is excellent for short and long production runs both, since you can change the programming without it costing too much.
As highlighted, CNC milling can result in a variety of benefits for your business. You can boost your productivity, efficiency, safety and reduce overall costs. With its impeccable versatility, there are endless manufacturing possibilities with CNC milling. It can help your business boost its bottom line due to its immense speed and accuracy.
CNC milling is a challenge worth considering for any manufacturing business. By consulting a professional, you can determine the best choice for your business and ensure your business will benefit from this technology for years to come.
Also published on Medium.