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Computer numeric control (CNC) machining is a specialized manufacturing process that uses computer technology to guide equipment. This makes it possible to automate production processes and increase the volume of production in industrial facilities.

CNC milling is the most common type of CNC manufacturing on the market, but companies who specialize in CNC machining often offer more detailed services like cutting, drilling, and grinding. These functions can be programmed into a single unit, or the unit can have several tool heads that are engaged during particular tasks.

If CNC machining is being used for a large volume production run, prototypes will be created at the outset to make sure that the specifications are correct. This serves to minimize wasted material and error down the line. In a facility with CNC machinery, the need for human labor is greatly reduced since a single worker can monitor several machines at once during operation. Regular maintenance is necessary to maintain the accuracy of a CNC system. Automated product manufacturing can be very fast and powerful if the needs of the equipment are properly understood.

When selecting a CNC machine shop, factors like what processes are necessary to design and create your part should be considered. The diameter, software, material capabilities, and production volume are all variables that could influence the type of CNC machinery used. Materials that are commonly worked on with CNC machinery include wood, plastics, ceramic, metals, and glass. Some manufacturers only have a limited number of machines, while others have a wide range so that they can accommodate a broader range of projects.Read More…

Leading Manufacturers

Wisconsin Metal Parts, Inc.

Waukesha, WI | 262-524-9100

Inlet Tool Inc.

Conneautville, PA | 814-382-3511

Valk Industries, Inc.

Greeneville, TN | 423-638-1284

MES, Inc.

Lewis Center, OH | 740-201-8112

ICOMold

Holland, OH | 419-867-3900

Beyond drilling, grinding, milling, and cutting; secondary services like finishing, anodizing, heat treating, lapping, stress relieving, and polishing may all be accomplished by special CNC equipment. Each of these services is controlled by its own program that has software directed by a computer code. G code, for example, is a universal CNC language. However, some manufacturers use bitmap, drawing exchange format, or M-code to control their equipment.

After the right software and materials have been chosen for a project, the CNC machining process begins as the manufacturer and client collaborate. The product can be conceptualized using computer design and imaging programs so that both sides have a sense of what will be manufactured and can make the necessary changes. The same programs then convert the concepts into code that the CNC machine will understand.

Finally, the raw materials for the product must be loaded into the machine to begin production. This may be automated or done manually by workers. The code then directs the machine as it begins working with the material. This results in precise, high quality parts that meet an exact set of specifications. The best part is that these parts can be produced quickly and in large quantities.

In the 1970’s, manufacturers began using very basic versions of CNC machining software, but the technology was limited. Huge changes and developments in computer technology have made the process much more precise and reliable. Improved codes have made CNC machines easier for beginners to operate. With computer imaging software, manufacturers are able to involve their clients in the product design before production begins.

They may even use the machines to create one or several prototypes before going into full scale production. After a production run is over, the product code can be filed away for use in the future. Today, CNC manufacturers do more than manufacture a final product. They consult, design, and optimize production for their clients.

CNC Machining Informational Video