What Is CNC Machining?

April 24, 2018 11:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Technology is constantly changing nearly every industry, and the world of steel fabricators in Umatilla County, OR is no exception. With advancements in programming and machinery, CNC machining is now commonplace. This high-tech method offers advantages to those who are properly trained in its use.

With that in mind, it’s necessary to understand exactly what CNC machining is in order to benefit from it. Following are the basic FAQs to educate yourself on this process.

What is CNC machining?

No longer must every machine or tool be moved by hand. With CNC machining, factory machines and tools are programmed by computer software. Their movements are dictated by this programming. You can think of the machines as robots that carry out their assigned tasks. This Computer Numerical Control (CNC) method delivers a high-tech and precise manufacturing process.

How long has CNC machining been in use?

CNC machining began in its earliest form in the 1940s. At that time, motors were used to control the movement of tools. Over the decades, technology and methods advanced. Analog computers were introduced to enhance the mechanisms. Then, digital computers were used, which has led to the full development and adoption of CNC machining.

How are the machines programmed?

First, programmers write and edit the code desired for the machinery. Then, machine programmers feed programs into the machines through keyboards. If changes are needed to the program, new prompts can be added to programs already fed into the system by revising the code.

What are the advantages of CNC machining?

Speed, position and cutting are all pre-programmable with CNC machining. The software guides machinery with precise, repetitive movements that would be either difficult or impossible to complete by hand. Human operator involvement is minimal, which reduces the danger of injury, reduces labor costs and increases output.

What is the difference between an open-loop and closed-loop system?

With an open-loop system, signaling occurs between the controller and the motor in a single direction. With a closed-loop system, feedback can be sent to the controller. This makes it possible to correct errors. The closed-loop system can make necessary adjustments to position and speed as needed.

What are the most common CNC machines?

CNC-operated processes are involved in a variety of tasks. Common processes include laser cutting, ultrasonic welding and hole-punching. Some of the machines most frequently used include lathes, plasma cutters, CNC mills, water jet cutters and electronic discharge machines.

What steps are necessary to properly maintain CNC machining?

If programming error or machinery malfunction occurs, the tool’s position may move out of proper alignment. If things go awry, a crash can occur. To prevent this, encoder-disk position sensors are installed. Torque sensors are also helpful to detect unwanted movements. Closed-loop controls can also be used to reduce the potential for crashes. Additionally, all programming should be thoroughly reviewed and tested before it is used on machinery.

Do you have additional questions for your steel fabricators in Umatilla County, OR? Contact the experts at NW Metal Fabricators Inc. We offer in-depth industry knowledge to provide the information you need for your next project.

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