What Does CNC Mean?

What Does CNC MeanCNC is an abbreviation that stands for Computer Numerical Control and seeks to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of industrial machines.

Just as the name sounds, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is a feature meant to enhance the work experience of using machine tools such as drilling, milling, or lathe with the efficiency of a computer. You could consider this technology as the gateway to the fourth industrial revolution.

Traditionally, machines have operated manually and would require undivided attention when running. That means the operators cannot get time to rest or focus on other tasks. The introduction of a CNC machine proves helpful as it delivers high precision, time-saving, and accuracy.

Keep reading to learn more about CNC and how it enhances your working experience with machine tools.

What is a CNC machine?

A CNC machine has automated operations as controlled by a computer. It is designed to process materials like wood, plastic, ceramic, composite, or metal to execute specific operations as programmed. It effectively minimizes the need for a manual operator to constantly feed instructions into because all expected actions are within the software.

The program that powers the industrial CNC machine could be created by a developer or using graphical computer-aided design (CAD) software. In the case of 3D printers, the printing section is often sliced before generating the program on the computer.

Other components often need various tools such as saws, mills, and drills. The machine will then typically have several tools embedded in a single cell. In other cases, machines use an external control that a robot or human operates. Whichever the case, the Computer Numerical Controller would be implemented on the parts that need close matching with the initial CAD.

Types of CNC machines

The global market for CNC equipment is ever-expanding. A study published by Global News Wire valued the market at USD 80 million as of 2019. It is projected to rise to USD 115 million by 2026 further. These findings are important because they show the industry is expanding, and we are likely to see a continued release of various types of CNC machines.

Generally, CNC machines fall into either of the following two categories:

  • Novel machining technology
  • Conventional machining technology

Leadwell Ltc-10ap CNC LatheEach of these types has different capabilities and limitations. As such, you should carefully evaluate your needs to choose a machine that works as expected.

Conventional machining technology:

  1. Lathes – Work by spinning a block of material against a drill bit, mainly on metals and wood. A CNC lathe helps with the accurate positioning of the cutting tool up to the point when it touches the spinning material.
  2. Drills – Drills are designed to move a drill bit against a stationary object, typically a block of material. Incorporating CNC drills ensures that precise holes are drilled as required.
  3. Milling machines – Most CNC machines are often associated with milling machines. They use a rotating cutting tool to get rid of unwanted material from a stock unit. These machines are designed for various purposes such as cutting gears, boring, making slots and drilling.

Novel machining technology

  1. Chemical and/or electrical machining – Different novel technologies operate based on specialized techniques for cutting materials. These include ultrasonic machining, photochemical machining, electrochemical machining, electron beam machining, and electrical discharge machining. The highly specialized machines are often applied to specific types of materials.
  2. Other means of cutting – These novel technologies specialize in cutting certain materials. They include oxy-fuel, water-jet cutting machines, plasma cutting technologies, and laser cutting machines. These highly-specialized machines are gradually gaining traction in various industries.

Benefits of CNC machine

We are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, which is happening at such a rapid rate. Different industries can no longer rely on the manual way of doing things. As that happens, you may wonder what role does CNC equipment play? Generally, CNC machining and CNC lathes drive innovation at speeds never seen before.

The following are some of the benefits that the technology delivers:

  1. Significantly cuts down on waste to close to zero

CNC machines are designed to operate using highly optimized software whose role is to deliver the final product with the least waste possible. These programs can undergo further modification to make them more efficient during an action. They run on precise, repeatable software to efficiently utilize available raw material.

  1. Increased productivity

Femco BMC-110R2 - Horizontal Boring Mills (Table)Thanks to CNC technology, it is possible to operate machines faster and make them more productive. The machines can run 24/7 without trade-offs, ensuring there is no loss in production time. These, coupled with the fact that the machines have higher accuracy, deliver faster production.

  1. Improved personal safety

CNC machines require little human input, hence mitigating machine injuries. They are designed to function without a human operator; hence accidents are at their lowest. CNC machines gain more abilities as technology advances, including automatically changing their tools.

  1. Energy-efficient

The top five energy consumers are paper (27.2 per cent), primary metal (23.2 per cent), coal and petroleum (14 per cent), chemical (12 per cent), wood products (6.4 per cent), and others (17.2 per cent). Data evaluated between 2018 and 2019 showed a 0.2 per cent increase in overall consumption. That calls for the need to implement energy-efficient systems, which can be achieved through CNC machining. The mentioned industries may be energy-intensive, but they are ripe for CNC technologies.

Check out HGR’s online marketplace for the latest CNC machines

HGR is the leading online marketplace for used industrial equipment, including CNC machines and other technologies. Visit us today to automate your industrial process and make the most of what this new technology has to offer.

Create an account with us today to connect with a dedicated salesperson for faster resolution of your inquiries and more.

Plus, visit our new partner, Tramar Industries! Tramar has been buying and selling used machinery since 1994, specializing in CNC equipment. Visit them at www.tramarindustries.com to shop from hundreds of CNC lathes, machining centers, grinders, and more.


Get insider access to exclusive offers, special events, and HGR news!

Contact (Name of Sales Rep)

[contact-form-7 id="108241" title="Sales Rep Contact Form"]

Contact (Name of Sales Rep)

[contact-form-7 id="133177" title="Sales Rep Contact Form"]