Plastic CNC machining involves using computers to control machine tools. Traditionally, these machines were operated by a trained engineer. But, in many cases, manual operation has been replaced by computer control machines. The CNC in CNC machining stands for Computer Numerical Control. Plastic CNC machining is widely used in numerous manufacturing industries including the medical, electronics, instrumentation, semiconductor, industrial equipment, diagnostic instruments, and nuclear industry among others. Here are the advantages of CNC machines.
Efficiency and Precision
CNC machines are very efficient. They can be used continuously 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and only need to be switched off for occasional maintenance. CNC machines are programmed with a design which can then be manufactured hundreds or even thousands of times. Each manufactured product will be exactly the same.
Requires Less Skilled Operation and Easy to Update
Less skilled and trained people can operate CNC equipment. Manual lathes or other manually operated machines require skilled engineers for their operation. CNC machines can be readily and promptly updated by simply improving the software used to drive the machines.
Computer Based Training
Training in the use of CNCs is available through the use of ‘virtual software’. This is software that allows the operator to practice using the CNC machine on the screen of a computer. The software is similar to a computer game.
Advanced Products and No Need for Prototypes
CNC machines can be programmed by advanced design software such as Pro/DESKTOP®, enabling the manufacture of products that cannot be made by manual machines, even those used by skilled designers or engineers. Modern design software allows the designer to simulate the manufacture of his or her idea. There is no need to make a prototype or a model. This saves time and money.
Requires Less Man Power and Produces Uniformity
One person can supervise many CNC machines as once they are programmed they can usually be left to work by themselves. Sometimes only the cutting tools need replacing occasionally. A skilled engineer can make the same component many times. However, if each component is carefully studied, each one will vary slightly. A CNC machine will manufacture each component as an exact match.