When you depend on machine work to produce parts or items for your business, being able to repeat the process easily can significantly affect the productivity of your business. CNC (computer numerical control) mills, lathes, and other machines can do that for you. The additional benefits they can add can make these tools an excellent addition to your business.
Machining parts is a job that requires a skilled machinist that can follow a plan and create the part correctly from the drawing. Repeating the process over and over means trying to duplicate the part exactly, and in most cases, that is difficult, so there will always be some scrap as a result of human error.
CNC machining allows you to use a computer program to control the machine and do several tasks simultaneously. The result is a part that is precise with no human error involved. While that does not mean there is never any scrap, the CNC machine significantly reduces the mistakes and can reduce loss enough to offset the cost of installing these machines.
An operator is needed to load and unload materials, start the process, and verify the product's dimensions coming out of the machine, but not to create the part. The operator still needs some specific training and skills to operate the machine for you, but the training allows the operator to run several different machines that use the same CNC system.
When you convert your machines to CNC machines and have qualified operators running them, the process involved with creating a part is often reduced, especially if it is a repeat project that you already have a CNC machining program written for. The time to set up the machine is minimal, and the operator can upload the program with a few keystrokes when they are getting ready to machine the item.
Once the program is set, the material is loaded into the machine, and the computer takes over. In many CNC machine shops, one operator can run multiple machines because once the program starts, the operator only needs to keep debris off the part and occasionally make small adjustments that ensure the piece comes out correctly.
Shops that once had four operators running four lathes may find they only need one operator for four CNC lathes, producing the parts automatically at a higher rate and with better precision than they did in the past. CNC machining can be used with many different materials and various operations. Working with a representative from the manufacturer to show you what you can improve may be worth some time for your business.
For more information, contact a CNC machine shop.