CNC Machine

CNC is a short form for Computer Numerical Control. The CNC machine has a mini computer or a microcomputer which acts as the controller unit of the machine. The program of instructions is fed directly into the computer through a small board which is similar to the traditional keyboard.

The program of the CNC machine is usually stored in the memory of the computer with the programmer easily writing the codes, and editing the programs depending on the requirements. These programs are used for different parts, and do not have to be repeated over and over.

When compared with the NC machine, the CNC machine is one that offers greater additional flexibility as well as computational capability. Any new systems can be easily incorporated into the CNC controller by reprogramming the unit. This makes the CNC machines be called “soft-wired” NC because of their capacity and flexibility.

The CNC machine works by having a computer in which the program used for cutting the metal of the job is fed. All the cutting processes which are to be carried out as well as all the final dimensions are fed into the computer through the program. This computer therefore knows what exactly is to be done and carries out all the cutting processes. The CNC machines function like a Robot which follows all instructions that are fed in the program.

Under the traditional methods these machines are usually operated by operators who are experts in using them. Since most of the jobs must be machined accurately the operator should therefore be an expert to make the precision jobs. However, the CNC machines have minimized the role of the operators because the operator’s work is to feed the program of instructions in the computer then load the required tools in the machine center and the rest of the work will be done by the computer automatically.

The computer will then direct the machine tool in the performance of the various machining operations depending on the program of instructions that are fed by the operator. The CNC machines are reliable because they are designed to meet very close accuracies and when your job is finished, you will not have to remove it because the machine does that for you and it then picks up the next job on its own.

The following are the advantages of CNC Machines:

  1. Ability to edit the program because the program of instructions is saved in the computer memory, it can therefore be changed and edited as per the requirements. This CNC system is therefore highly flexible and an individual can also make necessary changes in the program during the manufacture resulting in economic manufacturing.
  2. The CNC machine has the ability to allow the conversion of tapes that are prepared in the metric system into the SI system of measurements.
  3. The CNC machines are highly flexible and an operator can easily make changes in the program and then store them as the new program. It is also easier to make updates in the CNC machines at a lower cost and therefore reducing the risk of obsolescence of the machine.
  4. The language used in the programs for the CNC machine have statements which are similar to the ordinary English language statements. This allows the programmer to easily master the CNC programming language and then use it for a large range of the machining operations of the job.
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