The Fundamentals of Computer Numerical Control Machining
Computer numerical control (CNC) machining is a type of manufacturing process that involves pre-programmed computer software that controls the movement of factory tools and machinery. From mills and routers to grinders and lathes, CNC machining controls many kinds of complex equipment to shape intricate forms of small tools such as screws, nuts, bolts and more.
Overview of CNC Programming
The software that operates CNC machines is referred to as ‘G-code’. It is programmed to control the various aspects of a CNC machine such as feed rate and coordination. The software pre-programs the position and speed of the machine’s tool functions and runs them in repetitive cycles to achieve the desired product.
Due to the software’s capabilities, the process has been adopted in almost all areas of the manufacturing industry. It is of particular importance in the areas of plastic and metal production. For instance, when a two-dimensional or three-dimensional computer-aided drawing (CAD) is made, it is translated to a computer code for the CNC machine system to execute. Once the CNC machine is ready to execute the code, a human operator gives it a trial run to ensure that there are no mistakes in the coding.
Automation of CNC Machines
The dimensions of a specific product are set using CAD software and then shaped into the finished product using manufacturing software. Creating any product requires various machine tools such as cutters and drills.
Many of today’s CNC machines combine several different tools and functions in order to accommodate what is required for manufacturing. A CNC machine consists of robotic parts that transport products from one application to another using the same software. Regardless of a machine’s setup, CNC allows accuracy and consistency in manufacturing that is difficult or almost impossible, to replicate manually.
The majority of today’s CNC machines are completely electronic. One of the most frequently used CNC machines is mills. They operate on programmes that are comprised of letter and number based prompts. The programme used for CNC mill machines are based on ‘G-code’ or a special language developed by a manufacturing team. Basic mill machines consist of three-axes; however, latest machine models can hold three additional axes.
CNC Lathe Turning
Lathe turning machines also use CNC technology. This machine has indexable tools that cut pieces in a circular direction. The cuts made by lathes are executed with accuracy and high velocity. The lathes are used to create complex designs that are not possible on manually run models of lathe turning machines. The functions of CNC-run lathes and mill machines are similar. For most CNC lathes, they consist of an X and Z-axis.
The Efficiency of CNC Machines
When complicated cuts are required at various angles and levels on a product, it can all be performed with a CNC machine within just a few minutes. As long as the machine is set with the proper code, the machine will execute the steps according to the software. Once the manufacturing process is finished, the outcome is a product of technological value and exceptional detail.
Berkeley Engineering offers six new CNC machines consisting of five CNC lathes and one CNC milling centre. To enquire about our CNC machines, fill out our form here. A