About CNC Machines
The Advanced CNC machines are common in most of the present day production departments. For these companies the fabrication of metals is the core business and they must develop expertise in these processes and economize them so as to stay in the market. The automation has become a norm in the production industry and almost all the machine tools have been replaced by the CNC machine tools. The advantages offered by these machines are immense.
Working of CNC Machine Tools
The CNC machines are of various types such as Lathe, Drilling, Milling, Boring, etc. In the traditional methods these machines are operated by the operators, but in the CNC machines you have to just feed the program of various cutting and final dimensional instructions. The computer understands these instructions and operates the machine, much like the robot. The CNC machines can operate in two different ways.
In the first method the drawings of jobs that are to be made are given to the CNC machine programmer. He makes a program in a language, also called programming language, understood by the computer. To make sure that the final product will be of the desired shape and the size, one job can be made on the trial basis, though this step is not always necessary. Then the programmer can also choose the number of such parts that are to be made.
If it is a single job, the CNC machine will stop automatically after finishing the job. However, if there are more jobs, the machine will pick up the next job and follow all the machining instructions as already fed into the computer. For this purpose you should keep the raw material ready at particular location. In this way the CNC machine will keep on working continuously without wasting any precious time. The whole of the CNC machine is a sort of the Robot; in fact the technology of working behind both is same.
The second method is even more automated and is based on the concept of CAM- Computer Aided Manufacturing. In many productions shops the series of CNC machines may be combined into one station, commonly called a “cell”. This is to progressively machine a part requiring several operations. The CAM software helps in designing the product and also checking its feasibility on the computer itself. When the design is finalized, the final dimensions of the products are directly fed into the computer of the CNC machine without the need of making the drawing or complicated instructions. Thus, what you get is the final product that you have designed just a few moments ago.
The present day CNC machines can work all the days of the week and 24 hours a day continuously without any human intervention. The advanced machines are also equipped with the error detection facilities that enable the machine to call the operator’s mobile in case of emergency like broken tool, no jobs, no oil in the machine, or any other faults. Meanwhile the machine will keep on performing the other operations that it could still perform. It is surprising to know that these machines can keep on making thousands of jobs for days together without feeling the need of any operator.
This post is part of the series: CNC Machines
This article series describes the basics of CNC machines like what is CNC machines, working of CNC machines, advanced CNC machines, applications of CNC machines etc