9 Advantages of CNC Machining over Conventional Machining


Posted on: Sep 17, 2018, | By Candy, WayKen Marketing Manager

Following the development of personal computers, numerical systems penetrated every industry. The same thing can be said for manufacturing. Nowadays, the advantages of CNC machining are popular among great varieties of manufacturers across many industries for their fabrication and manufacturing applications.

CNC systems have become an inseparable part of modern machining technologies. “CNC” stands for computer numerical control and the principle is: the machine tool mechanisms are connected to and united by a specialized digital control system. One machine operation that absolutely can take the place of manual works. At Wayken, with the techniques of CNC prototyping have improved a lot due to the revolutionary innovation of the CNC machine. About traditional vs CNC machining, we have made some deep understandings as bellows:

The Principles Of Conventional And CNC Machining

This system consists of a hardware part for computing purposes and a software part. The operator interacts with the software to monitor the machine tool parameters and to create CNC programs.

NC programs are basically lists of instructions on how the machine tool should act to process a specific part. The NC hardware reads the ancient program line by line and tells the machine tool to act accordingly.

Now, the conventional machining means that all the movements of the machine tool are controlled directly by the operator. He chooses when to move the tool and at which feed, when to stop and where. The operator mostly uses gauges and specialized rulers embedded in the control levers for higher precision.

The Advantages Of CNC Machining

1.Labour Safety

First and foremost, CNC machining saves lives. The operator of a CNC machine is safely separated from all the sharp parts by a special protective construction. He can still see what goes on in the machine tool through the glass but he doesn’t need to go anywhere near the mill or the spindle. The operator doesn’t have to come in contact with the cooling fluids either. Depending on the material, some fluids can be hazardous for human skin.

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2.Labour Economy

Now, conventional machine tools needed constant attention. I mean, the operator moved every part of the tool himself. That means that every worker could work only on a single machine tool. When the CNC era came, the situation changed drastically. Most parts take at least half an hour to process at every setup. But the CNC machine tool does the cutting part by itself. There is no need to touch anything. The tool moves automatically and the operator just has to check if there are any errors in the program or the setup. That being said, CNC operators found they had a lot of free time. This time can be used to work with additional machine tools. So, one operator, many machine tools. This means that you can save up on personnel.

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3.Minimum Setup Error

Conventional machine tools rely on the operators’ proficiency with the measuring tools and sure, excellent workers can set up parts with great precision. However, there are only a few excellent operators in the country. That is why many CNC systems employ a specialized coordinate measuring probe. It is usually installed into the spindle as a tool and the fixed part is touched by the probe to determine its position. Afterward, the coordinate system zero points are determined so that the setup error is minimal.

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4.Excellent Machine Tool Conditions Monitoring

With conditional machining, the operator had to pretty much “feel” his machine tool. It means that he had to determine Machining faults and cutting tools getting blunt pretty much on instinct and experience. Even then, his decisions may not be optimal. Modern CNC Machining centers are crammed with different sensors. You can monitor torque, temperature, tool life, and other factors while the workpiece is processed. Based on that information you can perfect the process in real-time.

For example, you see that the temperature is too high. Higher temperature means tool wear, worse metal properties, and so on. You can just lower the feed or increase coolant pressure to fix the issue. Despite what a lot of people say, machining is the most widespread method of fabrication today. This process of removing material chip by chip was created since immemorial times and is now a perfected precise instrument of fabrication. Every industry uses machining to some degree. There are no exceptions. However, some industries get more out of machining than others.

5.Stable Replication Accuracy

What’s more stable than a verified computer program? The movement of the instrument is always the same because its precision depends only on the precision of the step-motors. In conventional machining, the replication accuracy differs greatly because it comes from the operator. And human error is always bigger than that of a program.

6.Fewer Test Runs

Conventional machining inevitably has a few test parts. The worker must get used to the technology, he will definitely miss something while doing the first part and testing the new technology. CNC systems have a way to avoid test runs. They employ visualization systems that enable the operator to actually see what will happen to the stock after all the tool passes are done.

7.Complex Surfaces Are Easy To Manufacture

Manufacturing complex surfaces conventionally and with high precision is almost impossible. It requires a tremendous amount of manual labor. CAM systems can form tool trajectories for any surface AUTOMATICALLY. You don’t have to use any effort at all. This is one of the biggest advantages of modern CNC machining technologies.

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8.Higher Cutting Parameters

High-speed machining has become available only because of the sealed off cutting zone. At such speeds, the chip flies at high speed all over the place. The chips are followed by a shower of the coolant fluid since it is administered at high pressure when high-speed machining is concerned. Manual operation is simply impossible when the speeds reach 10000 rpm or more. The cutting speed is high and it is very important to keep the feed rate and the chip width stable to prevent vibration. It is impossibly hard to achieve manually.

9.Higher Machine Tool Flexibility

The conventional method was that a milling machine tool does groves or planes, a lathe does cylinders and tapers and drilling machines make holes. CNC Machining can combine all of the above in one machine tool. Due to the ability to program the trajectory of the tool, you can replicate any movement on any machine tool. So, we have milling centers that can make cylinder parts and lathes that can mill grooves. All of that to provide for fewer setups of the part.

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