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What is CNC Machining & What Role Does It Play in Modern Manufacturing?
CNC machining plays a vital role in the evolving world of modern manufacturing. But what is CNC, exactly? How does it play a role in the manufacturing industry, and what do CNC machinists do? Even more so, how can aspiring CNC machinists successfully prepare for – and land – a job in CNC machining today? As a leading manufacturing and machining school in Connecticut, Goodwin College breaks down all the details below, starting with the basics:
What is CNC?
CNC stands for Computerized Numerical Control. It is a computerized manufacturing process in which pre-programmed software and code controls the movement of production equipment. CNC machining controls a range of complex machinery, such as grinders, lathes, and turning mills, all of which are used to cut, shape, and create different parts and prototypes. On the day to day, CNC machinists combine elements of mechanical design, technical drawings, mathematics, and computer programming skills to produce a variety of metal and plastic parts. CNC operators can take a sheet of metal and turn it into a critical airplane or automobile part.
What is a CNC Machine?
Computer Numerical Control machines are automated machines, which are operated by computers executing pre-programmed sequences of controlled commands. CNC machines are essentially the opposite of “old-school” devices that are manually controlled by hand wheels or levers, or mechanically automated by cams alone. Today’s modern CNC machines understand and function using CNC machining language – called G-code – which tells them precise measurements for production, like feed rate, speed, location, and coordination.
Today’s design and mechanical parts for CNC systems are highly automated – unlike the old, dangerous, factory machines you’d think of back in the day. The parts’ mechanical dimensions are defined using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and then translated into manufacturing directives by computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Therefore, it is important to have knowledgeable CNC machinists and programmers in the industry to operate this high-tech machinery.
The Importance of CNC Machining
Manufacturers in Connecticut are leaders in making vital products in the industry, such as jet engines, helicopters, and submarines. And, thanks to recent advancements in technology, gone are the days of gritty factory life. Workers today use their machining skills in a clean, professional setting with advanced and cutting-edge technology.