CNC Turning – The Obvious Choice for Engineers?
Up and down the United Kingdom, more brass pressing companies and engineering companies in general are making the switch to CNC turning. For those unfamiliar with the concept, CNC turning basically refers to a computer controlled alternative to the standard lathes and milling machines used in workshops and on factory floors for generations. It is essentially the same process by which materials are manipulated, only in the case of CNC turning the process is controlled and monitored by a computer, rather than a human being.
Of course, there will always be those who argue that the moral consequences of replacing human beings with computers make these kinds of advances detrimental. And at the same time, others insist that computers and robotics simply cannot work with the same kind of precision and perfection as a skilled human worker. In reality however, the switch to CNC turning is one that presents absolutely nothing but extraordinary benefits for those working in an engineering capacity – not to mention the clients and customers they serve.
So while there will always be those who argue to the contrary, here’s a quick overview of just a few reasons why CNC turning really is the obvious choice for engineers:
- First of all, in terms of overall output there is absolutely no comparison between CNC turning and human engineers. The reason being that while it may be possible for a human operator to work extended hours most days of the year, CNC turning machines can literally be put to use on a 24/7 basis for every single day of the year without exception. Even factoring in the time required for occasional maintenance, there is still no comparison.
- More often than not, consistency is of the utmost importance when a large or on-going order for any given metallic component is placed. For a wide variety of reasons, those ordering the components need them to be as identical as possible in order to deliver the same kind of performance. While it’s perfectly possible for human engineers to produce results that are similar, it is fundamentally impossible for them to deliver the same kind of flawless consistency as CNC turning provides as standard. Whether producing 10, 1,000 or 100,000 copies of the same component, each will be 100% identical.
- In terms of the human element, it will always be necessary for human engineers to be present in order to watch over and generally operate CNC turning machinery. However, considerably less training and expertise are required to do so, which in turn means significant savings on both recruitment and training alike. Not only this, but it is perfectly possible and relatively simple for one trained engineer to operate several CNC turning machines at the same time, rather than one traditional machine.
- CNC turning also has the potential to reduce or even eliminates costs associated with expensive prototyping. The reason being that today’s most advanced CNC turning machines work in conjunction with computer aided design (CAD) software, which can be used to build accurate 3D virtual models of products and components, before actually setting about the manufacturing process. So rather than adopting a costly trial and error process, engineers can work with CAD software until the design is perfected.
- It’s also worth bearing in mind the fact that by removing the human element from the equation for the most part, you immediately make enormous improvements to overall workplace health and safety. Industrial turning and million machines have the potential to be rather on the dangerous side for reasons that are blatantly obvious. However, when such machines are controlled entirely by computers, there is no need for any human worker to come within arm’s reach of them while operational.
- In terms of overall output, the speed at which a CNC turning machine can churn out high quality components and products is simply on another level to that of the human worker. Not only this, but in the case of the CNC turning machine there is also no need for speed of output to in any way compromise quality or consistency. Faster and more efficient output is naturally most cost effective and convenient.
- Last but not least, the software used to drive CNC turning machines can be enhanced and updated as and when required, in order to ensure that the machinery and its capabilities remain right on the cutting edge at all times. Once again, this eliminates the need for potentially expensive training costs and workforce development.