Advantages of CNC Prototyping
CNC (computer numerical control) prototyping is a fairly new process in the field of machining that allows for better efficiency through higher levels of automation, and by making the machine and its computer controls carry out all the work. While CNC prototyping machines are complex and expensive, they almost immediately pay for themselves by lessening the workload and precluding errors.
The first key advantage of CNC prototyping is that it improves automation, removing the need of an operator for all but a few parts of the work. CNC prototyping machines can be left to itself for hours or even days if needed, allowing operators to perform other tasks. This also allows a company to employ fewer operators, therefore saving on overhead expenses. Without an operator, safety is increased as no one will be holding the tool, and in the event of a potentially hazardous machining error, only the tool will suffer damage. CNC prototyping machines can also work a lot faster than human machinists, as they are much stronger and have no need to take breaks. They can also work late at night, when the majority of the workers have gone home, since machines do not need to be concerned about sleep or being paid for overtime hours.
The second most significant benefit to CNC prototyping is that it produces the same exact result each and every time. Even the best human operator will have trivial variations among finished outcomes, but a CNC machine will bring exactly the same result all the time. This is highly important in the modern time of homogeneous and exchangeable parts, where a single defective cut can render the machine entirely unusable. All that will be necessary is one program to be developed and installed into the machine. Then the machine can work away at however many work pieces are needed, producing an exact replica down to thousandths of an inch each and every time.
The third considerable advantage to CNC prototyping is the machine’s flexibility. Though humans are a lot more flexible and trainable in comparison to machines, a CNC machine can be totally reprogrammed in a matter of hours to manufacture a completely different product. Therefore, it is possible to revert back to old programs or install new programs if a new work piece is needed. This gives CNC prototyping machines a great advantage over other machines, because they can easily shift to producing a totally new product without having to install new parts or performing an overhaul of major components. This also makes sure that CNC prototyping machines can cope with customer demand, because they can readily shift from parts that are in surplus to parts that are lacking, in case a need arises.