CNC Programming

CNC programming is beneficial in that it provides enhanced automation to the manufacturing process. With this programming process, the need for an individual operator can be eliminated altogether, as the programmer can in fact be the machine operator as well. The computer program, once started, can actually run with no human intervention in the entire process until it has been completed. The end result of the process is less error and higher precision levels in the final product. The final outcome once the process is complete is predictable, and in fact, the process can be repeated time and again and still end up with the same end result.

CNC simply stands for computer control. The machine essentially creates the final product based on geometrical output. The result is a part or other object that is as nearly as identical as that which it is modeled after, generally within 100 microns of the specification. Basically, once the object has been programmed, the machine can cut one right after the other, nonstop and each will be the same as the last. Once the program has been created, there is no need to program it again, and you can come back perhaps 6 months later, or even more, load the program, and get the same thing once again.

Another great benefit of the programming process is flexibility in the tools that may be used to complete the process. The machines themselves run on specific CNC programs, so producing the other work pieces will only require that the appropriate program and same machine be utilized for producing the other types of work required. The end result with this type of setup however is that the change-over from one part or object to another is relatively fast. You can be in the middle of a large run, or say, 100 pieces, and have an emergency project come in that interrupts your current run. You can install the program to run the emergency project, run it and get it done, then go right back to the original project without much lost time except the time required to produce the emergency work. This would not be possible in the old standard method of machining without costing a lot of production time.

Overall, the basic function of the machines that are run by CNC remains fairly consistent. The motion involved is automatic and precise. Rather than having to resort back to the use of manual tools that activate the motion as required in traditional machining processes, the CNC method provides this control in a manner that is innovative, and the same in the case of repetitive processes. There are at least 2 directions of motion with the majority of them, which as they are known as axes. These axes will from back and forth, up and down, side to side or whatever other way the machine is constructed, and it will create your work on the level of precision standard for the machine.


Author: Brent Cohagan