What’s the difference between traditional and CNC machining?
Professional metalworking continues to use both CNC machine tools and traditional machines that require manual operation. Before making a choice, it is useful to know what capabilities are offered by one or the other technology and which solution will work for you.
The main difference between CNC and traditional machining
The main difference is based on the design of the machine. In traditional machining, the machine used is manually operated and requires the constant presence of a worker. His tasks include manually programming the machine and controlling the machining process.
A CNC machine, on the other hand, is equipped with built-in computer software, and a specially designed program is responsible for its operation. In this way, the machine basically carries out its operations independently and needs to be operated only from the control cockpit.
What is the biggest advantage of CNC technology over traditional machinery?
The elimination of the human factor from the production process allows for the automation of activities and the achievement of repeatable results. During traditional metalworking, the end result mainly depends on the knowledge and skills of the machine operator (e.g., a turner or miller). The person responsible for the operation must also meet specific requirements: in addition to technical knowledge and professional training, good motor coordination is also necessary. At the same time, the operator must efficiently operate the various mechanisms, and at the same time control the results obtained with measuring tools. Taking these factors into account, when it comes to the production of larger batches of products, it is difficult to achieve repeatability of parameters, and making even a small mistake can prove very costly – especially at a later stage of production.
The biggest advantage and thus the advantage of CNC over traditional machines is precisely the achievement of measurement stability and high repeatability. Regardless of the size of the batch, the result obtained is characterized by precision, without affecting the efficiency and speed of the production process itself.
Impact of implementing CNC machining in production processes
The work program of the CNC machine tool is based on a digital model developed in advance using CAD/CAM software. All information is entered into computer databases, so there is easy access to it all the time. This makes it easy to trace the production process and optimize it by eliminating weak points. What do we gain this way?
- Reduction of working time – the same tasks are performed in a much faster way, thanks to process optimization. In addition, machines can changeover automatically, which generates further time savings.
- Greater efficiency – the parts are made in less time, and what’s more, the machine works at a constant pace. In contrast, with a human, it is not possible to maintain productivity at the same level for a longer period of time.
- Cost reduction – in traditional metalworking, the final quality of the product depends mostly on the skill of the worker. Meanwhile, a human cannot maintain the same level of concentration at all times.
In our Quality Lab, we have a CNC machine tool – DN VC 510 – which, with its rotary tables, precision spindle, advanced cooling system and programming capabilities, has all the above advantages.
Does always implementing CNC mean a better choice?
CNC machining brings a number of benefits, mentioned earlier: process optimization, increased productivity, lower production costs. Streamlining the process makes it possible to realize even larger batches of products in a relatively short time, while maintaining the required final standards. Sometimes, however, implementing CNC technology can prove costly. In cases involving low-complexity components and with a low risk of error, the use of traditional machining can still prove to be a cost-effective solution. Traditional solutions also work well in situations where only one-off products are involved, or for making up the parts needed, especially if electronic documentation is lacking.
If you want to learn more about the use of CNC technology or decided to cooperate with us please contact us!
Key Account Manager