WHY CNC IS THE WAY TO GO FOR NEARLY EVERY MACHINE SHOP
Here are some of the many reasons why CNC machines will provide your shop more profit today and more growth opportunities in the future.
Let’s start with some obvious things, namely, the top reasons you benefit from a CNC machine. Quick set-up is easier than ever before, as the CAD program translates into the controller in a faster way due to increased processing speeds. Using any number of methods, from Ethernet to wireless to a memory stick, the programmer can import the program into the controller.
As we’ve discussed in previous columns, you can also now run what once was called the “trial cut” right on the machine, using some of the available software. Or this function can be done on an offline PC. Either way, the entire cutting cycle, tool movements and part articulation can be simulated in real time before the first workpiece is ever loaded into the machine.
Next, easier programming is more possible now than ever before because of the plain language commands on the screens of most of the current CNC models. Extensive G-code knowledge, while always helpful and something we encourage all operators to master for their own efficiency and strength as machinists in the modern competitive work environment, is simply not the necessary skill it once was.
Easier operation has also been facilitated by the improvement in the control mechanisms, the planogram layout on the control face as well as the availability of customized screens, either from the CNC supplier or generated from internal proprietary software. Owing to the open architecture and algorithmic flexibility of the onboard computer, there are almost limitless possibilities for the shop seeking to customize screens to their particular industry, work product or vernacular corporate language.
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About the Author: Randy Pearson is the sales support manager for U.S. dealers and OEMs of Siemens Industry, Inc., Drives Technologies, Motion Control — Machine Tool Business, 390 Kent Avenue, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007, www.siemenscnc.com. A veteran of the machine tool industry, his interest is the training aspect on CNC machine tools, which he conducts through seminars and classes at votech schools and shops, and at Siemens training facilities. For questions or comments on this column, contact Randy at 847-640-1595 or email@example.com.