Given the current financial difficulties facing businesses, and society in general, with the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, saving money with CNC machining wherever possible has become more important than ever. For businesses, this means they need to get smart with how they operate going forward.
Technology, while it can be expensive in the short term, has provided businesses in countless industries with the ability to work at a higher level while also reducing costs. Manufacturing companies are no different and can really benefit from moving their operations away from manual labor manufacturing to a computer-controlled system.
In this article, we are going to detail some of how manufacturing companies can save money by using CNC machining. But first, it’s important to establish precisely what CNC machining is.
CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, machining is the process where a manufacturing machine, such as a wire EDM or laser cutting machine, follows instructions set out by a computer to produce a part. These instructions are based on a design, known as CAD or Computer-Aided Design, where the part is designed digitally before any manufacturing takes place. So how does this help companies save money?
Designs can be continually improved until clients are happy before manufacturing
Companies who rely on manufacturing parts for others have for a long time faced the challenge of ensuring clients are satisfied with the finished product. No matter what kind of parts companies are manufacturing, there needs to be precision and a high level of care taken to ensure the finished product is fit for purpose.
If a mistake happens during manufacturing, this could have a significant financial impact on either the manufacturer or the client. From the manufacturer’s point of view, an error when using a machine such as a metal lathe could result in a part becoming unusable and manufacturing having to start again. With a CNC machine, parts are produced with a very high level of precision, so when a client submits or signs off a design, the machine can produce it to the exact specifications of the design. This can help avoid issues down the line for clients where a part they requested isn’t fit for purpose as there is a slight mistake in how it was produced. If this does happen, clients could be in a situation where a project has to be stopped until a new part which fits can be made, and this can be costly.
Faster production by CNC machining for large orders
One of the main benefits of CNC machining is how long they can operate compared to a manually operated machine. Humans obviously can’t work continuously, but machines can. When a large order of parts comes into a business, CNC machines can produce them one after another until the order is filled. The machines can work through the night, and as mentioned above, because they are working to a set design, each part will be exactly the same. This allows manufacturing companies to fill orders much quicker and with a higher level of accuracy.
Less staff needed
There is undoubtedly a high level of skill required to operate machines like a metal lathe manually, and due to several factors, the amount of people with this skill is reducing. With CNC machines, fewer staff are needed to manufacture parts as the machines take on complex tasks. It should be said, the staff is still required in other technical areas such as designing the parts along with maintaining and supervising the machines. However, smaller companies can operate at a high-level thanks to CNC machines as they require less staff overall.
Overall, while CNC machines are costly to purchase, the return on investment can be high because of the benefits listed above. They are great machines for precision engineering and can be really beneficial for businesses of all sizes.