Once this system is developed, it must certainly be loaded into the CNC control. Although the setup person could type this system right into the control, this might be like using the CNC machine as a very costly typewriter. If the CNC program is developed with the aid of a CAM system, then it has already been in the form of a text file. If this system is written manually, it may be typed into any computer employing a common word processor (though most companies make use of a special CNC text editor because of this purpose). In any event, this system is in the form of a text file that can be transferred right into the CNC machine. A distributive numerical control (DNC) system is employed for this purpose.
A DNC system is only a PC that’s networked with one or more CNC machines. Until only recently, rather crude serial communications protocol (RS-232c) needed to be employed for transferring programs. Newer controls do have more current communications capabilities and may be networked in more conventional ways (Ethernet, etc.). Aside from methods, the CNC program must obviously be loaded into the CNC machine before it may be run.
Types of CNC machines
As mentioned, CNC has touched virtually every facet of manufacturing. Many machining processes have been improved and enhanced through the use of CNC. Let’s look at some of the specific fields and place the focus on the manufacturing processes enhanced by CNC machine usage.
In the metal removal industry:
Machining processes that have traditionally been done on conventional machine tools which can be possible (and sometimes improved) with CNC machining centres include a myriad of milling (face milling, contour milling, slot milling, etc.), drilling, tapping, reaming, boring, and counter boring.
In similar fashion, a myriad of turning operations like facing, boring, turning, grooving, knurling, and threading are done on CNC turning centres.
You will find a myriad of special “off-shoots” of these two machine types including CNC milling machines, CNC drill and tap centres, and CNC lathes.
Grinding operations of all types like outside diameter (OD) grinding and internal diameter (ID) grinding are also being done on CNC grinders. CNC has even opened a brand new technology as it pertains to grinding. Contour grinding (grinding a contour in a similar fashion to turning), which was previously infeasible as a result of technology constraints is currently possible (almost commonplace) with CNC grinders.
In the metal fabrication industry:
In manufacturing terms, fabrication commonly identifies operations which can be performed on relatively thin plates. Consider a steel filing cabinet. All the primary components are made of steel sheets. These sheets are sheared to size, holes are punched in appropriate places, and the sheets are bent (formed) to their final shapes. Again, operations commonly called fabrication operations include shearing, flame or plasma cutting, punching, laser cutting, forming, and welding. Truly, CNC is heavily involved in virtually every facet of fabrication.
CNC back gauges are commonly used with shearing machines to control the length of the plate being sheared. CNC lasers and CNC plasma cutters are also used to create plates to their final shapes. CNC turret punch presses holds a variety of punch-and-die combinations and punch holes in most shapes and sizes through plates. CNC press brakes are used to bend the plates within their final shapes.
In the electrical discharge machining industry:
Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is the procedure of removing metal through the use of electrical sparks which burn away the metal. CNC EDM comes in two forms, vertical EDM and Wire EDM. Vertical EDM requires the use of an electrode (commonly machined on a CNC machining centre) that’s of the form of the cavity to be machined into the task piece. Picture the form of a plastic bottle that must definitely be machined in to a mold. Wire EDM is commonly used to create punch and die combinations for dies sets found in the fabrication industry. EDM is among the lesser known CNC operations because it is so closely related to making tooling used with other manufacturing processes.
In the woodworking industry
As in the metal removal industry, CNC machines are heavily found in woodworking shops. Operations include routing (similar to milling) and drilling. Many woodworking machining centers are available that can hold several tools and perform several operations on the workpiece being machined. communications protocol.
Other forms of CNC machines
Many types of lettering and engraving systems use CNC technology. Waterjet machining runs on the high pressure water jet stream to cut through plates of material. CNC is even found in the manufacturing of many electrical components. For example, there are CNC coil winders, and CNC terminal location and soldering machines.