Automation, with the help of modern technology, has enabled CNC machining to produce ever-increasing numbers of parts at faster and faster speeds. This, in turn, increases the efficiency of the machining operation. Our guide to the 5 myths of CNC machining is here to clear up these misconceptions.
The 5 Myths of CNC Machining are:
- #1: CNC Machining is expensive
- #2: CNC Machining has a long lead time
- #3: CNC Machining is limited in terms of design
- #4: Anybody can run a CNC Machine
- #5: It’s easy to predict how long a CNC machining job will take
Manufacturers and machine shops use CNC machining for creating medium to full-scale production of parts in various materials at fantastic speeds. Experienced engineers will create custom geometries from the CAD file through a coded programmed instruction. This allows us to produce remarkably precise designs in metalworking.
MYTH #1: CNC Machining is Expensive
One of the most common misconceptions and the first of our 5 myths about CNC machining is that CNC machining services are prohibitively expensive. In actual reality, it starts from as little as $100, with the price per unit decreasing for higher production runs. Automation combined with the economy of scale means that it is one of the most economical options for machining parts.
As well as the actual machining of the part, the entire process of using digital technology such as CAD files helps engineers reduce design iterations and the client to bring products to market at a much quicker rate than traditional machining.
The end result is a high-precision part produced cheaply and effectively. Therefore increasing your net-revenue and improving your overall bottom line.
MYTH #2: CNC Machining has a long lead time
Another common misconception is the belief that CNC machining has an excessively long lead time. Although this may have been a concern in the past, technological innovation has allowed Wisconsin Metal Tech to produce parts as quickly as three days. While every business is different and the specific lead time for each project can vary, CNC machining far exceeds the limitations of manual controls or outdated operations equipment.
Partnering with an industry leader like Wisconsin Metal Tech also gives you access to real-time capacity monitoring. This instant feedback cuts out the “middleman” and reduces communication with suppliers that conventionally slowed down the sourcing process. The manufacturing network also splits large orders between several suppliers effortlessly and provides online progress-monitoring. Using CNC machining is one of the most effective ways to produce your desired number of units quickly and accurately.
MYTH #3: CNC Machining is limited in terms of the design
This is one of the strangers of the 5 myths around CNC machining. With the increase in modern technology and our use of the latest multi-axis machining centers, we can now use CNC machining to produce incredibly complex geometries. In fact, we specialize in complex, difficult to produce parts which may put off some other machine shops.
The ability to manipulate tools around a varying number of axes can produce highly precise and compelling designs, each complying with the pre-coded instruction from a computer program. From there, manufacturers can incorporate electrical discharge machining (EDM) and custom assemblies for additional depth and complexity of the design. This advanced technology can increase the precision of unit parts for a wide range of materials (regardless of whether the original material is metal, plastic, or composite).
Since technology has improved over the years, subtractive manufacturing technology can produce high-precision shapes and lines at a low cost. In addition, partnering with this type of innovative company gives us access to tools to monitor progress and accuracy, reduce design iterations, and increase the likelihood of satisfaction with the final result.
Myth #4: Anybody can run a CNC machine.
One of the drawbacks to the misconception that the CNC machining process is fully automated is that some people think that a person with minimal training is able to not only operate the machine but produce the highest quality product possible. The reality is that a CNC operator must perform many tasks that require knowledge and skill.
Common operator tasks include workpiece loading and unloading, cycle activation, cycle monitoring, workpiece measurement, acceptability evaluation, statistical process control reporting, sizing (offset) adjustments, dull-tool recognition, and dull-tool replacement. The more we expect operators to do, the more they must know—and the more training we must provide.
Myth #5: It’s easy to predict how long a CNC machining job will take.
CNC machining is a great method for those who want to produce a large number of parts quickly. It can be tough to predict how long a job will take from start to finish. An experienced CNC machining company can give you an estimate as to how long a job might take.
The exact length of the job will depend on how long it takes a CNC operator to replace tools in a machine at various points in time.
CNC machining is the most cost-efficient and economical technology for manufacturing custom metal parts. Mechanical engineers, tech firms, and manufacturers can use this innovative technology for CNC production.
Advances in technology can help you customize part design, reduce design innovations, and go to market much faster. At Wisconsin Metal Tech we are the industry leader CNC machining services for complex, difficult to produce parts. Get a CNC machining quote today