Benefits of CNC Prototyping
CNC (computer numerical control) prototyping is a comparatively new process in the machining world that allows for greater efficiency through higher levels of automation, and by having the machine and its computer controls perform all the work. While CNC prototyping machines are complicated and pricey, they almost instantly pay for themselves by decreasing the workload and controlling errors.
The first key advantage of CNC prototyping is that it improves automation, removing the need of an operator for all but a few parts of the work. CNC prototyping machines may be left alone for hours or even days, allowing operators to do other tasks. As well, this allows a company to employ less operators, hence saving on overhead. Safety is increased when there is no operator, because then any damage occurring after a potentially hazardous machining error will be confined to the machine itself. CNC prototyping machines can also work a lot faster than human machinists, as they are much stronger and have no need to take breaks. They can also operate late at night, when most workers have returned home, because machines do not have to worry about getting sleep or receiving overtime pay.
The second biggest benefit to CNC prototyping is that it produces the exact same outcome each and every time. Even the best human operator will have trivial variations among finished outcomes, but a CNC machine will bring exactly the same result all the time. This is highly important in the modern time of homogeneous and exchangeable parts, where a single defective cut can render the machine entirely unusable. All that will be necessary is one program to be developed and installed into the machine. Then the machine can work away at however many work pieces are needed, producing an exact replica down to thousandths of an inch each and every time.
The third considerable advantage to CNC prototyping is the machine’s flexibility. Although humans are obviously more trainable and flexible than machines, a CNC machine can be fully reprogrammed in a matter of hours to generate a totally different product. It is hence possible to go back to old programs or install new programs whenever a new work piece must be produced. This gives CNC prototyping machines a large advantage over other machines, as they are quick to shift to producing an entirely different output without needing new part installations or an overhaul of key components. This also makes sure that CNC prototyping machines can cope with customer demand, because they can readily shift from parts that are in surplus to parts that are lacking, in case a need arises.
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