What does CNC Stand for? What does CNC Mean in Manufacturing and Machine Tools?
CNC = Computer Numerical Control
It guides the machining functions, controlling its operation through computerized commands.
It’s the culmination of a process whereby a design is drafted in CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, translated by CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) programs into G-code, which is then fed as a language of the commands to a computerized machine tool.
Apart from being a nifty little acronym, CNC guides the motion and movement of modern manufacturing, keeping machine tools on target. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, which directs and regulates the functions of machine; controlling its operation through computerized, numerically-encoded commands. Though it often represents the final, brutal stage of industrial work, where computers control powerful machine tools milling iron and steel, the process of production begins with the more subtle thoughts of composition and design. Here is how it’s born.
To create an object from scratch, first you need an idea.
Modern designers and draftsmen use CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software for creating their computerized drawings. Thanks to it, not only can they more easily analyze, modify and improve their concepts, but their design is thoroughly documented and fully integrated with modern manufacturing. The mechanical and engineering aspects are duly considered and addressed through software programs taking into account the necessary information important for manufacturing, such as the qualities of the material to be machined, its dimensions, depth, layers, curves, surface, etc.
Conveying an idea—communicating the design.
Then, these aspects are interpreted by means of a CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) program that converts the CAD drawing information into what’s termed G-code. This is a programming language which tells computerized machine tools how they are to operate, commanding their motions and movements, even choice of tools.
Controlling the machine.
G-code is the language of the CNC system, directing how a machine tool performs, which path it takes in relation to the workpiece, how the cutting tool moves along those coordinates and depths, its speed and function. Without CNC, the power, precision and direction of the machining process, all the cutting and milling, even the process of changing heavy milling heads and tools, would have to be properly assessed and carried out by hand. This means lower productivity and higher uncertainty, and more importantly, the danger of mistakes, errors and injuries that may occur. Thanks to CNC, modern manufacturing keeps humming along, increasing output while industrial production avoids the pitfalls of the past.
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