CNC machining is so ingrained in manufacturing that it’s often taken for granted. It consistently produces high-quality parts and prototypes with ease and incredible efficiency, so engineers and inventors have a lot of comfort and confidence in the process. This is a good thing, allowing manufacturers of precision-machined components and assemblies to effectively deliver projects on time and on budget.
But it also creates some myths and misconceptions about the actual process and the machinists who run work on shop floors.
Here are four common CNC machinist myths and misconceptions—as well as the facts about the men and women who produce the products:
It’s easy. When a machining process consistently delivers high-quality and efficiency, it’s common to assume that the operation is easy. And while it’s true that CNC machines and lathes can be largely automated, it’s also true that properly loading and unloading workpieces, activating and monitoring cycles, and making adjustments takes skill, experience, and training.
It’s automatic. One of the benefits of CNC machining is the consistency it delivers. Jobs run in the past can more easily be duplicated in the future—but not without a thorough examination to eliminate nuances and variations in workpieces and tools.
Having a machinist overseeing the job who can identify anomalies and dulling tools is critically important to getting jobs done on time and on budget.
Code doesn’t matter. Some people think everything about CNC machining is controlled by computers. While it is true that computers play a critical role in making CNC machining so rewarding, it’s also true that successful CNC machining still relies on the tried and tested G-code as well as machinists who know how to make modifications to it.
Anyone can do it. One of the most befuddling CNC machinist myths and misconceptions is that anyone can do it. The best manufacturing companies have employees on the shop floor with extensive experience working with code and the machines. In a sense, they are hybrid employees—part programmers, mostly machinists.
To further demystify CNC machinist myths and misconceptions, contact PDS today—then leverage the power of CNC machining tomorrow.