Here Are 5 Trends in CNC Manufacturing You Need to Know
When enough CNC shops engage in a given activity it becomes a trend that others should be aware of. Here are five manufacturing trends identified by recent surveys and discussions with shop owners. They may not all be right for your company, but it’s prudent to consider how they might affect your business.
- 3-D Printing/Additive Manufacturing. These printers have been around for a while, but mostly used for prototypes and one-offs. Newer technologies, however, make volume production possible for parts used in aerospace, automobiles, medical devices and more. For some machine shops that have always cut metal the idea of creating a part through a layering process may seem strange. When you think about it, however, you’re in the business of making parts or products, not just cutting metal, and this is simply another way to do so.
- Factory Automation. Producing parts faster and more efficiently is always important – whether you’re a large manufacturing facility or a small CNC shop. Often the best way to achieve this goal is by automating all or some of your machining processes. Maybe you don’t need a completely automated factory, but even adding one work cell serviced by industrial robots, or simply using an automatic bar feeder can increase productivity by reducing cycle times, cost-per-part and time to market.
- Collecting And Using Data. Advanced machine control systems, such as Okuma’s OSP, use real time data to control the effects of thermal expansion, safeguard against turret crashes, create smarter parts programs and improve and document quality control. Ethernet-based communications systems enable machine tools and peripherals to share data that can manage production schedules reduce material waste and automate changeovers.
- Lights Out Manufacturing. Nothing is more satisfying than visions of parts being made dancing in your head while you sleep. Unattended overnight manufacturing is a reality for CNC shops that combine automation and monitoring technologies. Of course successfully implementing lights out manufacturing usually requires the help of experienced systems integrators like the Gosiger Automation team.
- Comprehensive Solutions. There was a time when the way to improve a shop’s performance was simply to buy a new machine tool. However, while faster spindle speeds, quicker feed rates, improved accuracy and repeatability are vitally important, smart shops look at the big picture and act accordingly. Maximizing productivity involves looking at the entire process from raw materials to delivering the finished product to the customer.
With over 90 years experience serving manufacturers, and a portfolio of manufacturing technologies ranging from machine tools and 3-D printers to robotic automation and flexible manufacturing systems, the Gosiger team can keep you on top of the trends that precisely fit your needs.