The article is a humble effort to enlighten the readers about:
- The advancements in the welding technology through CNC machining
- The pros and cons of using the automated technology
The technological advancements have benefitted and enhanced productivity of almost every industry. Such advancements have altered the conventional welding technology either. Welding has been the oldest process of joining metals to form a number of different products ranging from domestic to military use. Since it is the most widely used phenomenon, the constantly changing welding technology keeps on improving the welding process to make it apter. One such smart technology is CNC Machining which has greatly furthered the manufacturing industry.
Computer Numerical Control, abbreviated as CNC, is a manufacturing process that runs with pre-programmed computer software to direct the heavy manufacturing types of machinery and equipment. The CNC machining is considered a huge shift of conventional welding process from manual to automation. This automation has brought more perfection and reduced number of errors, thus making modern welding more efficient.
How Does CNC Work?
Much like a robot, the software program installed in the CNC machining allows it to control the manufacturing tools like mills, grinders, levers, robots, cutters, etc. in order to make them execute the programmed tasks accordingly. For large types of machinery, the computer is external PC. The CNC controller coordinates with various machine drivers and components to control their movements across axes. The software used in CNC is different from the conventional computer software in terms of its coding language, G-code, that lends specialized control over the speed, coordination, and location. These codes can be revised as per the need through the programmers, thus making CNC programming more dynamic. The CNC controlled machines have usually two to three rotary axes. Small millers or jets have only two X and Y axes. Milling machines have three X, Y and Z axes. Large and heavy machines and robots even have five axes.
Types of CNC Machining:
The automated, highly advanced CNC welding machines diversify greatly depending on the nature of their usage.
The most commonly used CNC machine is CNC Mill which uses specialized cutters for precise manufacturing materials. The CNC system controls the direction, speed, and angels of cutters to generate the specified material.
If the requirement is to cut the metal pieces circular, this type of CNC machine is the right choice. This machine is specialized for complex designs which are next to impossible through manual operation.
The CNC router is perfect for cutting and engraving wood, metal, and plastic.
This CNC machine utilizes plasma torch to cut wood and metal in two dimensions only. It requires less power as compared to a router.
Electric Discharge Machine (EDM)
Using electric sparks, this machine cuts the workpieces and molds them into desired shapes.
Advantages of CNC Machining:
The CNC machines have a magical working capacity that makes them work for long hours at stretch with a little time required for maintenance. This is the most important feature that makes CNC machining a better option than a conventional welding machine which does not carry such a continuous operational capacity.
Once the dimension and parameters are specified into the system, the CNC machine can give a huge quantity of same product with extreme perfection. The high-tech software gives CNC machining an edge over the traditional welding or manual processes in terms of its measurability and quality.
The CNC machining can work without a need for constant supervision. Even a single operator can control various CNC machines, unlike the conventional machines. Since the software controls the operations, the need to look for a highly trained operator is also not a necessity here. Thus, it helps to save the cost of training and manual supervision.
The CNC machining technology is ever changing and this machine is flexible enough to adapt such technical changes. The programmers can update the software any time easily depending on the need.
Disadvantages of CNC Machining
Though CNC machining gives a smart return-on-investment, it is still costlier than a conventional machine. But the quality and other benefits, as discussed above, outcast the high cost. Another problem comes with the axes movements. Higher the number of axes, the more synchronization is required which is harder to attain.
Why Should CNC Machine be Used?
CNC welding machining is just the right machine for complex designs with précised specifications and perfections. This non-conventional machining system brings accuracy, fast speed, and hassle-free productivity.