Do you use conventional machines in your personal shop or business? They do have some benefits, but so do CNC machines. If you’re considering adding a CNC machine to your production processes, we’ve put together some reasons why you may or may not want to:
1. You Don’t Need Extensive Experience or Skills
With conventional machines, they may require a long period of experience to operate and get the most out of. While experience is a great benefit for CNC machines, in some cases it may not be as necessary as conventional machines. Production quality may be easier to maintain since CNC machines take the human error factor out of production. While both machines take training, consider which machine will be able to maximize your production with a minimum amount of training.
2. Products Can Be Easily Replicated Thousands of Times
Conventional machining works well when you need to make a single custom piece. If you have high production quotas where you need to produce the same part multiple times, CNC machining makes more sense. CNC machinery lets you program your machines to make the same cut over and over with a repeat in quality.
Conventional machinery needs help from an experienced operator to make similar pieces. And even then, there are still small variations among the parts.
3. Less Labor is Required to Operate CNC Machinery
Investing in CNC machinery can drastically cut your labor costs. Conventional machinery requires extensive knowledge, experience, and skill, which can drive up your labor costs. With CNC machines, you can get the same high quality while hiring fewer workers and you’ll also continue to have high production levels.
4. CNC Software Increases Your Production Options
More advanced software can help you manufacture products which are difficult or nearly impossible to make by hand or on conventional machinery. You can also update the software as necessary to improve your CNC machine’s functionality. With conventional machinery, there is little to no software which doesn’t allow you to have a repeatable cut quality.
5. No Prototypes are Necessary with CNC Machines
CNC software lets you simulate your idea before even cutting it out. You don’t have to actually produce a prototype, which costs time and money. The time spent creating revision can be drastically reduced through the utilization of the software. You could potentially save weeks or even months of production time so you may spend your labor elsewhere.
6. CNC Machines Fit the Skills of Modern Workers
Many of the mathematical and analytical skills necessary to successfully operate conventional machines aren’t as emphasized in schools as they used to be. As a result, in one sense, there’s a less skilled workforce available. While you can’t go wrong with hands-on training, the industry is heading towards the digital age where tech savvy operators may be the ones running the machines.
Depending on the business or industry the modern workforce may have to learn how to operate both types of machinery. While one machine may be a better fit for you, keep in mind where your production may lead to in the future and how you’d like to get there.
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It’s interesting that CNC machines can create things that would be extraordinarily difficult to make otherwise. We’re thinking of getting one for our team to be able to do more intricate tasks. I appreciate understanding some of what it can do and what it entails.