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The History of CNC Technology: It’s Present and the Future

The 20th Century has been one of the most remarkable phases in the era of human innovations, marking the birth: radio, airplane, and television broadcasting, the internet, and most importantly, the CNC manufacturing technology. The … Read More

The History of CNC Technology: It’s Present and the Future

The 20th Century has been one of the most remarkable phases in the era of human innovations, marking the birth: radio, airplane, and television broadcasting, the internet, and most importantly, the CNC manufacturing technology.

The invention of CNC technology and machining marks the era of revolution for manufacturing industries. One of the most commonly used methods of manufacturing, CNC technology, is one such institution that is here to be forever.

Ranging from optical devices like pieces of communication and glass spectacle lenses, the CNC process is everywhere that you can lay your eyes on. You cannot simply overlook the global effect of CNC technology on the commercial sector today.

Still wondering what a CNC machine is all about? Relax, we have you covered. This piece is your guide to CNC history. Continue reading as we walk you through the different aspects of the current CNC technology.

CNC Machine: Definition

A CNC machine is a system that combines multiple tools (including lathes, drills, and milling tools) developed in the form of different units to work together. These units are engineered to produce three-dimensional parts.

Such machines work in a two-dimensional format by moving in one or two axes in their simplest forms. On the other hand, some of the more advanced options in the list include X- and Y-axis motion that can also help you move longitudinally in the Z-axis. Thanks to their efficiency of running 24 hours a day with minimal human intervention, CNC machines are the core of manufacturing businesses in the 21st century.

Whether you’re in the market to purchase a CNC machine or you’re interested in selling one asset or an entire plant’s worth, a CNC machine auction can be the perfect solution.

CNC Machines: Initial Phases

CNC Machine: DefinitionAlthough the idea around CNC machines was in theory for a long time, the first Numerical Control concept for CNC wasn’t developed until 1949. As per their history, the first generation of CNC machines was developed in the post-WWII era.

The first-ever prototype CNC machine was developed by John T. Parsons, one of the early computing pioneers who developed the Air Force research project. Interestingly, the project was carried out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Parsons collaboration with MIT resulted in an IBM 602A multiplier, allowing the machine to calculate airfoil coordinates accurately. Later, data points of different aspects were fed into a swiss jig borer, using punched cards.

Parsons, one of the leading research scientists at Parsons Corporation (Michigan), was responsible for spearheading research when it came to this new form of technology. The initial stages used by Parsons were designed for engineering helicopter blade templates.

The result of such efficiency in design was a rotor blade that was remarkably smooth and was sourced from a more reliable means of production.

The Advent of Modern CNC Machines

The Advent of Modern CNC MachinesOnce Parsons went ahead with his plan of the CNC machine program, the concept around automated manufacturing was further enhanced in 1952. Another aspiring engineer by the name Richard Kegg (also collaborated with MIT), developed a 28-inch vertical-spindle contour milling machine that went by the name Cincinnati Hydro-Tel.

This initial prototype was operated using a tape reader, vacuum-tube electronic control system, and an eight-column paper tape, to help focus on future developments.

While punched tapes were a thing in the early 1940-the 50s, the ’60s-’70s replaced the tape mode of programming with analog computing technologies. The advent of digital technologies post the ’70s, continued to automate and enhance the CNC machines with time.

Significance of CNC Manufacturing Today

As per the charts and estimates, the role of traditional machinists in the industry is being quickly replaced by used machinery dealers. Today, there’s a surge for CNC machine dealers. Organizations have started offering training to help machinists secure better jobs in the CNC manufacturing space. Considering the ways in which industries are evolving to a more cost-effective and automated manner of operating their business, CNC manufacturing is a necessary skill to add to your list.

The Future of CNC

Considering the widespread use of modern CNC machining across multiple industries and the fact that it stood as a USD 67.19 billion industry in 2019 it is hard to keep an account of all the industries that adopt such functionalities.

Ranging from medical devices to aerospace, firearms, and electronics, CNC machines are a manufacturing trend that is even reaching out to individual households (in the form of 3D printers). Further, the significant increase of such automated manufacturing units is expecting to integrate their manufacturing abilities to automation. With robotic technology becoming the current trend, CNC operations’ future will be the control of both robotic and CNC machines from a single console.

Lastly, we can expect that CNC Programs’ future will allow businesses to operate using simplified languages, continuing to become more effective and efficient in their approach.

Conclusion

CNC Technology has introduced us to a manufacturing process that has been a revolution in its segment. The use of such technology ensures the chances of a future that is sure to take over industries like no other.

Author: admin