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What can a CNC router do? Will it replace workers? Is my job in jeopardy? These are some of the questions you will face from your employees when buying.

 Apr 27, 2016    554 (4 Min Read)

Who needs a CNC router machine?

CNC router machine is a combination of cutting, carving and milling in terms of processing principle, and the CNC router machine has multiple data input modes as needed. Because the application range is very wide, it is necessary to understand the most suitable application range of CNC router machines. Low-power CNC is only suitable for making signs, crafts, gifts, and molds. Because the power is too small, it greatly affects the scope of its application. High-power CNC can be used as a small-power CNC. It is most suitable for large-scale cutting, milling, and carving.

Computers and CNC routers have no intelligence. They cannot think, they cannot evaluate a station in a rational way. Only people with certain skills and knowledge can do that. In the field of numerical control, the skills are usually in the hands of two key people- one doing the programming, the other doing the machining. Their respective numbers and duties typically depend on the company preference, its size, as well as the product manufactured there. However, each position is a quite distinct, although many companies combine the two functions into a one, often called a CNC programmer or CNC router operator.

CNC Programmer

The CNC programmer is usually the person who has the most responsible in the CNC machine shop. This person is often responsible for the success of numerical control technology in the plant. Equally this person is held responsible for problems related to the CNC operations. Although duties may vary, the programmer is also responsible for a variety of tasks relating to the effective usage of the CNC machines. In fact, this person is often accountable for the production and quality of all CNC operations.

Many CNC programmers are experienced machinists, who have had a practical, hands-on experience as machine tool operations they know how to read technical drawings and they can comprehend the engineering intent behind the design. This practical experience is the foundation for the ability to 'machine' a part in an office environment. A good CNC programmer must be able to visualize all the tool motions and recognize all restricting factories that may be involved. The programmer must be able to collect, analyze process and logically integrate all the collected data into a signal, cohesive program. In simple terms, the CNC programmer must be able to decide upon the best manufacturing methodology in all respects.

In addition to the machining skills, the CNC programmer has to have an understanding of mathematical principles, mainly application of equations, solutions of arcs and angles. Equally important is the knowledge of trigonometry. Even with computerized programming, the knowledge of manual programming methods is absolutely essential to the through understanding of the computer output and the control of this output.

The last important quality of a truly professional CNC programmer is his or her ability to listen to the other people – the engineers, the CNC operators, the managers. Good listing skills are the first prerequisites to become flexible. A good CNC programmer must be flexible in order to offer high programming quality.

CNC Router Operator

The CNC machine tool operator is a complementary position to the CNC programmer. The programmer and the operator may exist in a single person, as is the case in many small shops. Although the majority of duties performed by conventional machine operator has been transferred to the CNC program, the CNC operator has many unique responsibilities. In typical cases, the operator is responsible for the tool and machine setup, for the changing of the parts, often even for some in-process inspection. Many companies expect quality control at the machine – and the operator of any machine tool, manual or computerized, is also responsible for the quality of the work done on that machine. One of the very important responsibilities of the CNC router operator is to report findings about each program to the programmer. Even with the best knowledge, skills, attitudes and intentions, the "final" program can always be improved. The CNC operator being the one, who is the closest to the actual machining, knows precisely what extent such improvements can be.

There is a lot of anecdotal information on CNC technology and machine vendors are often quick to highlight certain features of their products while minimizing other very important characteristics.

The truth is that in every case the purchaser must make compromises to come up with the solution that best fits their needs. Not one application is exactly the same and not one CNC router machine will be the perfect fit in every supplier.

What can a CNC router machine do? Will it replace workers? is my job in jeopardy? these are some of the questions you will face from your employees when you are thinking of buying it.

While it will probably replace tedious repetitive jobs with higher skilled ones, most companies who purchase this technology end up growing and hiring more employees.

The work that happens downstream from the CNC router machine will also be impacted. The parts are likely to be more accurate and in the case of nested based systems, they will remain grouped together, simplifying subsequent processes.

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