8 Industries That Rely on CNC Machines To Be Productive
Computerized numerical control machines, or CNC machines, have been an integral part of our manufacturing processes since the mid-20th century. The ability to create new parts efficiently and accurately has revolutionized countless industries and allowed us to create a greater number of sophisticated equipment and machinery. Here are just eight industries that rely on CNC machines to be productive.
Manufacturing is arguably one of the biggest sectors that utilize CNC machines to be productive. Repeatability is crucial in this industry, with factories needing to create the same parts repeatedly, so CNC machines are well-suited to meet these needs. To get a sense of the scope of automated machinery’s use in manufacturing, consider these products that utilize CNC machines in their production:
- Cell phone cases
- Musical instruments
- Camera lenses
- Kitchen equipment
Any product that is mass-produced and made of plastic, metal, or wood can be created using a CNC machine.
The telecommunications sector covers a variety of products and services concerned with sending information or data. This includes:
- Cell phones
The equipment needed to make these technologies a reality often features a variety of delicate parts to work correctly. As such, manufacturers often utilize CNC machines. This is true of the process used to make the communication devices themselves, but it’s also true of the machines needed to make the devices work, such as phone and radio towers and satellite dishes.
When one thinks of the medical industry, they typically think of doctors and nurses working one-on-one with patients. As such, it isn’t always easy to see how CNC machinery could be part of the important work healthcare providers do every day. However, automation can put tools in doctors’ hands to help improve patients’ quality of life.
Healthcare providers utilize a host of different equipment types when treating patients. These tools range from simple hand tools like scalpels to sophisticated machinery such as defibrillators and ventilators. If these types of equipment are made incorrectly or wear out, it could put patients’ lives at stake. Using highly accurate CNC machines gives the highest chance that machines and tools will be built correctly.
Medical technology has drastically improved over the years, particularly as far as hip replacements and dental implants go. In the early days of hip replacement surgeries, doctors sometimes struggled to create compatible hip socket replacements made of a material that would be durable enough for the purpose. CNC machines allow medical professionals to create an individualized replacement out of durable material.
Perhaps the most famous use of CNC technology in medicine is in the field of prosthetics. This technology allows healthcare professionals to create custom limbs that will perfectly match the size and proportion of amputees. Additionally, this technology makes it easier than ever to personalize individual prosthetic limbs for a patient’s lifestyle. For instance, prosthetists can create limbs that are specifically designed for athletes.
The automotive industry has been at the forefront of industrial automation since the creation of Henry Ford’s assembly line in 1913. So it’s no surprise that we find the automotive industry relying on CNC machinery to build the thousands of parts one finds in a car. CNC machines allow automotive manufacturers to create these parts accurately and consistently to avoid any errors that would lead to recalls.
Additionally, CNC machines’ ability to be reprogrammed quickly allows manufacturers to create more highly customizable parts. For instance, if a car producer was attempting to create a car with an engine built for racing, they could adjust the parts for the purpose. The same is true if they wanted to create a car with off-roading grade suspension.
The same machinery that can create parts for car engines can help create the engines used for motorboats and freighter ships. But engines are not the only part that must be created precisely for a ship to be sea-worthy. The hull of the ship must be reinforced with ribs and stringers to ensure it’s strong enough to face the rigors of water travel, and CNC machines are often used to create this ribbing. Manufacturers can also use CNC machines to build rudders and propellers.
CNC machines don’t only serve sailors by helping build their ships, though. Navigational tools that use satellite technology help sailors determine their location on the sea, helping them safely navigate to their destination. CNC machines play a large role in satellite creation and other navigational tools.
Precision in part creation is essential in cars traversing the road and boats traversing the sea. Naturally, precision is even more crucial for planes and rockets traversing the skies. CNC machines help create the one-of-a-kind parts used to build plane, rocket, and satellite parts. As with the marine industry, CNC machines also play an important role in creating pilots' tools to navigate the sky and communicate with air traffic controllers.
We often think of robots as the protagonists of science fiction novels rather than tools that help us in our everyday lives. But robotics are far more entrenched in our society than you may think. A few ways robotics are used include:
- Automatic vacuum cleaners or lawn mowers
- Assistance in packaging dangerous chemicals
- Robotic tellers
- Additional security surveillance
Robotic equipment, especially the kind used for sensitive tasks like packaging dangerous chemicals, must be made with precision and accuracy to ensure they are able to carry out their tasks. CNC machinery is able to make all the individual parts of these robots.
The military was one of the original reasons for industrial automation, dating back to when Eli Whitney put interchangeable parts on the map after being assigned to create guns for the United States army. The same tradition continues to this day, with CNC machines creating parts for guns that can be dismantled and put back together. CNC machines also provide other key technology used in the military, such as jets, radios, and bomb-detecting robots.
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