CNC Technology & Production – What’s In Store For The Future?

BradYoung04Starred Page By BradYoung04, 10th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>IT & Ecommerce

There have been a huge amount of internet banalities relating to how the U.S. doesn’t manufacture things as much these days.But is this really true? If the U.S. decline in manufacturing has occurred does this mean the overall emphasis of our economy has declined too? Well, maybe. But then again, maybe not. We still manufacture plenty and it’s more to do with the way that we manufacture things than the amount.

Automation In The Digital Age

There have been a huge amount of internet banalities relating to how the U.S. doesn’t manufacture things as much these days. Most pieces of writing that I have come across, which vary from the opinions of respected journalists and common trolls, tend to say that China has overtaken us and we have sleepwalked into an era of capitalistic inferiority. All because we don’t pay our workers pennies to hand craft everything from cheap plastic toys to sophisticated electronics.
But is this really true? If the U.S. decline in manufacturing has occurred does this mean the overall emphasis of our economy has declined too? Well, maybe. But then again, maybe not. We still manufacture plenty and it’s more to do with the way that we manufacture things than the amount.
One of the most interesting aspects of manufacturing in this digital age is automation. This not only saves labor, but it also greatly increases efficiency. An interesting version of this automated form of manufacturing is what is known as CNC.

What Is It?

NC stands for computer numerical control, in which computers control machines and tools to perform physical tasks like cutting, drilling and even 3D printing. These tools are often reliant on a CAD system, a computer aided design process that allows for products to be modeled and completely laid out for the CNC machines to manufacture – sort of like a digital blueprint.
The process typically takes place in an enclosure. This is done not only for safety but also because there are a lot of complicated moving parts in the machine that need to be packed tightly together in order for them to work.
Actually, things like CNC are relatively common and are on the rise. In fact, it encompasses a range of tools as opposed to being one big machine. Modern CNC tools and processes include;
• Laser cutting
• Water jet cutters
• Wood routers
• Surface grinding
• 3D printing
It’s a method of production that beats humans every time, due to the accuracy and speed that such processes can achieve. 3D printing in particular is big in the U.S. and there are leading innovators revitalizing the mode of manufacturing we pursue. The technology is still in its relatively early stages – but the signs are good that the U.S. will be able to manufacture products to a high-standard, and with less expense and labor moving forward.

What Exactly Can It Be Used For?

The possibilities are almost endless. There have even been efforts by NASA to start building a universal food synthesizer to automatically print food on demand. Although in actuality this ability is some way off still.
However many things can be made that are immensely useful with the current technology including screws, furniture fittings and a host of other useful components that can be used to create other products.
There are some limitations when it comes to mechanical production. However in the future it will be possible to create automated products with working moving parts. There are many different things that CNC will be used for in future – but for now it’s basically just manufacturing components.

Keeping Ahead

The decline of the U.S. manufacturing sector has been so often talked about as a negative, but the decline in traditional manufacturing has led to the advancement of manufacturing and a shift towards a different mode of production – which is positive
It’s an uncertain time, undeniably. But with all of the innovators in the country there’s no reason to be all doom and gloom – there is certainly a hope for the future of the American manufacturing industry.

Thanks For Reading

Thanks for reading. I’d love to know what you think so please feel free to comment. Also, make sure you check out the rest of my work on WikiNut. I would particularly recommend “Maintaining Factory Sustainability & Efficiency”.
I write all over the web, so make sure you follow me on Twitter for all the latest - @BradYoung04

Resources

http://www.furnitureproduction.net/news/articles/2013/03/1646552211-homag-and-weeke-%E2%80%93-cnc-technology-21st-century
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/otaviano-canuto/china-the-morphing-dragon_b_3321427.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/3d-printed-food-nasa_n_3313363.html

Tags

3D Printing, Cnc, Furniture Fittings, Manufacturing

Meet the author

author avatar BradYoung04
I am a MBA grad who can transform your business. Follow me for straight talking insights into running successful businesses in a fast paced world. I am always working or surfing in the Californian sun

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Comments

author avatar Johnny Knox
11th Jun 2013 (#)

Interesting article and very good presentation.

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