CNC – Computerized Numerical Control

People can have a bad day. On such days errors can creep in and the quality of the product is at risk. Another large source of errors is the monotony of series production. If a hand movement has to be repeated again and again, after a few hours the employee can lose their concentration. This differs us fundamentally from computers, which have not have good and bad days and can always carry out the same work even if they work continuously.

Around 30 years ago, control of machines began to be handed over to computers, especially to make series production even more economical and efficient. Due to the computer controls the machining speed and the quality of the products were increased significantly.

Errors are still possible of course. CNC means Computerized Numerical Control. This means “machines controlled by computer programs” and these programs are still written by humans. The programming can take place directly in a programming language; however, this is very time-consuming, or by automatic conversion of drawings.

Our CAD department

In our CAD department the ordered sheet and plate metal parts are drawn using CAD programs. After the drawings are completed the CNC programs are written by transferring the dimensions from the CAD drawings into a programming language, which can be read by our machines. The programmer is helped by the programming software. Commands such as “Switch on laser cutting head”, etc. are entered by the CAD software fully automatically.

When the programs are finished they are copied onto the computer of the respective machine, where the program is then worked through fully automatically. By entering quantities, the programmed component can be reproduced any number of times necessary.

Modern CNC machines can be programmed in many and diverse ways. By automatically setting the stops (gauges), the material can be placed in the machine quickly and precisely. The laser cutting machines even detect the position of the workpiece independently. Further, the tools’ movement, speed and force are also controlled by the machine, which results in very high precision products.

The tools are controlled so fast that the machine movements exceed the human response time significantly. This is a large source of injury risk. For this reason, CNC machines are safeguarded either by housings or enclosures, or by light barriers, in order to protect the employees.