The automotive industry has established itself on innovation and improvement since its inception in the 1860’s, and manufacturing advances have been responsible for a great deal of automotive innovations. For example, take Henry Ford, 1913; he revolutionized auto assembly and mass production with the first moving assembly line and automation and streamlining have remained two key goals of the automotive industry ever since.
Developments in robotics, design and manufacturing processes have resulted in significant growth in automation, overall vehicle design and performance in the recent years. CNC Machining plays a very important role in the transformation of auto making, and it’s only growing
What Exactly is CNC Tooling?
CNC machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery. The process can be used to control a range of complex machinery, from grinders and lathes to mills and routers. With CNC machining, three-dimensional cutting tasks can be accomplished in a single set of prompts.
Automotive Applications Using CNC Tooling
The use of CNC machinery and tools in recent years within the auto manufacturing industry has been vigorously promoted, as manufacturers across the globe seek to benefit from the process’ many perks, including speed, automation, repeatability and more.
CNC Machining offers rapid production times for medium to high production volumes in comparison to traditional machining. This is mostly because of its automated nature, which eliminates the need to lengthy and labour-intensive manual machining. There are also steps that can be taken in the production planning process to speed up and optimize the machine’s run time, including material choice and part tolerances.
Automation is in itself an advantage of CNC Machining. Not only does it allow faster production times compared to manual processes, but it also makes the automotive manufacturing process more streamlined. If a part is sent to be manufactured on a CNC Machine and robotic arms can assist in the removal of the part once it is done, workers can dedicate more time to design and innovation tasks.
As a computer-controlled process, CNC Machining also brings with it a guarantee of repeatability— as in how precisely a machine can duplicate commanded motions (again, under load) during multiple cycles throughout the day. This is crucial for any industry, but especially vital in the automotive industry, ensuring that parts are consistent from batch to batch, so that each car rolled out is up to the same standard.
In line with repeatability, CNC Machining is capable of achieving tight tolerances for parts that demand it. For automotive applications especially, CNC Machining can meet the required tolerances for engine and other functional components. The process is also capable of producing complex parts for vehicles
Though it is perhaps not as well suited to customization as additive manufacturing, CNC Machining can be used in the automotive sector to produce customized parts with short lead times.