Why The Detail Of CNC Machining Is So Valuable
A major selling point of computer numerical control (CNC) machining is that it is so precise. Precision is good, but with CNC machining, you get an astounding level of precision. While manual machining can obviously produce very good work, CNC machining is better for large or rush jobs, and for projects where you need the item to fit narrow tolerance ranges. The detail and precision of CNC are very valuable.
Very Little Variation
Any manufacturing process is going to have a tolerance range. This is the range within which the specs of a particular item can vary and still be acceptable. With manual machining, the risk of the piece's dimensions going outside the acceptable tolerance range is high, even with a very skilled machinist at the controls. Computer numerical control, however, keeps each piece within that tolerance range. If one is not acceptable, the CNC programming can be adjusted and the machinery inspected, and then you can go back to making pieces that are acceptable for the client.
When a CNC machinist feeds specification data into the computer and sets up the manufacturing process for an item, the result is an item that fits almost perfectly. Not just in terms of being within those tolerance ranges, but also in terms of how smooth the cut surface is. If the part has to fit into a specific space, the outline of the item shows no wavering or unevenness.
The manufacturing speed of a line of products using CNC is much faster than that of a manually controlled manufacturing process. You're not going to get the same speed and level of detail with manual machining, and even plain numerical control (with punch cards rather than a computer) takes more time to set up. And if you're wondering about those times when you had items made very quickly via manual machining, try to remember how precise those parts were and how large the batch was. Chances are that CNC will still be much more efficient in the end. If you've got to have several items manufactured with precision on a tight timetable, send those plans to a company that offers CNC machining.
There's something to be said for handmade goods, but industrial parts are not ones where being handmade is really that important. Computer numerical control is what you need for precision and efficiency. Ensure the items you need meet specifications with as little variation as possible.
For more information on CNC machining, contact a professional near you.