CNC machining stands for computer numerical control. Computer-controlled tools are utilized to cut, shape, and form metal. Since this machinery is computer-controlled, users can program it to follow specific paths when altering the metal. CNC machines are used most often in the engineering, automotive, aerospace, and woodworking industries. Keep reading to learn how CNC machining works, the different types of CNC machines, and how phase converters help them operate more efficiently.
How Does CNC Machining Work?
A CNC machine is composed of two main components, a controller and machine tools. The controller contains information related to the part being worked on while the machine tools do all the work. The controller sends instructions in G-code to tell each machine tool where to move and what type of cut or finish to perform in a given area.
What Are the Advantages of CNC Machining?
CNC machining is an efficient method for manufacturers to produce large quantities of parts that are identical in shape, size, and quality. Here are the four main benefits that CNC machining has over traditional machining methods.
- Greater accuracy
- Produces better surface finishes
- Faster process
- Creates parts from complex shapes that aren’t possible using other methods
What Are Open & Closed Loop Machines?
Open-loop machines use a fixed amount of energy to produce a certain amount of work. After the CNC machine creates products from raw materials, the products are sold, and the raw materials are used to make more products.
Closed-loop machines transfer power from an external energy source into either mechanical or electrical energy to produce work. This type of machine recycles the products it creates, meaning that the same raw material can be reused over and over again to create more products.
CNC Machining & Automation
As computer-controlled devices, CNC machines are fully automated. Here’s how they work.
How a CNC Machine Works
The CNC software is programmed with CAD (computer-aided design) data, which includes the dimensions and specifications for the desired part. The CAD software then sends control signals to the CNC machine tools and uses CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software to cut away excess material and shape the part according to those specifications.
4 Types of CNC Machines
Take a look below at the four different types of CNC machines and how they operate.
1. CNC Mills
CNC mills—also known as computer numerical control mills—are machines that use computer programs to cut and shape complex 3D shapes from materials like wood, metal, stone, and plastic. Since CNC mills use computerized controls, they’re able to create these shapes with great precision and accuracy.
Lathes are computer-controlled machines that use numerical controls to cut metal and other materials into cylindrical shapes for industry use. Using a rotating cutting tool known as a “spindle,” the CNC machine spins a workpiece on its horizontal axis to remove excess material. The most common type of lathe uses a lead screw, which is turned by an electric motor or by hand, to move an axis back and forth along a bedway.
3. Plasma Cutters
CNC plasma is a type of cutting tool that uses a plasma arc—or torch—to cut through materials. The plasma is created by ionizing the air and passing it through a magnetic field, which then creates the electric arc.
The plasma is directed onto the metal to form whatever shape the computer system specifies. While this type of machine can be used to cut through various materials, it’s most commonly to shape metal.
CNC discharge machines—also known as EDM (electric discharge machines)—use electrical sparks to create various shapes from raw materials. These CNC machines do so by firing a high voltage electric arc at a metal target that’s made of an alloy with a low melting point and impurities such as copper, aluminum, and silicon. The impurities help the arc conduct electricity.
How Do Phase Converters Help CNC Machines Function Better?
CNC machines require a certain voltage level to function. By supplying reliable single-phase and three-phase power—depending on what each job requires—phase converters help these machines operate efficiently.
Power Your Next Job With a Custom-Made Rotary Phase Converter
When you need a phase converter you can trust to get the job done, trust the brand that produces the market’s highest quality equipment. We offer a large selection of rotary phase converters with an output custom balanced to meet the requirement of CNC equipment. By balancing output, rotary CNC digital phase converters work on all types of CNC machines.
If you’re looking for a more precise, more cost-effective way to power CNC equipment, choose from our collection of rotary phase converters designed specifically for CNC machines. Our team members are here to answer any questions and help you properly size the right rotary CNC digital phase converter for your specific application.