Advancements in Drilling Operation Nov05

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Advancements in Drilling Operation

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and has been around since the early 1970’s. CNC has touched almost every form of the manufacturing process in one way or another. These machines typically replace or work in conjunction with some existing manufacturing processes. Take one of the simplest manufacturing processes, the drilling operation, for example.

Using a Drill Press
A drill press can be used to machine holes. There is a lot of manual intervention required to use a drill press to drill holes. A person is required to do something almost every step along the way. While this manual intervention may be acceptable for small manufacturing jobs, greater quantities require greater drilling operation methods.

Using a Machining Center
By comparison, the CNC equivalent for a drill press can be programmed to perform this operation in a much more automatic fashion. Everything that the drill press operator was doing manually will now be done by the CNC machine, including: placing the drill in the spindle, activating the spindle, positioning the workpiece under the drill, machining the hole, and turning off the spindle.

CNC Promotes Precision
CNC machines perform a wide variety of drilling operations. A machine can be programmed to turn a part, and drill cross holes on or off center, as well as in either face of the part. CNC machining companies offer numerous drilling options and sizes. After the drilling operation, machines can also be programmed to tap, bore or thread mill depending on the job requirements.

CNC Promotes Efficiency
Everything that an operator would be required to do with conventional machine tools is programmable with CNC Machines. Once the machine is setup and running, a CNC machine is quite simple to keep running. With some CNC machines, even the workpiece loading process has been automated.

Using Motion Control
All CNC machine types share this commonality: They all have two or more programmable directions of motion called axes. An axis of motion can be linear or rotary. One of the first specifications that imply a CNC machine’s complexity is how many axes it has. The more axes, the more complex the machine. Advanced drilling machines usually have 5 axes.

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