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Application of CNC Machines

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How CNC Machines Improve Production Efficiency in the Automotive Industry

Abstract

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The paper tries to examine how the application of CNC machines in the automotive industry improves production efficiency. To demonstrate the actual benefits of utilizing CNC machines, the research examines the case of three companies – Deerfield Machine Parts (DMP), KOVOKON Popovice, and SilverHorse Racing. Through the success stories of these companies, it can be concluded that the use of CNC machines will lead to reduced overhead labor costs, highly accurate and top quality productions, and increased manufacturing capabilities.

Introduction

What is a CNC machine? CNC is actually the acronym for Computer Numerical Control. The CNC in a machine refers to the software application or the program in the computer comptroller which operates the machine tools. The machine tools refer to the actual equipment and facilities which are used for fabrication. Prior to the creation of the CNC, machine tools were operated manually by operators.

These days, CNC machines are mostly used in fabrication.

Fabrication is an industrial term which refers to the process of constructing structures and equipment from slicing, cutting, shaping, and assembling components made from various raw materials. Materials which are often subjected to fabrication usually include metal, stone, and gems.[1]

Despite the fact that CNC machines and facilities are used for the fabrication of various elements, most of these machines are used for metal fabrication. These machines are involved in the selective removal of raw metal materials. Instead of being manually operated by a laborer, the CNC machines are operated by the computer itself. The process of fabrication is automated. However, instead of the operator, CNC machines need CNC programmers. Programmers feed the fabrication instructions to the computer comptroller. Once the instructions are all set, CNC machines are capable of massive production in short periods without the need of manual operation.

With the aid of CNC machines, the role of the machine operators is significantly reduced and so are the overhead costs for production. Moreover, operators will not have to worry about precision. CNC machines provide extreme precision and accuracy to the measurements and specifications fed to their systems. Since these facilities are automated, fabrication and production can continue 24/7 even without much monitoring and control from operators. [2]

CNC machines are capable of cutting and forming metals and other hard materials into various shapes – round, rectangular, prism, and the likes. These machines are also used in drilling and threading. Due to the esteemed industrial benefits of the CNC machines, many industries are now using these facilities. Nowadays, tools with CNC programs are extensively used in the tool manufacturing industry and automobile industries.

In this paper, the application of the CNC machines in the automotive industry is explored. Specifically, this research presents a case study on how these machines promote efficiency in the production of the various components needed for the construction of automobiles – from the various parts of the vehicles to the tools required for creating and modifying these automobile parts.

Case Study
Do CNC Machines Promote Production Efficiency in the Automotive Industry?

The automotive industry: A major player in the CNC market

When the CNC machines first achieved worldwide appreciation in the year 1986, its total world market was just $3.5 billion. Eleven years after, reports from the Market Intelligence Research Corporation (MIRC) showed that it has reached almost $12 billion. Now, the amount is estimated to have tripled.[3]

CNC machines have been in demand ever since the 1983 retrenchment.[4] According to some reports, the CNC market continues to grow as it now encompasses production and manufacturing in the automotive, aerospace, defense, electronics, railway, and electrical industries. Among these industries, the automotive industry leads the pack as the biggest CNC machine market. Companies involved in developing, manufacturing, and designing motor vehicles have consistently demanded for CNC machines in order to drive competition and meet the demands of their clients.

Reports show that while the use of CNC machines promotes growth in the automotive industry, the said industry also propels rapid advancement in the production and improvement in the trade of CNC machineries.

Basically, strong international competition among the automotive industries of the US, Asia, and Western Europe has required immediate and extensive improvement in manufacturing and production. This prompted the world wide CNC market to install CNC machineries along with flexible manufacturing systems. Flexible manufacturing systems refer to production sites comprised of a network of several programmable and automated machines. The use of CNC machines largely contributed to the production of almost seventy million motor vehicles all around the world in 2006.[5]

Deerfield Machine Parts: Precision through CNC machines

A particular example of the application of CNC machines in the automotive industry is demonstrated by DEERFIELD MACHINE PARTS (DMP). The machining company based in New Jersey caters to customers that are in need of high quality machined components use in a variety of industries – including the automotive industry. They offer custom machining which can be used for different production manufacturing applications.

To provide precision machining for the automotive industry, DMP makes use of highly advanced CNC metal working machines. By using this kind of facility, DMP can cater to high volume production manufacturing services or small volume customizations. Among the most common applications of the CNC machines are in the production, modification, and customization of fittings, sleeves, adapters, screws, tubing, and more. These components are mostly used in the brake systems, air conditioning systems, electrical systems, automotive pumps, drive systems, and other vehicle engine parts.[6]

KOVOKON Popovice: CNC Increases Labor Productivity

The company KOVOKON Popovice in the Czech Republic founded in 1998 specializes in part production and component manufacturing in the automotive industry. Their main focus is the production of electromotor components and other automotive parts made from “aluminum cysta”.

In particular, KOVOKON use CNC machineries for cutting and shaping castings in high accuracies fit for the specifications of their clients. They also use CNC turning machines for flange turning. Among the CNC machines that they use for flanges which measure up to 250mm circular diameter are the GILDEMEISTER CTX 420 LINEAR with toolings drive and the
HARDINGE EMAG – vertical CNC turning machine with toolings drive. For turning flanges measuring up to 1000 millimeters in diameter, they use the KARUSEL CDT 300×5262 – vertical CNC turning machine. The use of these machines gained them high production rates and high accuracy productions which meet the demands of their clients in the automotive industry.[7]

SilverHorse Racing: From a Race Team to a Worldwide Ford Mustang Retailer

SilverHorse Racing provides tooling needs for automotives, particularly for Ford Mustang vehicles. They have been using CNC machines for producing and distributing aftermarket products for the Ford Mustang through a dealer network. Prior to being a retailer, the company was just a race team. What prompted their success in machining is the use of CNC machines. Among the machines that they use is the Doosan Lynx 220 LM Turn-Mill center. According to the company, CNC machines with automated turning, and radial and axial milling capabilities have reduced their labor costs. Such facilities also allowed them to meet the precision demands of their clients.[8]

Apart from the CNC machines, SilverHorse Racing also makes use of the FeatureCAM 2007, a software application that allows clients to directly import solid models and present required G-codes essential for programming tuning centers with tooling and milling capabilities.

Summary and Conclusions

CNC machines are now being used in a variety of industries – specifically the automotive, aerospace, defense, electronics, railway, and electrical industries. Among all of these, the automotive industry serves as the biggest player in the CNC worldwide market. In general, the strong international competition among the automotive industries in various parts of the globe contributes to the massive demand and use of CNC machines.

Over the past two decades, CNC machines have evolved from optional facilities used for small volume production to production necessities vital for high volume manufacturing. In general, companies in the automotive industry use these tools so as to increase their machining capabilities.

In the case of Deerfield Machine Parts Company, the use of CNC machines provided precision for the production and customization of fittings, sleeves, adapters, screws, tubing, and other automotive parts. As for KOVOKON Popovice, their CNC machineries used for cutting and shaping castings and turning flanges resulted to high production rates and high accuracy productions. Last but not the least, the CNC machines used by SilverHorse Racing allowed them to reduce labor costs and become a worldwide retailer for Ford Mustang automotive aftermarket parts.

In general, it can be established that the application of CNC machines in the automotive industry led to increased production efficiency through reduced overhead labor costs, highly accurate and top quality productions, and increased manufacturing capabilities.

References

Czech Trade Promotion Agency (n.d.). KOVOKON Popovice – CNC machining for automotive industry. Published in CzechTrade online (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.czechtradeoffices.com/en/sweden/industrial-cooperation/kovokon-cnc-machining-automotive-industry-1/)

Khemani, Haresh (2008). What is a CNC Machine? Published September 15, 2008 in BrightHub (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.brighthub.com/engineering/mechanical/articles/3770.aspx)

______________ (n.d.). Deerfield Machine Parts. Accessed 07 Apr 2009 from www.dmp.com

_____________ (2008). SilverHorse Racing Utilizes CNC Machines. Published July 2008 in FeatureCam (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.featurecam.com/news/cstudy_article.asp?releaseId=171)

_____________ (1991). Metalcutting leads in CNC controller use. Published April 1, 1991 in The Free Library. (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Metalcutting+leads+in+CNC+controller+use-a011235004)

______________ (n.d.). Fabrication. Published in Wikipedia. (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabrication_(metal).html)

[1] ______________ (n.d.). Fabrication. Published in Wikipedia. (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabrication_(metal).html)

[2] Khemani, Haresh (2008). What is a CNC Machine? Published September 15, 2008 in BrightHub (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.brighthub.com/engineering/mechanical/articles/3770.aspx)
[3] _____________ (1991). Metalcutting leads in CNC controller use. Published April 1, 1991 in The Free Library. (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Metalcutting+leads+in+CNC+controller+use-a011235004)
[4] _____________ (1991). Metalcutting leads in CNC controller use. Published April 1, 1991 in The Free Library. (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Metalcutting+leads+in+CNC+controller+use-a011235004)
[5] _____________ (1991). Metalcutting leads in CNC controller use. Published April 1, 1991 in The Free Library. (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Metalcutting+leads+in+CNC+controller+use-a011235004)
[6] ______________ (n.d.). Deerfield Machine Parts. Accessed 07 Apr 2009 from www.dmp.com
[7] Czech Trade Promotion Agency (n.d.). KOVOKON Popovice – CNC machining for automotive industry. Published in CzechTrade online (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.czechtradeoffices.com/en/sweden/industrial-cooperation/kovokon-cnc-machining-automotive-industry-1/)
[8] _____________ (2008). SilverHorse Racing Utilizes CNC Machines. Published July 2008 in FeatureCam (Retrieved 07 Apr 2009 from http://www.featurecam.com/news/cstudy_article.asp?releaseId=171

Cite this Application of CNC Machines

Application of CNC Machines. (2016, Jul 06). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/application-of-cnc-machines/

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