As many industries become more familiar with the idea of mass, accurate manufacturing, CNC machining is becoming more prominent.
Already an extremely advanced process, it improves on a relatively constant basis. Its methods become more precise and better handle a diverse range of materials.
As industry experts predict, the machining industry, especially CNC machining China-based, is expected to grow considerably, and reach a staggering $134 billion by 2030.
It wouldn’t be shocking if that number turns out to be a low calculation.
There are several factors to consider which particularly will cause income growth for CNC machining.
First, the natural increase of interest and utilization. Also, there’s the rising versatility of CNC machining to consider.
It’s no more a single procedure, but rather a manufacturing process that can be performed in various ways according to need. That versatility will also lead to more utilization in the following years.
Probably above all, it will be the growing and improving IoT that will drive CNC machining toward higher revenue and extended use.
The IoT stands to transform many manufacturing practices, as it continues to connect and digitize global factories.
However, several benefits stand out particularly as potential drivers of CNC machining development:
Preventive maintenance is one of the most frequently referred benefits of the IoT in manufacturing, and it’s also a factor in which CNC machining is concerned.
The IoT enables real-time, remote condition monitoring. Not just of products, but of machines as well
With CNC machinery basically left alone to command orders, IoT-connected sensors ensure that everything is done adequately, alert management in case of issues, and give early notice of any regular maintenance.
Product Quality Assurance
With the IoT working in combination with the efforts of CNC machining, manufacturers can outfit each piece with a sensor that connects it to an extensive network.
That makes it simpler to track the products throughout any shipping and assemblage efforts, and also to identify and handle production errors.
If sensors detect an error the machining process can be stopped if needed, until it’s resolved.
Smart manufacturing (thanks to connected equipment and sensors) is able to give organizations a set of tools to better manage energy consumption.
You can have access to hourly, daily, or even real-time data regarding how much power your processes consume.
One of the most effective ways to put that data to work in CNC machining is through a search for context.
For instance, it’s not sufficient to know your utility expenditure was 40% higher in December than in November.
For that reason, the granular data the IIoT provides is so helpful. You can measure:
- The relative electricity demand of fabricating different products;
- The exact use of consumables (water, electricity, and gas) across various manufacturing facilities or even overseas;
- Whether your air conditioning needs to work harder to balance the temperature outdoors or the excess heat from your production equipment.
This is a relatively large point that can make for a whole subject of conversation alone, but it’s also significant to note that the IoT stands to empower additional robotic systems to work side-by-side with CNC machining.
Consider, for example, something as plain as arranging products once they’re manufactured. At the moment that’s more or less considered a manual task.
However, with the IoT enabling numerous machines and systems to communicate with each other, everyone can also see the sorting out and arrangement fully automated.
That will reduce labor expenses first of all, but also impede injuries at work.
Upgrading ‘Legacy’ Equipment
One big question brought up by the IIoT concerns the impact it may have on the durability of manufacturing equipment.
It’s not uncommon for some CNC machines to last more than twenty years. So, what does it mean that a great deal of the automated equipment houses sensors and logic boards, and operates on advanced software?
The quick ‘churn’ of new technologies appears to be a deal-breaker in terms of applying the IIoT to equipment intended to be a long-term investment, instead of something that’s upgraded at periodic intervals, such as a smartphone.
Fortunately, the IIoT provides many upgrading options for interested manufacturers, some of which can extend the mechanical and technical abilities of even machines that are years into their durability.
As you can see from the above, there are plenty of possibilities for CNC-related tasks when it comes to the IIoT. Employing that technology may be more of an investment in certain cases than others.
Nevertheless, for CNC machining operations, it’s easy knowing that even a minor tactical purpose can deliver major benefits to your competitive capacity, your resource efficiency, and ultimately your growth and profitability.