NC machines have two important features: a motorized tool and a maneuverable platform. Both of these parts controlled by a computer core, according to specific input instructions. Instructions are delivered to an NC machine in the form of graphical computer-aided design (CAD) files, which are transformed into a sequential program of machine control instructions, and then executed. NC is a major advance in machining, and is a vast improvement over non-computer type machining that requires manual control, by hand wheels or levers.
Modern-day advancement in computer technology as led to the boom of computer numerical control (CNC) tools. Using computer software, this technology can be programmed to efficiently carry out industrial tasks. The part's mechanical dimensions are defined using CAD software, and then translated into manufacturing directives by computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. The resulting directives are transformed (by "post processor" software) into the specific commands necessary for a particular machine to produce the component, and then are loaded into the CNC machine.
The beauty of this modern technology is that it makes manufacturing more efficient. When it comes to gear production specifically, CNC machining has changed the game.
Here is how CNC machining is changing gear production:
Computers can control a broad range of tools, including mills, grinders, lathes, and routers. Without the need for manual operation, the process can be repeated in the same way for unlimited times.
The high precision with the use of CNC machining allows even the most complex gear shapes to be made. You might be wondering how this is possible. CNC relies on digital software. The design is saved in a digital file and interpreted by the CNC machine as instructions for cutting prototype gear parts. This ability of the machine to automatically control the extremely technical and labour intensive process of gear manufacturing increased productivity and efficiency.
While standard machines can move in just one or two axes, CNC machines can move in more axes, both laterally and longitudinally, and even rotationally. This multi-axis movement of the more advanced CNC machines made it possible to flip gear parts over automatically and allow cutting on all sides without the need for human intervention.
Automated gear technology is usually more accurate, durable, and versatile and manual inputs from workers. It is not surprising that gear manufacturing has fully embraced the use of CNC machining in virtually every stage of the process.