Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines are very popular in the manufacturing industry. In the past, many manufacturers used machines that were controlled by qualified engineers. Today, however, computers, making it possible for people with less training to operate the machines, control CNC machines.
Positive impacts of CNC machines
CNC machines are capable of running for 24 hours in a day and throughout the year. The only time that the machines need to be switched off is when they need to be maintained.
A computer-controlled machine and can be programmed to produce products that look the same in their hundreds and thousands. This has made it easy to achieve mass production of products.
By upgrading the software that drives the machine, one can improve these machines. Moreover, the modern software eliminates the need to produce prototypes. This helps manufacturers to save both time and money.
While it true that a highly skilled engineer can produce similar products many times, a close look at the end products will reveal some differences. CNC machines address this problem by producing goods as an exact match.
Supervision is limited when employing the use of computer-controlled machines. Once the machines have been programmed, they can even be left to operate on their own. Only a few tools will need to be occasionally replaced.
Negative impact of CNC machines
Although CNC machines reduce the number of manual laborers required in a manufacturing plant, the machines are more costly to operate. However, the costs associated with running the machines are gradually coming down.
Operating and supervising CNC machines requires basic training and skills. In the past, it required years of training before one qualified to supervise manually operated machines. This means that most of these old skills have been rendered redundant. In effect, this has led to unemployment.
Today, many countries do not equip students with the engineering and mathematical skills that were required to operate manual machines. As such, the detailed skills that were previously equipped are now fewer in the job market.