Increasing productivity within the factory, providing more quality to manufactured products, and reducing expenses simultaneously is the dream combo of most business leaders within the industry. With the increase in costs reaching increasingly higher rates (2.4% in the first quarter of 2018, the highest value recorded since 2015, according to the CNI) and without passing this increase on to prices, several segments have sought alternatives to increase productivity the operation. But after all, how is this possible?
Within the segments that use machine tools (equipment dedicated to the manufacture of parts), the use of Computer Numerical Control is the main alternative to increase productivity and product quality at the same time. According to Mitsubishi Electric, a leading manufacturer of industrial automation and CNC materials, the increase in productivity can be up to three times compared to conventional machines. “It is possible to have more quality in the parts produced since computers entirely control production. In addition, CNC allows for increased productivity and scale, reducing downtime within the industrial environment”, says Eduardo Miller, the company’s application engineer.
In practice, the Computer Numerical Control is a machine similar to a computer, having features dedicated to machine tools, programmed to automate and control the position of a tool relative to a workpiece, transforming raw materials into parts ready to be used in factories. For each application in a machine tool (machine topology), the CNC, Amplifiers (Drivers), and motors are specified to meet the machine’s requirements. This driver, motor, and CNC set are sold to machine builders (new machines) and to machines that can be retrofitted (retrofitting) in a configuration we call “CNC kit.” At Mitsubishi Electric, customized configurations are created for each application in which the CNC KIT is applied.
In general, CNC machines are mainly used in industries that deal with machining parts (residual removal process or material insertion), and their use has become increasingly democratic, ranging from small companies to large manufacturers. “The investment to have a machine like this varies a lot, but in general, it has a swift ROI thanks to the advantages of increased productivity, quality, reduced machine set-up time, reduced operator fatigue, and the possibility of manufacturing more products.