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High-quality Metal Parts For The Airbus A320 Made With Precise, User-friendly CNC Tech

High-quality Metal Parts for the Airbus A320 Made with Precise, User-friendly CNC Tech

Find out how Harmuth CNC-Frästechnik was able to overcome sheet-metal aircraft part machining challenges. Article by Stefan Ziegler, Beckhoff Automation.

In aircraft construction, exceptional component quality and precision are crucial, for obvious reasons. However, sheet-metal aircraft parts are often extremely large, making machining and handling problematic. 

Working closely with CNC specialist Penta-Tec CNC-Automation GmbH and with milling specialist A&T Manufacturing GmbH—a company that supplies Premium Aerotec, an Airbus subsidiary, with structural components—Harmuth CNC-Frästechnik has built large-format milling machines that use PC-based control technology from Beckhoff to successfully overcome these challenges. 

PC-based Control Provides Greater Flexibility for Machine Builders

Harmuth CNC-Frästechnik makes 3D milling machines and specialty systems, the advantages of which come to the fore in applications such as the fabrication of large sheet-metal parts for the Airbus A320 series of aircraft. The parts are supplied by A&T, as Managing Director Marc Bochinger explains, “Airbus, or rather Premium Aerotec, is our biggest customer. Besides supplying all their material (the sheet aluminium), we also form and machine large and complex structural components for them. What sets us apart at A&T is that we concentrate completely on the customer’s needs and come up with an optimized production and logistics solution in as short a time as possible.”

Power and Versatility of Standard Control Technology

“The big challenge at A&T is the need to constantly implement new machine functionality. A&T and Harmuth CNC-Frästechnik work together closely to optimize the machines—more than once, if necessary—to maximize their potential in production. PC-based control from Beckhoff covers all our requirements, not least because we can change the way axes are coupled in TwinCAT if we need to,” says Roman Felber, Technical Director at Penta-Tec.

In 2010, Penta-Tec found that rising functionality demands were pushing the performance of its proprietary control system to the limits. “We needed a new, flexible control system, capable of delivering the performance we needed. After some research and analysis of the controller market, PC-based control technology from Beckhoff soon stood out as the ideal solution,” Managing Director Dieter König says. 

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A Remedy To Uncertain Times

A Remedy To Uncertain Times

Medical manufacturing company Straits Orthopaedic delivers on diverse medical applications with their flexible ANCA CNC grinding machines. Article by Duncan Thompson, ANCA.

If manufacturers have learned anything over the recent months, it is that you can take nothing for granted. Circumstances can change quickly and how you are set up to respond can be the difference between your business flourishing or folding. Recognising this, Straits Orthopaedic has been investing in ANCA machines as part of their strategy to be a flexible manufacturer in the medical tooling and component market. 

The events of COVID-19 this year are perhaps the most extreme example of rapid market change and resulting uncertainty. But, even after more normal circumstances return, manufacturers need to be constantly vigilant, watching and responding to changes in the market that provide new opportunities or necessitate a pivot in their business. 

ANCA CNC grinding machines have long been recognised in the industry for their flexibility. It is this kind of flexibility that allows ANCA users to produce parts for diverse applications, so they are not limited to just one customer or one application. Powerful software allows users to create programs for a broad range of cutting tools and components. While modular machine design means features can be easily configured to suit the varying needs of different applications. 

The medical industry offers exceptional and diverse opportunities for manufacturers, with ANCA grinding machines supporting international markets in the production of complex bone rasps, long rotary reamers and tiny dental drills and burrs, just to name a few. 

Straits Orthopaedics, based out of Malaysia, is a case-in-point of a company taking advantage of ANCA’s diverse capabilities. Already well established for contract manufacture of medical components, Straits Orthopaedics’ first tool grinder was an ANCA FX5.

Senior Process Development Engineer Vidyadhiraj Vidyadharan comments, “Custom made tools have become a significant part of our growth in the medical tool market. We need the ability to make special tools to varying customer requirements and to be able to do it quickly. ANCA’s FX5 with its flexible tool programming software has certainly allowed us to meet this need. Demand for our diverse range of medical drills, reamers and planers easily justified our second FX5.”

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When Grinding Receives An Unprecedented Dimension

When Grinding Receives An Unprecedented Dimension

Dressing technology enables completely new possibilities in grinding with metal bonded CBN and diamond wheels. Article by Fritz Studer AG.

Alfred Mair, Head of Grinding Technology at Fischer AG, faces a challenge. The company, a manufacturer of high-precision spindles, has reached its limits in the grinding of exotic materials such as titanium and hard-to-machine hard materials under the increasing quality demands from the customers. That, plus their need to increase productivity, can’t be solved by  conventional grinding machines. 

Then came Fritz Studer AG’s S41 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine. Specifically designed for large workpieces, it has a length between centres of 1000/1600 mm and a centre height of 225/275 mm. It processes workpieces with high precision up to a maximum weight of 250 kg, just as effectively as small and medium-sized workpieces. But the key for Fischer is the fully integrated WireDress dressing system.

“We had high hopes that we could use metal-bonded grinding wheels for a measurable and reproducible highest quality, have a higher productivity, more universal machining options as well as reduced tool costs,” Mair explains his expectations.

Expectations Exceeded

STUDER configured the S41 with WireDress based on additional requirements from Fischer. Thus, the machine received a special high-speed external grinding motor spindle, an innovative proprietary product of Fischer, in which the axial growth is particularly small.

In addition, the spindle is tapered at the rear end, avoiding possible collision situations. This is a specific benefit for face/shoulder grinding with the spindle at an angle. The S41 is supplemented with a fully automatic workpiece magazine and handling system, which ensures fully automatic series production of the high-quality precision components in a stand-alone operation.

“I am blown away,” says Mair. “Three to five times faster than with conventional technology, with absolute reproducibility, ground in a tolerance range of less than 1μm! I have never seen anything like that! I am extremely impressed.”

The Secret Behind

But how does this dressing technology work? Michael Klotz, project manager for development at Studer, explains, “It is a well-known fact that metal-bonded grinding wheels are much more durable and dimensionally stable when machining difficult-to-machine materials and ultimately enable higher productivity. The problem with this is that metal bonds can only be dressed to a very limited extent using conventional methods in the grinding machine. In addition to this, there is a high dressing tool wear associated with a low cutting ability. This is neither an operator-friendly, nor a high quality and process consistent dressing method.”

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One Measuring Software For All Applications

One Measuring Software for All Applications

Measurement service provider Lometec upgraded the measuring software for its tactile Wenzel coordinate measuring machines from Metrosoft CM to WM | Quartis. CEO Jörg Werkmeister and Technical Director Marc Lange report on their practical experience using the example of a dimensional inspection of a turbine blade testing device.

The Metrosoft QUARTIS workspace. The inner ring of the turbine blade testing device is seen on the LH 108 coordinate measuring machine. (Source: Lometec)

Lometec GmbH & Co. KG is an accredited metrology lab according to DIN EN ISO / IEC 17025: 2005. The company provides a fully air-conditioned 220-square-meter measurement room according to VDI / VDE 2627 Bl.1 with state-of-the-art optical and tactile measuring machines. Lometec’s customers are mainly from the automotive and aerospace industry, medical technology, and mechanical engineering.

 

Measuring of the CNC Manufactured Rings of a Turbine Blade Testing Device

All tactile measurement systems at Lometec are exclusively powerful coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) from Wenzel Group.

“The Wenzel CMMs offer a holistic concept of high-quality engineering, intelligent software and accessory options,” says Jörg Werkmeister, Chief Executive Officer of Lometec. He is very satisfied with the decision to upgrade from Metrosoft CM to WM | Quartis.

Lometec was faced with a very sophisticated measurement task. A CNC manufactured inner and outer rings of a turbine blade testing device needed to be checked for dimensional accuracy for a customer. It was a very time-critical measurement task and the metrologists from Lometec used two LH 108 Wenzel coordinate measuring machines in parallel.

Clearly Designed Workspace for More Efficiency in Daily Use

Technical Director Marc Lange explains, “Due to the clearly designed workspace WM | Quartis works more effectively than was possible with Metrosoft CM.”

In the WM | Quartis user interface, the traditional menus and toolbars have been replaced by the Ribbon—a device that presents commands organized into a set of tabs.

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The Future Of Manufacturing: Impactful Tech On The Horizon

The Future of Manufacturing: Impactful Tech on the Horizon

The future of manufacturing is brimming with opportunity—it is full of new technologies designed to reduce waste and maximise process efficiency and flexibility through software and hardware capabilities. Article by Rahav Madvil, Simulation Product Manager for Siemens Digital Industries Software, and Noam Ribon, Senior Business Consultant at Siemens Digital Industries Software.

Industrial manufacturing as a sector has been an early adopter of robotics and other forms of technological improvements for decades. Robotics have been one of the best options to increase production efficiency for large and often highly repetitive manufacturing processes. But the era of producing large quantities of just a few products with low mix is coming to an end, giving way to increased product personalisation requiring a more flexible production process with less waste than ever before.

Fortunately, the future of manufacturing is brimming with opportunity. It is full of new technologies designed to reduce waste and maximise process efficiency and flexibility through software and hardware capabilities. Almost all of this promise is built upon a foundation of digital transformation – and the digital twin. Everything from raw material tracking to process optimisations to hardware selection stem from insights gained from the digital twin and a closed-loop optimisation of entire facilities.

The most difficult aspect of any change to operation are the inevitable changes to process—they are expensive twice over, because nothing is being produced and resources are still being consumed. An autonomous transport initiative squarely addresses this, relying on a few, key technologies to make it happen.

The Power of Virtual Commissioning

Creating a comprehensive digital twin of your production process can greatly reduce downtime for new machines, new processes and new products.  Let’s say you need to install a new CNC station. What if the processes for this new machine could be validated before it ever arrived on the production floor by using the digital twin of the production line? Less time could be spent integrating the new component into the overall production lines through line integration as a part of virtual commissioning.  Available today, virtual commissioning is the critical underpinning to an efficient production environment enabling a closed-loop iterative optimisation of the entire facility.

Virtual commissioning is vital, not only for testing software controls, but for adding insight to the efficiency of the controls strategy. It is also essential for embarking on the advanced robotics journey, laying the groundwork for implementing greater process automation and flexibility needed to efficiently implement tomorrow’s manufacturing technologies today.

Simulate Everything Upfront

One of the best options to minimise risk when updating an existing process or making a new one is to simulate the new operations. It nearly eliminates upfront investment in machinery before knowing whether the new process will operate as expected on the shop floor. For new digitalisation efforts, this is where a digital twin should be established for the process. Without a comprehensive study of the actions within a plant new equipment could be under-utilised leading to lost investment.

Just as important is the implementation of IoT devices, that serve to close the loop between the digital twin and the physical processes once the new processes have been initiated. Although these devices are often embedded in new production equipment, but it is important to consider how to best maximise the voluminous data they generate to gain crucial insight into the production process.

Next Generation Programming

Another route to maximising production time even when supporting a high product mix is to expedite the reprogramming of the robotics in use on the factory floor. Without integrated robotic control, updating a robotic arm for a new task can be incredibly time-consuming. It needs to be taken offline, reprogrammed, validated and restarted, for each robot that will handle the new processes.

In a partnership between AtriMinds and B/S/H/, Siemens Digital Industries Software helped bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products.

Siemens Digital Industries Software bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products.

All that changes by integrating the programmable logic controllers for these robots into the comprehensive digital twin. Much of this process can be streamlined. Does a bolt spacing on a phone need to be shifted slightly to accommodate the latest 5G wireless antenna? If the entire fleet of robots working on that production line could understand the change, that would save many hours across multiple engineering and production teams. Engineers simply need to let the robots know of the change and any differences in manufacturing tolerances can be accounted for with closed loop sensing through visual or force feedback. With force feedback within the robotic arm, any force exerted over a defined threshold can initiate a pause to the robotic arm’s actions and readjust positioning to address the perceived problem.  Instead of shutting them down for reprogramming, all the robots working on the project can adjust independently to subtle changes.

Although this might sound like some futuristic scenario, task-based programming has already been tested in the real world. In a partnership between AtriMinds and B/S/H/, Siemens Digital Industries Software helped bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products. Previously, one of the largest hurdles to automating assembly was how to work with flexible components. Traditional robotics rigidly follow predefined movements, so if something were to inadvertently shift, the whole assembly could be destroyed. But by implementing force sensing on the robotic arms, there is an almost intuitive understanding of the parts and how the robot is interacting with the workpiece at its station. If a hole is slightly out of place on a panel, the input from force sensors can help the robot redirect its movement and thread a screw through without complex, preprogrammed instructions for misalignment scenarios.

Optimising Production with Autonomous Robotics

Simulation, virtual commissioning and advanced robotics programming lay the foundation for a fully flexible production floor, but automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) weave it all together and bring it to life. Historically, conveyor belts acted as the material flow paths on a shop floor. They efficiently move product from point A to point B but require semi-static positioning. Even mobile conveyor systems, common in logistics work, take time to move and to ensure a safe path for product.

Heatmap from simulating AGV and AMR activity on a manufacturing floor.

In contrast, AGVs and AMRs can change their path during transit. This saves time that would have been spent readjusting existing features, this is critical for a flexible production environment. Imagine a production floor, making two distinct version of a product. For version one, the bolts need to be added before the secondary assembly is added, while in version two bolts cannot be added until after the sub-assembly has been mounted. In a static conveyor facility, this could be completed given enough conveyor length and a sorting mechanism. Beyond a couple variations to the production sequence the factory would fill up with conveyor loops that only transport a few products at a time, defeating one of the  main goals of the technology But with a fleet of AGVs or AMRs moving materials and work pieces throughout the facility, products can be rerouted and the sequence reordered to another machine. Or, in the case of highly customised consumer products, components could be routed to the best machine for the task. It can account for how much time is required to switch over to the new process, how many units can it produce compared to other machines, and even the impact of a re-route on other processes on the shop floor.

Reaping the Benefits of Tomorrow’s Robotics Today

Achieving all this requires a highly integrated production process. To guarantee a product is still made correctly during an automated process change, it needs to be simulated beforehand using a digital twin. To certify the product can be made in the new location, the production machine needs to be validated for the task using virtual commissioning. And to ensure the slightly different parts don’t produce errors in the process, the machines themselves need to be flexible to adapt to in real time to changing conditions with AGVs and AMRs.

Properly managing all these variables can have an incredibly positive effect on process performance, in fact it can produce up to a 40 percent improvement in labour productivity, according to a 2020 McKinsey study. Understanding the shop floor is an invaluable proposition and will continue to net savings and improvements through the life of the facility, even making it last longer by reducing maintenance overhead and costs with the improved condition monitoring of extensive IoT and the comprehensive digital twin.

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NUM Launches Digital Twin Technology For CNC Machine Tools

NUM Launches Digital Twin Technology For CNC Machine Tools

CNC specialist NUM has launched digital twin technology that enables machine tool manufacturers to reduce their time to market dramatically, by using powerful Industry 4.0 simulation techniques.

Powerful 3D simulation realistically illustrates the dynamic operation of the machine.

Originally known as pairing technology, and first used by NASA in the early days of space exploration, digital twin technology is now rapidly gaining industry acceptance as one of the most cost-effective means of accelerating the development of products, processes and services.

For automation products such as machine tools, a digital twin is a virtual model that uses simulation, real-time data acquisition/analysis and machine learning techniques to allow full evaluation of a machine’s dynamic performance before constructing a physical prototype. The same technology can also be employed for customer presentations, virtual commissioning and operator training purposes – and all well before the actual machine itself has even been built.

NUM offers two versions of digital twin technology, to best suit customers’ needs. Both versions are designed for use with NUM’s, open-architecture Flexium+ CNC platform. One version uses a naked Flexium+ controller and resident virtualisation software running on the system’s industrial PC to simulate the twinned machine automation. The other version uses the actual Flexium+ controller that will eventually be incorporated in the machine, linked via EtherCAT to a standalone PC running specialist high speed hardware simulation software to represent the mechatronics of the twinned machine.

The virtual controller version includes a software development kit for creating the software model of the machine. The model is a standalone PLC program that uses predefined components to simulate individual machine elements, such as sensors, spindles, pneumatic cylinders, etc. It is loaded into the integrated PLC of the Flexium+ controller. The Flexium NCK in the controller executes the NC programs and simulates the changing position values of the machine’s axes. To help users visualise the process, NUM’s package includes the CODESYS Depictor software tool produced by CODESYS GmbH, which is used to produce 3D visualisations from the IEC 61131-3 code created by the simulation.

The other version of NUM’s digital twin technology package accommodates real-time data acquisition and analysis. It is based on the ISG-Virtuous hardware simulation software produced by Industrielle Steuerungstechnik GmbH (ISG). The Flexium+ controller that is intended to be used in the physical machine is connected via an EtherCAT network to a standard PC, and interacts with the simulation software in real-time. The PC acts as the twinned virtual machine – with all simulated, virtual components behaving like real components in terms of their interfaces, parameters and operating modes – to accurately replicate the structure and dynamic performance of the real machine. The movements of the machine are displayed realistically on the PC, using the supplied 3D simulation software.

NUM’s new digital twin technology provides machine tool manufacturers with a very powerful and cost-effective means of reducing their developments costs and accelerating their time to market. The virtual controller version is especially useful for the early development stage of a project, before the CNC system has been finalised, while the real-time hardware simulation version has the advantage that all sequencing (PLC) and motion control (CNC) programs that are created during development can simply be transferred to the real machine as soon as it becomes available.

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Haimer USA Joins TITANS Of CNC For Manufacturing Education

Haimer USA Joins TITANS Of CNC For Manufacturing Education

Haimer USA has partnered with TITANS of CNC—an organisation that uplifts students, educators and the manufacturing workforce in over 170 countries worldwide.

Titan Gilroy, CEO and founder of TITANS of CNC is focused on developing and delivering high-level manufacturing education through the TITANS of CNC : Academy and Aerospace Academy. Over the past few years, TITANS of CNC has reshaped the way manufacturing education is approached and delivered. With its free, online, video-based, step by-step, training system, TITANS of CNC continues to provide real solutions to real manufacturing problems.

As part of the collaboration, Haimer USA introduced various industry leading products to Titan so he can implement the HAIMER technology into his academies and teach his students about how HAIMER products provide consistent solutions for machinists to increase their productivity. “We are excited to be working with Titan and his team,” President of Haimer USA, Brendt Holden stated,

“Through the TITANS of CNC: Academy, together we will be able to educate operators on why our system solution of balancing, presetting, shrinking and measuring are so important to implement in machine shops.”

“TITANS of CNC is proud to partner with HAIMER who is a world leader in the area of shrink fit, balancing, and presetting technology,” Titan Gilroy – CEO of TITANS of CNC stated, “We are excited to introduce our audience to these incredible products and solutions and we look forward to using them to help teach the trade at the highest level.”

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Bending In The Smartphone Era

Bending in the Smartphone Era

How exactly do newer CNC press brakes create more parts than older mechanical or hydraulic press brakes? Find out in this article by Marcel Fiedler of Bystronic Inc.

Older controls required manual numerical programming.

Do you remember getting your first cellphone? What was the first thing you took out of the box and spent time with? It was probably the user manual. The cellphone was a new technology, and you needed time to understand and learn to use it. It wasn’t intuitive, and you absolutely needed that manual.

What happens when you get a new smartphone today? You unwrap the well-designed package, admire your shiny new device, turn it on, and get started. It’s probably already charged and just waiting for you to use it. That’s it. It doesn’t have any buttons or dials; the entire surface is a human-machine interface, or HMI. And it probably doesn’t have a manual. A pop-up notification shows you received a new message, and you just tap to see what it is. It’s intuitive.

Press brakes last much longer than cellphones, of course. That’s why in many job shops today you might find both mechanical and hydraulic press brakes with old controls. They can last 30 years or longer and still bend parts. Of course, just because a machine turns on does not mean it can produce parts efficiently. If you see less seasoned operators attempt to run the shop’s oldest brake, you’ll probably hear them say, “Does anybody know how to operate this machine?”

Learning and understanding bending theory is probably as challenging as learning to be a good welder. It takes time and patience to learn the differences between every machine. Those differences can be significant, especially in a bending department with both old and new equipment. They require different training strategies, all driven by technology that has literally changed how operators learn about sheet metal bending: the software and machine control.

The Pre-Smartphone Era

Imagine starting a new job as a press brake operator around the same time that you received your first cellphone, before the smartphone era. You spend most of the time going through the manual, guided by a veteran who knows the machine inside and out. You read the blueprint and adjust the machine settings as necessary. You learn how to adjust the position of each axis, determine where the backgauge needs to be, dial in the part, make other adjustments by typing nominal values into the controller, then run production until you need to switch over to the next part. Once you understand the basic concept of one machine, you walk to the next press brake and learn this process from the beginning again, with your experienced tutor and the manual right next to you.

You receive a printed blueprint, and you write the program at the machine control. You determine the material type and thickness, define your bend angle, then position your backgauges manually for each bend. If not provided on the print, backgauge positions are defined as an actual absolute value that needs to be calculated manually

.

Overall you spend 10 minutes (or longer) getting the press brake ready to make the first bend—and that old machine control gives you no indication of how to do this. By looking at the control alone, you don’t know which tools to pick or how to set them up. That’s why you need an experienced operator by your side. He knows the setups and best ways of doing it by memory. Still, even with all his knowledge and experience, he pays very close attention to his choices so he doesn’t make any mistakes. Setup is time-consuming, and the old machine control doesn’t give much if any assistance.

At some point, you’re on your own. You position the peripherals of the machine first so you know where to place the tools. What tools do you select for this job? You’d better have a quick guide or “little black book” close to the press brake to know which tools to pick.

The Smartphone Era

The control shows other relevant information, including raw material location, customer information, and due date.

Fast-forward to today. Imagine you just graduated from school and you’re now looking for your first real job in the sheet metal industry. Thing is, you aren’t on the shop floor with an experienced employee who has operated just one machine his entire career.

Instead, you’re in a classroom environment. You sit by a desktop PC with the press brake operating software installed. You don’t have a printed machine manual, and on some days you might not work with someone with decades of press brake experience, especially if they’re needed on the floor. But that’s not a problem—and here’s why.

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Doosan Machine Tools Partners With TITANS Of CNC

Doosan Machine Tools Partners With TITANS Of CNC

Doosan Machine Tools is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with TITANS of CNC, Inc. As part of this partnership, Doosan Machine Tools will become the exclusive premier machine tool builder partner for TITANS of CNC.

TITANS of CNC is focused on being the top global manufacturing education provider, and over the past few years, has reshaped the way manufacturing education is approached and delivered.

“My team and I are extremely excited to partner with Doosan Machine Tools,” stated Titan Gilroy, CEO of TITANS of CNC.  “They are a global leader in machine tool technology and are trusted by companies all around the world. Together we will close the skills gap and train machinists to produce real parts, allowing them to compete at the highest level.”

For over 40 years, Doosan Machine Tools has been supporting the manufacturing industry with high performance CNC machine tools. Doosan Machine Tools shares TITANS of CNC’s passion for educating manufacturing professionals,” stated Jim Shiner, Doosan Machine Tools America’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “The need for trained machinists is greater now than ever, and in our new partnership with TITANS of CNC, we are proud to recommit our efforts to building the next generation of young machinists.”

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TMR: CNC Market To Reach $115B By 2027

TMR: CNC Market to Reach $115B by 2027

The increasing focus on production efficiency is aiding the uptake of computer numerical controls (CNC) technologies as these machines streamline various operational processes by reducing production time and minimizing human error.

The highly competitive environment has compelled players to focus on efficient manufacturing techniques. They are also trying to gain competitive advantage by redesigning their manufacturing facilities to include CNC machines. The integration of 3D printing with CNC machines is one such addition to some of the new production units, which is expected to offer better product design with little to no resource wastage.

Fuelled by these factors, the global market for computer numerical controls is projected to grow from a value of $64 billion in 2018 to $115.1 billion by 2027, according to a study by Transparency Market Research (TMR). If these values hold true, the CNC market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.7 percent during the forecast period.

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Automated Manufacturing Driving Demand for CNC in Industrial and Automotive Sectors

Based on type, the global CNC market is led by lathe machines, and the segment is poised to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. The demand for lathe machines can be attributed to a wide application area.

On the other hand, milling machines are anticipated to register a strong growth rate during the forecast period. Milling machines are compatible with a wide range of materials and surfaces and help improve overall efficiency. Furthermore, technological innovation has led to the development of advanced milling machines that can provide a more consistent finish to the products.

In terms of application, the industrial segment held the dominant share and is likely to retain its lead through 2027. The growing demand for automated manufacturing in the industrial sector resulted in the increasing uptake of CNC machines. The establishment of manufacturing facilities in developing regions such as Asia Pacific has also spurred the usage of CNC technologies in this sector. The automotive sector, on the other hand, is set to be the most rapidly developing segment in the coming years thanks to the soaring rate of automated automobile manufacturing.

North America Continues to Present Immense Scope Despite Market Saturation

From a geographical viewpoint, the global market for computer numerical controls is led by Asia Pacific, with the region accounting for a share of approximately 35 percent in 2018. Developing economies such as China and India have been witnessing robust growth in terms of industrialization, thereby propelling the regional market. The automotive sector has been estimated to register rapid growth in the Asia Pacific CNC market during the forecast period owing to the rising demand for automobiles in the region. In addition, the easy availability of labour and the declining prices of components have resulted in manufacturers shifting their production units in this region. This is further propelling the APAC CNC market.

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Meanwhile, considering that the United States is the one of the earliest adapters of new technologies, the North America market for CNC machines is relatively saturated. Be that as it may, rising concerns over global warming and depleting energy reserves have led to the production of alternative sources of power such as solar, water, and wind, and this has significantly upped the demand for CNC machines in the region. CNC machines are actively used in power generation as the process requires wide-scale automation.

Key Driving Factors, Promising Avenues, and Challenges

Some of the key growth dynamics in the CNC market are:

  • The drive for automated manufacturing in various industries is a key trend driving the expansion of the CNC market.
  • Industries, notably automotive, have increasingly adopted automated machine control technologies to improve operational efficiencies and reduce overall costs.
  • In numerous developing and developed countries around the world, growing emphasis on reducing the carbon footprint of manufacturing has spurred growth in the CNC market.
  • Over the past few years, deployment of 3D manufacturing technologies have been at the forefront for industries, bolstering demand for CNC.

Despite the attractive potential of CNC in industrial automation, such technologies require substantial investment. The maintenance and servicing is also cost-intensive, resulting in small-scale enterprises to avoid the adoption. All these are proving to significantly constrain the growth of the CNC market.

On the other hand, the incredible drive for efficiency gains is a key business proposition for the rise in demand in the CNC market.

 

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