July 16, 2015 2:05 pm
CNC-based machine tools offer greater energy efficiency, increased productivity, utmost accuracy with optimum reliability
With the increasing focus on achieving manufacturing excellence, the computer (computerised) numerical controls (CNC) industry is going through a massive transformation. Industrial manufacturers from across the world are leveraging the benefits of advanced CNC technologies driven by new control technology and increased consumer demand.
Growth driversThough machine tools industry was going through a slump commencing in 2013 due to slower manufacturing growth, the CNC machines markets globally have maintained positive growth due their stronger demand.
Of late, the manufacturing sector in India is experiencing growth. India’s factory output for April showed a 4.1 per cent growth, against 2.1 per cent for the month before. Therefore, with the opening up of economy and increased manufacturing activities, the market for CNC machines is likely to witness better growth.
CNC machines are designed with unique properties to deal with energy consumption, productivity and shorter time frame. And when it comes to manufacturing output, today’s CNC-based machine tools offers greater energy efficiency, increased productivity, utmost accuracy with optimum reliability.
Major factors like growing awareness on energy efficiency and cost efficiency, increasing demand for consumer goods due to economic prosperity, and adding physical infrastructure aggressively are driving the demand for CNC-based machine tools. On top of that, the government’s new ambitious ‘Make in India’ mission to promote domestic manufacturing is expected to drive the growth further.
Commenting on the latest demand-supply scenario of CNC machines, T K Ramesh, CEO, Micromatic Machine Tools Pvt. Ltd. said, “The demand for our CNC machines is stable and growing. We are in constant touch with the market requirement and are supporting the market with the required products and solutions. The first quarter demand has been to our expectation and we hope it will become better in the coming period.”
Micromatic is the marketing arm of Ace Micromatic Group. The group specialises in the manufacturing of CNC controlled turning, milling and grinding machines along with subsystems like tool turrets, ATC etc.
Widening applicationsAutomotive and aerospace are major users of CNC systems. However, due to the demand from other end-user industries, CNC systems are now increasingly being deployed in healthcare, jewellery, and woodworking industries also. Companies like Multi Axis CNC Robotics manufactures vertical machining centres, horizontal machining centres, CNC milling machines, engraving machines, wooden routers, stone routers etc. which are widely used in dies and moulds like injection mould, press tools, pressure die casting, forging dies, metal patterns, auto components machining, shoe moulds, graphite electrode machining, wooden doors, wooden carving, stone carving, jewellery making, dental solutions etc.
Jyoti CNC Automation Pvt. Ltd., one of the leading CNC machine tools manufacturers in India, offers a wide range of CNC machines consisting of series of machines in CNC Turning Centres, CNC Turn Mill Centres, CNC Vertical Machining Centres, CNC Horizontal Machining Centres, CNC Vertical Line Machines and High-tech CNC 3-axis and 5-axis machining centres. These machines find application in across the industries include defence, research institutes, aerospace, automobiles, die and mould, general engineering, power, medical, and agriculture.
Advanced technologyAccording to a Frost & Sullivan analysis, open architecture PC-based control systems are revolutionising the CNC industry. “New technology has enabled computer networks to merge, thereby providing innovative approaches to production, monitoring and control solutions for the metal machining industries,” it added.
Another recent technological advancement in an unbundled software approach to control systems is the soft CNC (SCNC). Apart from enhancing the man-machine-interface (MMI), SCNCs helps in widening the user choice and control in terms of hardware alternatives.
With increased input costs including infrastructure and manpower costs, machine tool users are becoming cautious in the resource utilisation. To address this issue CNC machines manufacturers are developing new products. One of such products is Gemini-Mini. Gemini-Mini, introduced by Micromatic Machine Tools, is more suitable for smaller components requiring frequent tool changes. The machine is designed with two BBT-30 spindles driven by a single spindle motor. According to Mr Ramesh, the product is an attractive alternative to many of the faster machining centres available at a dearer price.
Continuous, uniformed production planning is a critical area as far as a production facility is concerned. Machine tool major DMG MORI presents CELOS with a total of 15 APPs and as PC version for the continuous production planning on the PC in work preparation with direct connection to the machines
CELOS provides a uniform user interface for all new high-tech machines from DMG MORI. CELOS APPs provide the user with integrated management, documentation and visualisation of order, process and machine data on a unique 21.5-inch multi-touch screen. Furthermore, the company assures, operation of the machine is simplified, standardised and automated with CELOS.
In an aim to provide machine tool manufacturers and users hands-on experience of its latest CNC technologies and solutions, German engineering major Siemens AG opened a technology and application centre in Bengaluru last year.
Sprawled over an area of 6,500-square feet, the facility provides application support and training to customers and institutes dealing with various types of machine tools. The centre also demonstrates the company’s Sinumerik CNC controllers and CAD/CAM solutions and use SinuTrain, a simulation tool, to train users in achieving higher productivity.