Once upon a time, people worked with their hands. Blacksmiths hammered metal into horseshoes, artisans sculpted clay until it turned into something usable. But that was once upon a time and times have changed. Now, into create tool, people turn to a different tool, people turn to CNC turning centers.
Turning is the process in which a hunk of metal is secured in between the two points of a metal lathe. The lathe then rotates the metal, while a cutting tool shapes it into whatever is desired. Between the cutting tool and the rotation, the metal is deformed and reshaped into what the used wants to create.
CNC stands for computer numerical code. A CNC turning center is a piece of equipment that works largely by itself, using a predetermined program. By using such a device, the process becomes more automated.
A CNC turning center can cost more than a manual one. However, the costs are offset by the fact that it requires less of a specialized skill set to manage and fewer people to do so. Between the money saved from hiring multiple employees and the sheer efficiency of the machine, one can easily be a solid investment for any industrial business.
Automation makes things more effective, and turning is no different. A machine can produce tools at a greater volume than a person could. Computer code is used to run the machine and since a computer does the same thing every time, each product made is impossible to differentiate from the last. Quality remains consistent across the board even as volume goes up.
A center is also extremely versatile, able to make different kinds of products depending on the programming. Also, because it is a piece of equipment that uses computer, it does not have to be retrained. All a CNC turning center needs in order to expand its skill set is a software update.
Machines also work longer than men and women do. Men and women need food, water, and rest. Machines need none of those. An automated turning center can keep going all day, every day, only needing to be switch off for those rare instances of maintenance.
But automation of any sort can come with its controversies. Most people do not like it when their jobs are made unnecessary by the use of machines. There are those who decry the use of CNC machines, believing that people are becoming too reliant on technology.
Whatever feelings and misgivings some may have about automation, it is very much here to stay. No company is going to go backwards to the old assembly lines, not when automation provides a more consistent product at a more agreeable pace on a greater scale. Machines do not go on strike when union demands go unmet. No, they keep working, they keep making money for the company. Progress can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially for those being left behind, but progress is what drives society forward into a brighter, better future.
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