The initials CNC stand for Computer Numerical Control. A CNC machine is a customised device that can perform designated tasks in a fully automated manner. Robotics on the other hand is basically the creation and utilisation of electro-mechanical appliances to accomplish errands that are otherwise completed by human beings. CNC robotics are thus a function of the parallel development of CNC machines and robots over the last century.
CNC robotics combine both the capabilities of CNC machines and robots so as to achieve complete automation of specified tasks while ensuring the highest levels of accuracy and efficiency are achieved.
The CNC- Robot Relationship
The relationship between CNC machines and robots as far as robotics are concerned is symbiotic. This means that they mutually offer competencies that are advantageous to the production process as a whole. The following are ways in which they complement each other.
CNC Robotics and Accuracy
CNC Machines are generally more accurate when compared to robots. One of the major reasons for this is the anchored and constant position it maintains as far as the part undergoing processing is concerned. Various appliances are then able to work on the fixed segment according to how they have been programmed.
CNC Robotics and Manual Labour
When it comes to the reduction manual labour, robots have a distinct advantage over CNC machines. This is because of the mobility feature robots offer which is something CNC machines do not possess. Once a robot is programmed, it is able to carry out the assigned tasks seamlessly while only needing a periodic end effector change where multiple jobs require completion.
Human personnel is however an integral part in the effective operation of a CNC machine. Activities such as fixing in place the segment being worked on as well as removing the finished commodity from the machine are all human controlled. The opening and closing of the machine at the start and end of every production cycle are also manually controlled.
CNC Robotics and Lean Manufacturing
Lean manufacturing is defined as a production methodology than focuses on reducing waste during process procedures while at the same time maximizing the yield of the system in question. Robots are certainly more adept when it comes to waste control when compared to CNC machines. This is because they are able to use fewer materials and serve for a much longer time frame than CNC machines.
CNC Robotics and Maintenance
The techniques used in controlling the degree of force and accuracy in robots gives them a distinct advantage over CNC machines in terms of maintenance costs. This is because CNC machines are more prone to wear and tear as a result of the abrasive smut which finds its way into the crevices during production. This in turn affects its degree of precision negatively which inadvertently leads to expenses being incurred in order to fix the error in place.
CNC Robotics and Tasks
Due to their specifications, CNC machines and robots vary distinctly when it comes to functionality. Generally speaking, CNC machines can only perform one task at a time. This however does not change the fact they can accomplish a wide array of jobs according to how each of them is tailored. They mostly conduct operations that are more or less tailored to machines for example drilling, sawing and turning just to name a few.
Robots on the other hand usually perform errands that would otherwise have been done by human beings. These tasks include Picking and placing, painting, sorting and welding among many others.
We can thus conclude that when it comes to functionality, CNC machines give greater accuracy on their designated tasks while robots offer greater variety as well as different performance levels on each job they carry out.
CNC machines and robots are inventions of great guile and skill. Independently, they add value but when combined the sky is the limit for what they can achieve.