The Pros and Cons of CNC Machining

CNC machining can be used to move your business to greater heights, but before you purchase a machine consider all the pros and cons first.

The pros

1) Continuous use. These machines can run as long as you wish them to run, be it 24 hours, weeks, months or even a year, the only time you need to shut them down is for maintenance.

2) Consistency. The machines will produce piece after piece of the same object without flaws giving your business the consistency to produce quality items time after time.

3) Staffing. The use of CNC machining will allow you to employ less skilled staff than that of manually operated equipment. This means less engineers and less faulty products.

4) Software. The software is one of the main components of the machine. It can be updated to improve your equipment. Training of the programming is available in a virtual hands on way. Some of the high end software will even allow the designer to simulate the manufacturing process, eliminating the need for prototypes. Saving you money and time.

5) Technology. The technology used in the CNC machining machining software will allow you to create designs that is impossible to be made by manual means.

6) Management. A single person can easily manage a handful of programmed machines, the only aspect that needs to be changed are the cutting tools should they go blunt.

7) Training. Operators only need basic training to work these machines, degrees are not required.

8) Flexibility. within a matter of hours the machine can be reprogrammed to create a totally different part. This will ensure that you keep up with customer demands without spending a lot of time or money replacing parts as it would be needed in manual machines.

The Cons

1) The cost. CNC machining can be more costly than manually operated machines, but a reduction in these costs are starting to show as the demand for them increase.

2) Skills loss. Due to the limited training needed a lot of the old skills used to manually create parts are lost. With automated machining so readily available students are no longer taught to manually create parts. After a decade all of the old skills engineers were so famed for will be lost. This can create difficulties if you should require parts that are handcrafted.

3) Unemployment. Less workers are needed when you use CNC machining, meaning you may need to retrench or reduce some of your staff.


When you consider the pros and cons of these automated machines you will find that the pros far outweigh the cons. Even though the initial costs might be high the amount you save on skilled staff and reject parts will soon turn into profits. The software used will allow you switch between different design components in a much shorter time that manual machines would require. The best aspect is however consistency, every new part you create will be exactly the same as the previous, eliminating errors created by manual machining.

Source by Debra P Banks

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