Industry Outlook: CNC Machine Trends For 2020
As 2020 is only some days away, there are a lot of reasons to be excited in the CNC machining industry. For one, experts and analyst have estimated that machining as an industry will grow to exceed a $5 billion-dollar mark. Other reasons include the new wave of digital innovation and collaboration that will birth some game changers in the manufacturing industry, market size growth, healthy competition, 3D printing and software updates.
Today, we take a look at the most likely trends for CNC machine in the year 2020. Every aspect of development will be important trends for pacesetters, designers and manufacturers alike, affecting every phase of manufacturing from labor to delivery, logistics, cost and even material use. We hope you’re as excited as we are. Without further ado, let’s explore our top predictions for CNC machining in the coming year!
An additional axis in CNC machines
6-axis CNC machining might yet be the biggest reveal and addition to the technology side of CNC operations. As CNC machines have grown through innovation over the last decade, it is not out of place to expect a 6-axis machining approach to part manufacturing. Today, 3 to 5 axis CNC machines exist to provide even more detailed finishing and optimized manufacturing using a multi-axes approach. Experimenting and perfecting a 6-axis approach will mean that finalized products are made to precision size, dimension and geometry in one go. This will also cut out repetitive process that aims to perfect the product and reduce material waste as milling becomes significantly more precise.
6-axis CNC machines will be able to out do the already impressive capacity of 3 to 5 axis machines by handling around 6-12 axes at once. The effect of this technological advancement in the manufacturing industry will not only mean that products are finalized with more accuracy and detail but will also imply a significant acceleration in turnaround period by up to 70 percent. More axes will also translate into lesser machining cost through reduced setup costs and reduced number of process per operation.
Expect CNC machines to be even more compact this year with equipment created for in-house manufacturing and office use. As is the case with most electronics, designers will continue to explore many ways to produce smaller and more compact devices that specialize across a wide array of functions.
Compact devices will help numerous companies achieve in-house production in especially small businesses that do not need all the manufacturing power in conventional CNC workshops. Bigger establishment can harness the power of smaller and more compact CNC devices to produce everyday materials like nuts, screws, bolts and spares. In-house CNC machining will also avail many businesses the ability to test and iterate design ideas without the need for third-party consultation.
Software updates for improved customization
CNC stands for computer numerical controlled machining. Thus, essentially means that manufacturing is controlled by computer software that is automated to deliver higher precision can accuracy. Before the introduction of software programming, machining was done exclusively via manual means. This often resulted in lesser units being manufactured at higher operational cost.
Today, CNC is the very basis of machining. In the year 2020, expect some form of advancement in the technology that will allow ever user even more control over various processes in the manufacturing cycle. We might also see a more definitive use of cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality to allow designers and engineers visualize, integrate and collaborate more efficiently. IoT will allow for more effective remote control of CNC machine and cloud printing, lowering the frequency of human interaction and consequently, workshop hazards.
Augmented and virtual reality will mean that experts can visualize, correct and make more detailed products with perfection even in the smallest of details. One can expert more bug-free software with virtual simulations and digitized controls in simulated and controlled environments.
3D Printing and Additive manufacturing
2020 will mark a significant use in additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology. Additive manufacturing, over the last couple of years, has transformed the manufacturing industry. Through 3D printing, there has been significant acceleration in rapid prototyping, design iteration and scale modelling. 3D printing has also delivered on the frontier of design flexibility and complex geometry, allowing designers to create functional parts that would be otherwise challenging to recreate with conventional machining.
The product design span is also shortened through 3D printing as scale models can be quickly evaluated for functionality, corrected on-the-go and prototyped for consumer testing. In 2020, expect even more collaboration between CNC machining and 3D printing as the latter presents a more affordable way to conclude on design and testing before running your concluded model on CNC machines.
Manufacturing as a service
Manufacturing as a service is a trend that has been gathering momentum since 2018. We can expect even more growth in this type of online marketplaces that allow CNC machining to be possible without the need for physical interaction. In order to secure more work, businesses are looking to foster online services through cloud computing and virtual interactions. Websites like FirstPart.com allows users to request for quote for free by simply uploading CAM/CAD models of their design, agree terms and commence production. As manufacturing as a service continues to grow and remain a faucet for funneling clients, we can expect more businesses to use these kinds of platforms to cut out logistic bottlenecks and collaborate more effectively across projects with suppliers irrespective of their locations around the globe.
Robots and Co-bots end our list of our 2020 CNC machining expected trends. Over the years, robots have worked along with humans in many manufacturing plants to perform repetitive tasks and optimize the human resource in more meaningful areas.
In 2020, we can all look forward to autonomously programmed robots that will perform more definitive and precision-requiring tasks to make machining even safer and faster. Cobots, or collaborative robots are also going to be on the rise, working alongside humans to deliver more productivity on both production and non-production tasks.
Partner with First Part in 2020
As 2020 arrives, enter into a productive partnership with FirstPart and take advantage of our expertise in production to bring all your projects to life in the new year. As a company dedicated to excellence and improvements, we have already begun and continue to scale up our production capacities to match new demands, innovations and developments in CNC machining and 3D printing.
Our digital manufacturing service allows you to contact us and submit your design for project virtually. Our investments in new machinery also means all our clients will get to enjoy faster production at reduced rates, more precision, accuracy and even more diverse options for low-volume manufacturing.
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