The use of smart manufacturing and CNC as one of its main tools is a way for Europe to get ahead economically in comparison to countries where low-cost labour is used. This article looks at the key advantages of CNC machines in smart manufacturing, provides actual technical solutions for improving work processes, and discusses the main challenges in purchasing and implementing CNC machines in production.
The advantages of CNC machines
The advantages of using CNC machines in smart manufacturing are automation of production processes and increased efficiency. The following are worth noting:
● High performance. CNC machines operate at an incredible speed and can significantly increase the speed at which tasks can be completed. In addition, unlike a human, a CNC machine can work without interruptions or days off, which increases overall productivity. And a simple solution like an interchangeable CNC fiber laser table almost doubles the output. An example of such a solution is the Wattsan 1530 Tablechange.
● Quality of performance. The CNC reduces scrap to almost zero, and with the correct settings, you can get perfect cutting, engraving or milling, depending on the type of machine.
● The complexity of the tasks to be performed. CNC machines can perform very complex tasks that humans cannot do manually. For example, cutting complex contours or engraving miniature images, as the positioning accuracy is hundredths of a millimetre.
● High repeatability. The software control performs its tasks precisely and efficiently, and the result is always identical. This makes the production process predictable and allows time and costs to be calculated precisely.
● Multitasking. Some CNC machine models can perform multiple operations simultaneously or combine different functions. For example, a CNC Wattsan CO2 laser machine can both cut and engrave material. Fiber optic machines can be equipped with a pipe cutting unit. An example of such a model is Wattsan 1530 Rotatory, which can cut both sheet material and pipes of different cross-sections.
● Versatility. The CNC allows you to quickly switch between different tasks, adapt to changing customer requirements, and quickly make the necessary adjustments to the created product layout.
Challenges of implementing CNC equipment
In order to realise the full potential of smart manufacturing, it is important to solve some of the issues facing the industry. The main ones are issues of staff skills, the high cost of equipment, and the ability to maintain it.
Qualifications of CNC machine tool operators
While the use of advanced technology can increase productivity, it also requires a higher level of technical knowledge. When buying a CNC machine from Virmer, every customer can receive basic or advanced training. Some of our customers own dozens or hundreds of CNC machines, and we have a unique relationship with them: not only do we train personnel and provide lifelong information support, but we also advise on how to organise the production facility and all production processes according to the specific task in order to make the most of the equipment.
The cost of CNC machines
The cost of a CNC machine tool is important to consider as a long-term investment that will finally lead to significant cost savings, as this equipment increases operational efficiency and leads to lower production costs and higher profits through increased productivity and quality. Our main supplier, Wattsan, has been manufacturing CNC machines since 2003 and currently supplies machines to more than 30 countries all over the world in accordance with international CE and ISO 9001 standards. Such a position on the international market and extensive experience in CNC manufacturing enables the factory to find the best solutions in terms of equipment and to keep the price lower than on the European market, even taking into account delivery and all related costs.
Maintenance, repair and availability of components
Wattsan's development department carefully selects machine components and works with such companies as IPG, Mitsubishi, Siemens, and HIWIN. Any part, even the most reliable one, can break down, so the choice of components is subject to regional markets. For example, if we supply a machine tool to South America, we consider that the manufacturer of some of the best guide rails in the world, HIWIN, does not operate in that country. When we supply our machines to South America, we work with Wattsan to adjust the complete set for those brands that are represented in that country. All components have to be available; this is a guarantee of maintainability. Virmer also has a representative office with qualified engineers in Europe, so we are always ready to send our specialists to solve technical questions or problems, as well as for training and commissioning.
In conclusion, the production of smart CNC machines is an essential part of the future of industrial production. By investing in smarter production methods, companies in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe can multiply their productivity and efficiency, improve the quality of their products, and obtain a sustainable and predictable production process.