What is CNC Machining & What Role Does It Play in Modern Manufacturing?

CNC machining plays a vital role in the evolving world of modern manufacturing. But what is CNC, exactly? How does it play a role in the manufacturing industry, and what do CNC machinists do? Even more so, how can aspiring CNC machinists successfully prepare for – and land – a job in CNC machining today? As a leading manufacturing and machining school in Connecticut, Goodwin College breaks down all the details below, starting with the basics:

What is CNC?

CNC stands for Computerized Numerical Control. It is a computerized manufacturing process in which pre-programmed software and code controls the movement of production equipment. CNC machining controls a range of complex machinery, such as grinders, lathes, and turning mills, all of which are used to cut, shape, and create different parts and prototypes. On the day to day, CNC machinists combine elements of mechanical design, technical drawings, mathematics, and computer programming skills to produce a variety of metal and plastic parts. CNC operators can take a sheet of metal and turn it into a critical airplane or automobile part.

What is a CNC Machine?

Computer Numerical Control machines are automated machines, which are operated by computers executing pre-programmed sequences of controlled commands. CNC machines are essentially the opposite of “old-school” devices that are manually controlled by hand wheels or levers, or mechanically automated by cams alone. Today’s modern CNC machines understand and function using CNC machining language – called G-code – which tells them precise measurements for production, like feed rate, speed, location, and coordination.

Today’s design and mechanical parts for CNC systems are highly automated – unlike the old, dangerous, factory machines you’d think of back in the day. The parts’ mechanical dimensions are defined using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and then translated into manufacturing directives by computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Therefore, it is important to have knowledgeable CNC machinists and programmers in the industry to operate this high-tech machinery.

The Importance of CNC Machining

Manufacturers in Connecticut are leaders in making vital products in the industry, such as jet engines, helicopters, and submarines. And, thanks to recent advancements in technology, gone are the days of gritty factory life. Workers today use their machining skills in a clean, professional setting with advanced and cutting-edge technology.

Getting Started

Those pursuing CNC operator careers enjoy working in a hands-on, never-a-dull-moment, growing field.

With proper CNC machining training, machinists and operators help create a wide variety of manufactured products, thereby playing a crucial role in Connecticut’s booming manufacturing industry and overall economy. Skilled CNC Machinists see a product through each phase of its creation, from the start of an initial concept to design, to code and then to the finished product. In this way, CNC machining is not just a typical manufacturing job; it is a hands-on, creative, valuable career path for innovators who like to see the lifecycle of their work.

What is it like to be a CNC Machinist?

Typical daily duties for CNC operators may include:

  • Reading blueprints, sketches, or computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) files
  • Setting up, operating, and disassembling manual, automatic, and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools
  • Aligning, securing, and adjusting cutting tools and workpieces
  • Monitoring the feed and speed of machines
  • Turning, milling, drilling, shaping, and grinding machine parts to specifications
  • Measuring, examining, and testing completed products for defects
  • Smoothing the surfaces of parts or products
  • Presenting finished workpieces to customers and make modifications if needed.

For aspiring machinists looking to start an exciting career in this growing field, earning an associate degree and/or certificate from a reputable manufacturing school is a great investment in the future! For those looking to become a CNC machinist in Connecticut, Goodwin College is recognized for our various CNC programs.

Whether at the certificate or degree level, our CNC machine training gives students a thorough understanding of the manufacturing processes, materials, and manufacturing mathematics. You’ll also gain competence in technical drawings, specifications, and computer-aided machining. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll also acquire practical experience with modern CNC technologies.

Goodwin College combines classroom education with hands-on experience and training. Students are taught on our new CNC 3-axis milling and turning machines, to provide the skills, know-how and experience needed to be successful in the industry. Thanks to the extend of CNC operator training, students also walk away with an understanding of advanced Mastercam skills needed for programming tool location, motion, and feeds and speeds.

Upon completion of these programs, students are ready to take on the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credential to become a CNC operator.

Goodwin College’s competitive CNC operator school is designed to get students certified and working in the field in a short period of time, on a flexible schedule. No matter your personal obligations or current work situation, Goodwin has a manufacturing program for your busy lifestyle. You do not have to put your life on hold to pursue the degree of your dreams.

Want to learn more about CNC operator careers, or about Goodwin’s career-focused CNC training programs? Call Goodwin College today at 1-800-889-3282 to learn more.