Once this system is developed, it must certainly be loaded into the CNC control. Although the setup person could type this system right into the control, this might be like using the CNC machine as a very costly typewriter. If the CNC program is developed with the aid of a CAM system, then it has already been in the form of a text file.
If this system is written manually, it may be typed into any computer employing a common word processor (though most companies make use of a special CNC text editor because of this purpose). In any event, this system is in the form of a text file that can be transferred right into the CNC machine. A distributive numerical control (DNC) system is employed for this purpose.
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A DNC system is only a PC that's networked with one or more CNC machines. Until only recently, rather crude serial communications protocol (RS-232c) needed to be employed for transferring programs. Newer controls do have more current communications capabilities and may be networked in more conventional ways (Ethernet, etc.). Aside from methods, the CNC program must obviously be loaded into the CNC machine before it may be run.
Types of CNC machines
As mentioned, CNC has touched virtually every facet of manufacturing. Many machining processes have been improved and enhanced through the use of CNC. Let's look at some of the specific fields and place the focus on the manufacturing processes enhanced by CNC machine usage.
In the metal removal industry:
Machining processes that have traditionally been done on conventional machine tools which can be possible (and sometimes improved) with CNC machining centers include a myriad of milling (face milling, contour milling, slot milling, etc.), drilling, tapping, reaming, boring, and counterboring.
In a similar fashion, a myriad of turning operations like facing, boring, turning, grooving, knurling, and threading are done on CNC turning centers.
You will find a myriad of special "off-shoots" of these two machine types including CNC milling machines, CNC drill and tap centers, and CNC lathes.