In the industrial mechanical business industry, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machines are widely used to fabricate components from different materials, which have succeeded the traditional milling methods; and these machines would be able to get things done effectively with the assistance of human operators.
Hence, here are a few important things that an operator should know before operating such CNC machining center:
1. You must be proficient in G programming language (also known as G-code) – Most CNC milling machines are controlled by integrated control software, which single movement of the cutting tool is derived from G-codes. Therefore, as an operator, you need to familiar with Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software as it is a compulsory skill needed to perform high precision machining operations. Since it is getting easier to use CAM software as it has several features that requires less programming, most companies offer training for their employees – particularly for those who are just getting started as a CNC machine operator.
2. Preparing and handling the cutting tools – As a CNC machining center operator, you will have a routine of operating CNC milling machine including start-up and shutdown operations. For instance, you need to make sure that the cutting tools are properly placed before the milling operation starts. In addition, you need to load raw materials into the work cube and make appropriate adjustments to machine. Besides that, you need to monitor the performance of the machining center to ensure that the components are produced precisely. If the components are not manufactured within the precision range, you need to check the conditions of the cutting tools before sending them for maintenance.
3. Troubleshoot and rectify minor errors – Being a CNC milling machine operator, you are expected to perform basic maintenance tasks including replacing necessary tools including drills, tapers, knobs and etc. If you have come across any major problems which affect your workload, you need to seek assistance from set-up machinists and supervisor to resolve such problems immediately.
4. Take note of the preventive measures – Be sure to understand the preventive measures of your working environment before you start performing any CNC milling operations. The most important thing that most operators would concern is to stop the machine immediately when things fall out of place. Thus, most CNC milling machines has a true interrupt program button that stops cutting and retracts the tool.
5. Must have knowledge of using the precision inspection equipments – You need to ensure that the components need to be produced within the precision range. Therefore, you need to make use of precision inspection equipments such as calipers, micrometers and optical comparators; to track the performance of the CNC milling machine so as to confirm that the component fabrication process are effectively done.
By knowing the important things mentioned above, hope that you are capable to handle CNC milling machines productively.