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Manufacturing & Production careers

Computer Numerical Control

What is computer numerical control?

Computers have revolutionised the manufacturing process. In the modern world, mass production needs to be quicker, more efficient and more accurate.

Handmade and manual production is great, but it’s slower and leaves a lot more room for error. Basically, manufacturing needs to be automated to get stuff produced faster. This is where computer numerical control (CNC) careers get involved. They keep the manufacturing and production sector pumping out products.

CNC now touches on every different kind of manufacturing. Basically, every single little action that a manual machine operator might be required to do can be done by CNC machines if the right computer programme is inputted, from drilling holes, to turning the product over and painting it on one side. Once the machine has been programmed and set on its way, all you have to do is sit back and watch the manufacturing magic happen. If that sounds like what you want from a graduate job, read on.

What does computer numerical control involve?

For simple actions, CNC programming can be done manually. However, for more complex, integrated and end-to-end production processes, people who work in computer numerical control tend to use computer aided manufacturing (CAM) systems. These simplify the sometimes arduous and time-consuming aspects of programming complex data and commands.

The CNC programmer will simply specify what the machine needs to do and then the CAM system will create the CNC programme automatically. To save even more time, and save the CNC programmer typing all of the new code directly into the CNC machine, they will usually use a distributive numerical control (DNC) system to do it for them. Simple.

Understandably, careers in computer numerical control require people with specialist technical knowledge of the various computer systems. They will also tend to need strong mathematical skills, practical skills, logic and patience.

What jobs are available in CNC?

A range of different CNC jobs are available within the manufacturing and production sector.

CNC programmers actively input highly-detailed instructions into CAM, CNC and DNC systems.

CNC operators then ready the equipment, place the required tools and resources into the machines, perform test runs and make any necessary modifications. These guys also monitor the production, and keep an eye out for any problems with the machinery that may hinder the quality of the products.

Specialist CNC maintenance and servicing engineer positions are also available. U These guys work hard to make sure problems are fixed and machine breakdowns are rectified quickly and efficiently.

If all this CAM, CMC, DNC business didn’t fly straight over your head then you may well be perfect for a career in computer numerical control…