CNC and aerospace automation: 4 things to know

With the aerospace engineering industry being a US $ 34.8 billion industry, the race to create bigger and better aviation assets is well underway.

Moreover, these astounding advancements would not have been possible without the help of computer numerical control (CNC) machining.

The power to automate processes and achieve levels of surgical precision are some of the myriad benefits now relegated to these machines, and rightly so. The margin for error is low and the stakes are high. Moreover, the fusion of human creativity and artificial intelligence (AI) functionalities is slowly paving the way for the future.

To discuss the intricacies of CNC and its relationship to aerospace automation in more detail, read some key discussion areas below.

1. They revolutionize rapid prototyping

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Rapid prototyping is a key process in aerospace automation. What once took months of planning and preparation can now be done in a matter of weeks. Also, it does not take into account the amount of funding used before a presentation.

Failure to convince investors of theoretical designs and changes can lead to the premature death of a project. Diagrams and wordy explanations can sometimes not express the views and reasoning of an engineer. In addition, concept presentations may no longer be enough to give investors the confidence to back up those ideas.

CNC rapid prototyping as well as three-dimensional (3D) printing can quickly create physical manifestations of these projects. Being able to see and hold these components can make their explanation easier to understand. Also, having an outing during presentations can be reassuring for potential investors.

With access to this technology, companies can explore more ideas without budget constraints. In addition, editing can be done on the fly and the need for specialized tools is no longer a problem.

Additionally, governments and private organizations like aerospace machining company Moseys Productions can focus on removing current barriers to theft.

2. They maximize the use of lightweight materials

The weight of the materials is an important factor when it comes to designing airplanes. They need to be tough enough to withstand pressure while still being heat resistant to survive the friction and heat of the engine.

Metals like tungsten, titanium and aluminum are the most sought after for these materials. They are relatively lighter than other metals but remain strong.

In addition, it is proven that a lighter aircraft is more fuel efficient. Urgent issues such as the scarcity of fossil fuels and the feasibility of spaceflight are attracting greater attention in the design of aerospace automation.

Therefore, maximizing the use of these metals is believed to create a more efficient aircraft while reducing emissions caused by higher fuel consumption.

CNC machining is used to process these materials due to their high compatibility. Automation ensures that the integrity of materials is kept intact. Likewise, their controlled algorithms create consistent output and leave little to no waste.

3. They reduce the margin of error

Even the most experienced worker is bound to make mistakes from time to time. While attention during production is crucial, it is also repetitive and meticulous work. Fatigue and communication problems can often occur and are cited as the leading cause of production errors.

Thus, CNC machines are integrated into aerospace automation as they aim to fill these gaps in human limitations. Machines can continue to operate as long as they are powered on. Not only that, but they’re also usually designed to tackle a task for hours on end.

CNC machines are tireless and offer a centralized area for information processing. Therefore, the need to gather information from engineer to worker is becoming a thing of the past. If you make a mistake, changing one or two numbers on the machine can save the shop floor from downtime and rollbacks.

Companies can then reassign the workforce to other departments. Therefore, leaving this process to CNC machines avoids engine burnout and ensures consistent, high-quality output.

4. They can implement complex designs

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Breaking the mold about the current limits of aerospace automation means a lot of unconventional thinking. Current models in use need to be reviewed repeatedly to eliminate weaknesses or find better alternatives.

In addition, the geometries and interlocking components that make up today’s aircraft are already perfectly fitting puzzle pieces. Changing just one aspect can sometimes mean disentangling other parts of the design.

As engineers strive to improve themselves, the proposed designs can become more and more complex. Development delays can occur because the production of these components is painstakingly carried out.

Fortunately, CNC machines generally involve the use of five-axis machining. This makes it possible to increase the nuances and more easily create unusual designs.

Increased flexibility in a short time can help engineers focus their efforts out of the mold. Airplanes and spacecraft could soon be very different from today’s designs.

Conclusion

When it comes to the future of aerospace travel, the sky is the limit as human limitations are replaced by the functionality of machines. Conversely, technological constraints are met by human creativity.

CNC machining already brings a lot to the table and could do more. Using automation where it counts might be enough to help people master aircraft flight and go even further into the future.


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