Five Industries That Use CNC Machinery

The CNC machinery market is expected to reach $134 billion by 2030 because there is such growing demand for CNC machinery. Why is the demand so high? The demand is growing exponentially because CNC machinery, whether milling, turning, or screw machining, is time efficient and less prone to human errors.

Additionally, CNC machinery is incredibly precise; machinists usually measure deviation in terms of tolerance. For example, bilateral tolerance is usually indicated with a +/- and then a millimeter measurement. The standard tolerance of many CNC machines is 0.005 inches (.000127 mm), although some machines have an even lower tolerance. While many of the items that surround us in our day-to-day life have components that were made using CNC milling services, CNC turning services, or another CNC process, CNC machines are especially useful to create parts for industries where lives are on the line. Subsequently, it won’t come as a surprise that the industries below make use of CNC machinery to craft many components.

  1. Transportation Industry

    Cars, trucks, trains, freight carriers all need long-lasting parts. Components such as pistons, sleeves, shafts, and couplings go into building the vehicles that move people and things from one place to another. The precision of CNC machining ensures that the parts are crafted with accurate dimensions, thus increasing their reliability and longevity.
     
    Another aspect that’s critical to the transportation industry is prototyping and research. Designers need to be able to physically evaluate how the prototype functions so that the design can be adapted for maximum safety. Using a CNC machine reduces the amount of necessary time to prototype components.
  2. Aerospace and Aviation Industry

    When it comes to machines that fly, there are numerous factors that engineers have to account for, including air currents, extreme pressures, and high speeds. Each component of an airplane, shuttle, or rocket must be precisely manufactured, or many people’s lives could be at risk. Tolerances for aeronautical parts often must fall within  ±0.0001” in order to ensure compliance with regulations.

    CNC machinery may be used to create parts such as airfoils, spacers, blisks, housings, landing gear, and even shuttle seats.

    Similar to the transportation industry, the ability to quickly prototype and test parts is invaluable to aeronautical engineers. The CAD file can be easily modified based on the results of testing and then converted to a CAM file. When the part is just right, it’s easy to shift to mass production.
  3. Medical Industry

    The medical industry’s reliance on customized parts for patients that are also disposable (so as to avoid cross-contamination between patients) makes CNC machinery an ideal solution. Customized parts can be manufactured with speed and ease, ensuring that hospitals and other businesses in the medical industry have the necessary high volume without sacrificing precision.

    A variety of CNC machines (mills, lathes, drills, welding, etc.) create important medical equipment such as implants, MRI machines, orthotic devices, and electronic enclosures for monitoring devices. Being able to craft these items with precise cuts contributes to saving people’s lives every day.
  4. Energy Industry

For many years, the energy industry—specifically oil and gas—has made use of CNC machines to create the devices they need on rigs and in refineries. Drilling rigs are especially at risk and need precision and accuracy in components of machines. Whereas aeronautical equipment had to contend with challenges such as air currents, parts that are used in the water have to be able to withstand the environments around them. This is true whether the oil well is in the desert or the ocean. The parts must be able to resist the salt from the waves and the dust from the desert.

In addition to the oil and gas industries, many wind energy is also using CNC machines for turbine pieces and other components that harness natural energy.

5. Military/Defense Industry

The defense industry covers a wide range of companies and necessary machines and parts. Unique to this industry is the secrecy around what parts specifically are made, due to the sensitive nature of that information. However, the technology and equipment must be up to date and current; CNC machining helps make this possible with its efficiency, speed, and accuracy.

Several other industries, such as consumer products, and electronics also make use of CNC milling, turning, and more. The precision and efficacy cannot be beaten by traditional milling and turning.