Today, many industries rely on computer numerical control (CNC) machines to rapidly produce uniform parts for manufacturing. There are several different kinds of CNC machines, including mills, lathes, and grinders. Each CNC machine must be programmed and operated by a qualified machinist. Learn more about CNC machining and its applications in the automobile industry.
CNC Machining Applications
CNC machines are a critical tool in the automotive industry. They can be used to prepare a variety of engine and body parts, including:
The engine block is the metal housing that holds all the cylinders and other components of the combustion engine. They are normally made from aluminum alloy or cast iron. Machinists can program a CNC machine to cut a set of metal workpieces to the precise dimensions needed to create an engine block for a car, whether it is a small sedan or a large military vehicle. With the increasing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles, CNC machines are also needed to prototype new kinds of engine housings.
The gearbox, also known as the transmission, changes a vehicle’s speed and torque. It is a set of shaft and gear systems that connects to the engine. CNC machines use computer-aided design (CAD) to accurately cut intricate gears on multiple axes.
3. Drive Axles
An automobile’s front and rear axles are rods that rotate the wheels and help support the vehicle’s weight. They deliver power from the engine to the wheels via the transmission. CNC machines, like turning lathes, can be used to prepare different components of the drive axle, such as the gears that transmit power from the driveline to the axle shafts. Each part of the axle needs to be cut to precise measurements to ensure the car drives smoothly and the wheels are stable.
Headlights and taillights need to be manufactured correctly to keep drivers safe on the road. A CNC machine can cut many of the components of vehicle lights, such as the lens that houses the bulb and reflectors. These may be made from materials like acrylic glass or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). The machinist must use clean cuts to prepare a smooth surface to transmit light. They may also need to polish the surface using a CNC grinder.
- Roof and Floor Panels
Vehicle panels need to be lightweight yet safe and durable. Today, many roof and floor panels are made from molded polymer. Machinists can program a CNC machine to cut a workpiece into the correct shape and dimensions for vehicle body assembly.
Advantages of CNC Machining
Advancements in CNC machining technology offer a range of benefits to the automotive industry. These include:
- Automation: Programmable CNC machines can automate cutting, drilling, and boring processes that would take much longer to complete manually.
- Speed: Millions of motor vehicles are produced worldwide each year. That means there is a high demand for all different kinds of car parts. Because machining processes are carried out automatically once the instructions are programmed, CNC equipment can quickly produce a high volume of finished products.
- Accuracy: Car parts have complex designs, and for safety reasons, measurements must be exact. CNC machines can be programmed to produce parts with a high degree of precision, ensuring vehicle assembly can be completed to the manufacturer’s exact specifications.
As AI technology advances and electric vehicles become more common, CNC machinists will have new opportunities to program different kinds of vehicle parts and equipment.
Browse Used CNC Machines from Premier Equipment
If you work in automobile manufacturing, you know how important it is to have high-quality, reliable equipment. But a brand new CNC machine may not be in your budget. That’s where Premier Equipment comes in. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, we are one of the largest sellers of used CNC machines worldwide. Premier Equipment sells gently used CNC machines from leading manufacturers, including:
- Mori Seiki
In addition to vertical and horizontal CNC machining centers, we sell lathes, boring mills, and electronic discharge machines. Each machine is thoroughly inspected to verify its condition before it leaves our warehouse floor.
We update our online inventory daily and handle everything from financing to shipping. For more information about purchasing a used CNC machine from Premier Equipment, call us at 407-786-2000 or contact us today.