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What Is CNC Machining?

Definition of CNC Machining

CNC machining refers to the machining process conducted by a control system that controls the tools to perform various movements that meet the technical and processing requirements of the workpiece, which are represented in digital and alphanumeric forms. It generally refers to the process of machining parts on CNC machine tools.

A CNC machine tool is a machine tool controlled by a computer. The computer used to control the machine tool, whether it is a dedicated computer or a general-purpose computer, is collectively referred to as the CNC system. The motion and auxiliary actions of the CNC machine tool are all controlled by the instructions issued by the CNC system.

The instructions of the CNC system are programmed by programmers based on the material of the workpiece, the processing requirements, the characteristics of the machine tool, and the instruction format (CNC language or symbol) specified by the system. Service CNC system controls the various movements of the machine tool by sending running or interrupt signals to the servo devices and other functional components according to the program instructions. When the machining program of the part is completed, the machine tool will automatically stop. Any CNC machine tool cannot work if there is no program instruction input in its CNC system.

The controlled actions of the machine tool generally include starting and stopping the machine tool; starting and stopping the spindle, changing the rotation direction and speed; changing the direction, speed, and mode of feed motion; selecting the tool, compensating for its length and radius; changing the tool, opening and closing the cooling liquid, etc.

Characteristics of CNC Machining

CNC Machining tools initially select aircraft parts with complex surfaces as processing objects to solve the key problems that cannot be solved by ordinary machining methods. The biggest feature of OEM CNC machining is the use of perforated tapes (or magnetic tapes) to control the machine tool for automatic machining.

Concentrated processes

CNC machines generally have a tool rack and tool warehouse that can be automatically changed by the program-controlled process, so the processes are more concentrated. Concentrated processes bring huge economic benefits:

  • Reduce the floor space of machine tools and save workshop space.

  • Reduce or eliminate intermediate links (such as intermediate inspection of semi-finished products, temporary storage, transportation, etc.), which saves time and labor.


When CNC service machine tools are processed, there is no need for manual control of cutting tools, and the degree of automation is high. The benefits are obvious.

  • Reduced requirements for operators: A senior worker for a common machine tool cannot be trained in a short time, but a CNC worker who does not need to program can be trained in a very short time (such as a CNC lathe worker only needs one week and can write simple processing programs). Moreover, the parts produced by CNC workers on CNC machine tools are more precise and time-saving than those produced by ordinary workers on traditional machine tools.

  • Reduces the labor intensity of workers: CNC workers are mostly excluded from the processing process during the processing process, which is very labor-saving.

  • Stable product quality: The automation of CNC machine tool processing eliminates human errors such as fatigue, carelessness, and estimation in workers on ordinary machine tools, and improves the consistency of the product.

  • High processing efficiency: The automatic tool change of CNC machine tools makes the processing process compact, which improves labor productivity.

High flexibility

As long as the program is changed, new OEM CNC machining parts can be processed on CNC machine tools, and the operation is automated, flexible and efficient, so CNC machine tools can adapt well to market competition.

Strong ability

Machine tools can accurately process various contours, and some contours cannot be processed by ordinary machine tools. CNC machine tools are particularly suitable for the following situations:

  • Parts that cannot be scrapped.

  • New product development.

  • Urgently needed parts processing.

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