Why CNC Machining and AI Make a Perfect Match

In the world of manufacturing, CNC machining is coming out on top. CNC machining is used everywhere from the automotive and medical industries to aerospace, gas and oil, and warehouse operations. Anywhere you see a machine, a molded part, or a product in use, CNC machining probably has a part in its construction.

Given the rise in uses for CNC machining, it’s no wonder industries are catching onto the high-accuracy, quick-production times that CNC operations provide. And, with the manufacturing world increasingly looking to incorporate IoT into their productions, the future of CNC machining is looking incredibly bright.

What’s next for the world of CNC operators? An increasing move to incorporate artificial intelligence, or AI, into operations. Over the next several years, CNC machining could see something of a revolution that includes machines that respond to Alexa-like voice commands, predictive learning and machine scheduling for optimized performance and down-time, and better data analysis, programming, and testing.

Sound like a stretch? It’s probably coming sooner than you think. AI is poised to be the next big revolution that will enhance production capacity, boost machine productivity, and optimize an industry whose goal is to function with lights-out capability. Here are just a few ways AI and CNC machining make such a perfect match, and why these changes are rapidly approaching.


Deep Learning Drives Machining Changes
Human operators aren’t the only ones that drive machining changes. Real-time data, analytics, and deep learning can also drive the way a machine learns, responds, and optimizes production. Data sets are key to helping operators gain insight on how a machine functions and, ultimately, how an entire floor of machines work in sync with each other.

Data is critical to driving the way CNC machines and even 3D printing processes are used. Data sets can determine how downtime is scheduled and discover ways productivity can be increased. Metrics including utilization rates, prescriptive and predictive data, and diagnostic data all combine to form a picture of how each machine is performing in contrast to production goals. Where AI comes in is in taking the numbers, relaying them directly to machine operators and the machines themselves, and automatically suggesting performance changes, timing changes, and production changes to ultimately increase total throughput.

When deep learning is introduced to machines on the shop floor, the potential to make production-boosting changes is exponential. Deep learning means that machines don’t simply respond to one data set. AI is always dynamic, meaning that machines learn as they are fed instructions from operators and data sets. This flux creates an environment in which machines are continually learning how to process an order. As deep learning takes place, overall efficiency, productivity, and production value increase.

Artificial intelligence software and programming that drives deep learning provides more than a short-term benefit. Deep learning is a long-term investment that will benefit CNC machining by boosting operational capabilities, eliminating unnecessary downtime, and ultimately benefiting the bottom line of every CNC machining company.

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