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How CNC Machining Has Transformed Gear Production

January 11, 2019

Numerical control (NC) is the automated control of machinery without the need for a manual operator. NC tools can alter a piece of material (metal, plastic, wood, ceramic, or composite) with incredible precision. In use since the 1940’s, NC technology has been a major advancement in machining. It is a vast improvement over previous technology, which required manual control by hand, wheel, or lever.


Modern-day computer technology has led to the boom of computer numerical control (CNC) tools. This technology can be programmed to efficiently carry out industrial tasks. Using computer software, the material's mechanical dimensions are defined. Using software, manufacturing directives are created. The directives are then translated into specific commands that allow the machine to produce the required component.  


The beauty of this modern technology is that it makes manufacturing more efficient. When it comes to gear production specifically, CNC machining has changed the game.


Here is how this technology has transformed gear production:



Computers can control a broad range of tools, including mills, grinders, lathes, and routers. Without the need for manual operation, the process can be repeated in the same way, and unlimited number of times.



The high precision with the use of CNC machining allows even the most complex gear shapes to be made. CNC relies on digital software. The design is saved in a digital file and interpreted by the machine, which then cuts the gear into the desired shape. This ability of the machine to automatically control the extremely technical and labour intensive process of gear manufacturing increased prevision and efficiency, especially when it comes to those complex gear shapes.


While standard machines can move in just one or two axes, CNC machines can move in more axes: laterally, longitudinally, and even rotationally. This multi-axis movement of the more advanced CNC machines made it possible to flip gear parts over automatically and allow cutting on all sides without the need for human intervention.


Automated gear technology is more accurate, durable, and versatile and manual inputs from workers. It is not surprising that gear manufacturing has fully embraced the use of CNC machining in virtually every stage of the process.