5 Things to Consider Before Automating Your CNC Machines

Published by - Admin On December 8, 2021

In the industrial process across all regions and sectors, automation is becoming more ubiquitous. The opportunity to reduce the manpower needed to run machines and the saved time and money are all incredibly appealing. Specifically, the use of computer numerical control (CNC) machines has been highlighted as a key area where automation can pay dividends.

Automated CNC machines can be appealing in their ability to ramp up production while minimizing costs and timelines. That said, complete consideration of all factors involved is necessary before you decide to invest in a newly automated CNC process.

CNC automation requires significant investment in new equipment, customized programming, and more. So, before committing to CNC automation, consider the following factors.

5 Aspects to Consider Before Automating Your CNC Machines

Utilizing a Proactive Rather than Reactive Approach:

While it may be tempting to consider automation in response to a new order or process that you realize will create high costs and eventual headaches for you, it’s important not to react to singular changes by diving headfirst into automation. Instead, the process of introducing CNC automation should be about coming with a comprehensive plan and outlining the exact needs, requirements, and end goals.

By planning for the automation process from the ground up, rather than slapping it haphazardly in a single new instance, the likelihood of errors will be minimized and the potential reduction to operating expenses will be maximized.

Planning for the Continued Role of Human Workers:

Many people erroneously assume that the introduction of automation means eliminating the need for human workers outright, but that’s definitely not the case. When done correctly, the introduction of automation should enhance the ability of human workers to maximize productivity, keeping them around for their key judgment, intuition, and knowledge.

So as CNC automation is being considered, existing employees must be adequately prepared and trained on CNC programming services and given the ability to perform regular quality assurance.

Ensuring Processes are Adequately Set Up for Automation:

Similarly, the existing equipment on the machine floor is not necessarily going to be immediately ready for automation to be added as a layer on top of what it’s doing.

Instead, the equipment being used must be evaluated and considered regarding whether it’s the right type of machinery that is automation-ready or if it should be upgraded and replaced with more automation-friendly equipment.

Similarly, employees should be trained to make sure all associated hardware and software infrastructure complies with automation standards.

Establishing Environmental Control:

The results of automated CNC machines almost certainly mean that the equipment will be running longer, more aggressively, and more constantly. All of these factors mean that monitoring and controlling the environment on the floor of the machines is of even more elevated importance.

Controlling thermal buildup from constantly running machines will impact the products being manufactured and the equipment running that production.

Similarly, increased time spent manufacturing will mean there are more parts that may come out needing inspection, machine parts will need more regular inspection to check for wear, tear, and failure and flexibility will need to be baked into the processes to monitor and adjust based on all of these factors.

Investing in the Automation Tools:

Last but not least, the complex machines that are introduced to allow for CNC automation require a notable upfront investment, as well as regular costs for maintenance and upgrades.

To maximize these investments, industrial actors must integrate the CNC programming seamlessly with the hardware and minimize the amount of manual intervention required, as doing so will maximize the return on that investment.

The CNC program code is in fact just as important as the equipment running that automation, so investing astutely in these automation tools upfront cannot be overlooked.


CNC machines, when first introduced, represented a great leap forward in the speed and efficacy of the manufacturing process. The latest developments in CNC technology indicate that we’re now living through the next wave of manufacturing modernization.

These automated processes reduce costs while maximizing output, which is why many see them as no-brainers to implement. However, careful planning and deliberation must be given to how, why, and where CNC automation is introduced to realize this potential and not waste time or money.

This whole process can be quite intimidating to the uninitiated, which is why IndiaCADworks (ICW) is here to provide our expert experience and insights on the world of CNC programming for your projects. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.


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