What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about work in a factory? Depending on age, geographic location, and technological background, we each have a different view of the manufacturing process.
For instance, my first thought went to automated machines (aka robots) working on assembling the body of a vehicle. Of course, each part was first designed and built using other robots and humans were there only as supervisors.
Still, an older person may think of crowded assembly lines, where workers must do a repetitive task in the allotted time. Also, if you’ve watched any history documentaries or old movies, you may think of steam-powered machines, dangerous working areas, and lots of people going in and out of the factory door every day.
The truth is that none of these visions fit reality. The manufacturing sector is one of the most rapidly evolving due to new technological improvements like CNC machining. The possibility to manufacture high-precision products faster and at lower costs gave small and mid-sized businesses a helping hand in the competition against giants. It also opened the door to all sorts of entrepreneurs with big ideas and goals.
But what does this mean for the future? Are we going to see even more amazing updates in the manufacturing world? Let’s see…
Easy Access to the Manufacturing Process
Nowadays, anyone can use CNC machining services, regardless of their location. All you have to do is find a supplier online and place an order with the full specs of the pieces you need. Then, you just wait for the delivery guy.
But the future is even more interesting than outsourcing the manufacturing process. In fact, everything that involved the development and manufacturing of small pieces is in the hands of the customers.
Let’s say you need a custom-made piece to make an adjustment to the bikes you’re selling. You can design the piece, and send it for 3D printing in Houston, to a 3D printing hub. Since they own all sorts of 3D printers, you can choose the material, quantity, finishes, and other features that may be important. In short, anyone can order a prototype of their design and then decide if they want to mass-produce.
Open Road to Innovation
CNC machining is not just easy access (which is in itself a big thing!). They are also about precision and flexibility – these machines can follow almost any instruction which opens the door to customization.
This means that people interested in creating unique designs or improving existing items can go wild. As long as there is a design, a CNC machine can make it! This wouldn’t have been possible without this technology since large factories don’t take small orders, especially when it comes to highly customized pieces.
In addition, the machines are getting smaller and more independent (no need for human operators to do the work). This means that more and more hubs will show up, making the road wider for the small but talented guys.
While it may seem like CNC machines already changed the manufacturing process, I think the best is yet to come. These machines are friendly with the environment (compared to large factories) and create countless opportunities for growth and development among small and mid-sized businesses. They make the world a better place and this won’t go unnoticed!