Systems & Software

CNC & Machine Controls
The CNC (computer numerical control) system of a machine tool includes the control unit itself, as well as less visible parts of the motion-control system such as the servomotors, drives and axis positioning devices. These components are part of any CNC machine tool, but they might be bought separately and retrofitted later on older machines that are upgraded or refurbished. Also part of the control system are sensors that may allow the control to make certain real-time decisions during unattended or lightly attended machining processes. These can include probes for measuring the position of the part or machined features, as well as monitoring systems for detecting the presence of the tool or the force that is being exerted in the cut.

Featured Zone Content

Vector Programming Eases Five-Axis Aerospace Machining


Because the CNCs on this shop’s largest five-axis machining centers accept vector coordinates as program input instead of traditional G codes, critical jobs can be shifted readily from machine to machine.

The Need to Know Is Basic


An MTConnect-enabled monitoring system gives this shop a clear and simple picture of machine tool usage.

Dashboard view

MTConnect Is For Real


Introduced at IMTS 2008, this communications protocol for CNC machines and other manufacturing equipment is already helping shops and plants implement effective machine monitoring systems. Although these "early adopters" are motivated by the long-term promise of enterprise-wide efficiency gains, their experience with pilot projects shows that benefits derived in the short term are substantial and worthwhile.



Heidenhain CNC Pilot 640 lathe control

Lathe Control Features User and OEM Updates

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Heidenhain’s CNC Pilot 640 lathe control has been updated with new functions and hardware for the machine operator and builder.

FANUC Series 3xi-Model B CNC

CNC Improves Machining Performance

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
FANUC’s Series 3xi-Model B CNC features updates said to improve machining performance and ease of use.

FANUC Series 3xi-Model B CNC

CNC Improves Machining Performance

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
FANUC’s Series 3xi-Model B CNC features updates said to improve machining performance and ease of use.

Techna Tool BK Mikro

Broken Tool Detection System Suitable for Swiss-Type

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Techna-Tool’s BK Mikro broken tool detection system is suitable for use on Swiss-type lathes, rotary transfer machines, horizontal and vertical machining centers, lathes, and screw machines.

Siemens Sinumerik Operate GUI

Operator Interface Equipped with Functions for CNC Turning, Milling

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Siemens has added three new functions to its Sinumerik Operate graphical user interface for turning and milling machines.


Siemens Answers with the Most Innovative CNC Solutions for Machine Tool Technology
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