Video: Machine Shop of the Future
Siemens produced this attractive video to illustrate what it sees as a likely representation of the machining facility of the future. High energy costs and low availability of skilled, working-age employees contribute to many of the developments this video portrays. Those developments include lightweight machine construction aimed at energy savings, automation aimed at the same goal, networked machine tools fully integrated into the IT architecture, self-diagnosing machines that are less reliant on operator knowledge, and sophisticated systems for collision avoidance.
For the most part, CNC controls will follow the instructions given in a program to the letter. With the exception of basic syntax (program formatting) mistakes, the CNC control will rarely be able to tell if a mistake has been made.
It is common to machine several identical workpiece attributes from within a single program. Consider the four identical circular counter-bored holes that must be milled in the workpiece shown in Figure 1.
This perspective for a good programmer is a practical one, since the CNC operator must understand the machine's basic components, its directions of motion, and all buttons and switches available on the machine tool itself.