Since their invention in the early 1970s, computer numerical control (CNC) woodworking machines have changed how woodwork is performed. By using computer-controlled cutter heads to shape and cut wood, computer-controlled routers do what manual routers can’t: execute intricate, accurate cuts at a high rate of speed. The ability of a computer-controlled router to cut intricate designs is its primary selling point, but it is not only one. Other important selling points include:
Excellent Repeatability across Large Production Runs
Traditional routers offer good repeatability across small production runs. Across large runs, however, repeatability can be compromised by human error. For woodworking companies that produce a high volume of routed pieces, the repeatability of a CNC wood router across large production runs can create significant cost savings by reducing waste pieces that result from human error.
Ability to Cut Intricate Designs
When it features multiple axes, a computer-controlled router can cut intricate designs that were once carved by hand. Because they don’t contain multiple axes, traditional routers can’t execute intricate cuts. The ability of CNC routers to cut intricate designs is valuable to fine furniture makers and makers of other fine wood products.
Ability to Produce Large Pieces Quickly
CNC routers are often spotlighted for their ability to produce small, intricate designs at a fast rate. But when they feature a large cutting table, they can also produce large designs (e.g. stair risers) at a fast rate. If you use a router to produce large, non-intricate pieces, a CNC wood router could help you increase your production rate. The need to meet increased production demand is a common reason for switching from standard machinery to computer-controlled machinery.
Fast Training Time
Becoming an expert operator of a manual router could take years, but becoming an expert operator of a CNC router could take only months. Because the operator controls the router using a computer interface, the training regimen is extremely focused. Many CNC operators receive part of their training online through interactive courses.
Lower Injury Risk for the Operator
Manually controlled machines are not as safe to operate as computer-controlled machines. Unlike standard router operators, CNC router operators use a computer interface to control the router’s actions. This decreases the possibility of injury, and thus decreases the possibility of workers compensation cases.
Potential for a Single Operator to Operate Multiple Routers
Because CNC machinery can be programmed to perform large production runs, they create the opportunity for a single operator to control multiple CNC routers. Standard routers, on the other hand, require the operator’s constant attention. The automated work process of CNC machines can help companies save money by reducing staff size.
Most CNC routers are more expensive than traditional routers. But when you factor in the benefits listed above, they can improve your bottom line more than buying traditional routers can. They also have higher a resale value than traditional routers. To learn more about the benefits of replacing a standard woodworking machine with a CNC machine, consult with a seller of new and used industrial woodworking machinery.