What does CNC stand for?
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control…which in todays context means the controlling of machine tools by computer. The old days of one man standing in front of a lathe or a mill or a welder are almost gone. Today..material (plastics, steels, etc etc) are loaded into a machine tool and the program is run..and it removes, drills and welds the parts into something useful. Ballpoint pen tips…care to stand there for 10 hrs a day making those little buggers? Nope. lengths of metal are fed into the machines..the program is run..and it kicks out thousand of them. Lug nuts, engine parts, nuts and bolts for aerospace applications, jet engine parts and so on and so forth. Now days..one person can run 3-5 machines by him/herself, and make thousands of parts per day. In the “old days”..one person might make a couple hundred. Which makes those parts cheaper once the personel costs are lowered. In the “good old days” one had to be a machinist to operate and accurately make “parts”. Today..one can pull a barely educated person off the street and have them making perfect parts in less than an hour in many cases. All they have to do is feed the machine and hit the Cycle Start button..and empty the machine of new parts the machine just made. Which of course means there are far far fewer job openings in manufacturing..compounded by the fact one can train a tribesman in the Congo to make those very same parts for a lot cheaper than an American worker can. We get good parts at the cost of American jobs…Im still trying to figure out of this is a good thing..or a bad thing.