CNC machines, regardless of how big or small they might be, are still machines.
They consist of sharp and hard pieces that could easily injure someone if use inappropriately. Using a CNC machine could be dangerous if you did not use the machine properly.
In order to protect yourself and the people around you, it’s important to understand how to operate CNC machines safely.
A lot of CNC safety precautions apply when you are using any form of machinery. For instance, you should always be wearing protective glasses when operating your CNC machine. You should also be using hearing protection while using a CNC machine as well. Even if you are experienced, these simple safety measures can protect you from short-term and long-term injuries.
In order to keep others safe, it is important that you are cleaning up after yourself after you use the CNC machine.
Whether you have a home workshop or you are working in a crowded space, it is vital that you clean up scraps of materials from the floor and surrounding area. Someone could easily fall on a scrap piece of wood or slip on sawdust: prevent accidents by simply cleaning messes when you leave.
You also should be keeping a safe distance between yourself and the bit at all times.
Leaving six inches of space will allow you to be close enough to work but far enough away to prevent your hand or your body from getting injured by being too close.
Although this tip might be considered common sense, you should never leave the room while operating a CNC machine.
Although machines can operate alone, you should always be within sight of the machine incase an issue surfaced.
For more CNC news, tips, and tricks, visit CNC Masters blog.
If your business recently hired a new CNC operator, you likely have expectations and standards that you would like them to meet. However, we have summarized several important things to keep in mind when you begin training a new CNC operator.
Make Expectations Clear
When training a CNC operator, you should get specific with what tasks you expect that person to do. If you want them to do the right job, you must tell them what the right job is. You should also recruit other willing operators that yare currently employed to explain to the trainee what they do on a daily basis and allow them to ask questions. Getting a person that already does the job is a great way to get the new hire’s questions easily answered. When developing your training curriculum, look at what your current operators do in order to develop an accurate curriculum and let them have a role in it.
State Your Specifics
When providing a new CNC operator with their job description, you should make sure that you are being as specific as possible. You cannot assume that the new hire will understand your terminology without having the details of each statement. For instance, if you give them a task to do, make sure you list each specific step of the task and not just a generic overview. Although this will make the guidelines for the new CNC operator much longer, it will ensure that the new operator will understand each task and not have to stop frequently to clarify questions.
Point Out Personal Preferences
Although many companies have similar views and standards on what CNC operators might do or might need to do, such as safety, many of them also have unique expectations and you need to make sure your new hire is trained with those preferences in mind. For instance, if your company machines products that are extremely flammable, such as titanium, your new hire should be made aware of that from the beginning. If you use specific measuring devices, the new CNC operator should be informed about it so they can make a habit out of doing it from their start date.
Highlight Your Machines
Although CNC machines all perform similar tasks, many machines are slightly different and so are the cutting tools used for them. Make that your CNC operator trainees understand when you’re specific cutting tools are beginning to wear. Point out to them what they should keep an eye out for whether it is change in sound or appearance. Make sure you only highlight the CNC machines the operator will actually be working with to avoid any confusion. If you have machines that give you certain problems, make sure you include that in your training so they are aware before starting on the machine itself.
These several suggestions will help you to train your next CNC operator appropriately and to the standards of your company. For more CNC news and advice, visit CNC Masters blog.
The College of Canyons, (COC) located in Santa Clarita, California has been getting a significant amount of attention lately. They just made the list of the Top 15 Community and Career Colleges with Salary Potential. COC focuses on preparing students for careers that they can succeed at in fields that are continuously growing. CNC machining is one of those careers and the program at COC is doing phenomenally.
COC also received an Outstanding Achievement Award in early October, given by the South Bay Workforce Investment Board, in the name of CNC machining. The award represented the fact that COC placed 100 percent of its graduates into careers that took part in the CNC Fast Track program. 100 percent of the students that pursued CNC machining got a job after college.
The Fast Track programs at COC are selected based on labor demand and the college focuses on careers where they expect job growth to occur. The programs are typically divided into manufacturing, medical/general office, managerial/professional, and test preparation courses.
The Fast Track CNC program is intended to help students learn the skills and work ethic required to succeed in the field of CNC outside of graduation. It is intended to earn students entry-level jobs in the CNC manufacturing industry, and it is working without a doubt.
Upon graduation, the students earn a “Machining/CNC Certificate of Specialization” which is proof that students are prepared to use CNC programming in the automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. Students can work not just as a CNC machinist, but as a CNC lathe operation, production machinist, or even a CNC programmer.
The college has also been hosting a job fair with manufacturing companies surrounding the college to allow their students to be interviewed. Many of the students nearing graduation earn on-the-spot job offers during the fair. Students from COC have ended up working with Aerotek, Aerospace Dynamics International Inc., and Paragon Precision Inc.
COC is making a massive effort to ensure their students graduate with the knowledge that they need to have a secure and rewarding job. We applaud the focus that COC has put on CNC machining. If you’re interested in learning more CNC news, visit the CNC Masters blog.
High school students in Foley, Minnesota, have the opportunity to take a sheet metal machining class where CNC machines are used daily. Students that have taken this class have been highly recommending the class to one another, raising the number of students wanting to take it. The class became a “hot topic” among students and many students became interested in learning the CNC machines. The class allows students to discover, develop, and create, making the class unique and enticing to the high school students.
The class teaches students how to both use and master different sheet metal techniques, including using CNC machines. It is an elective course so students are not required to take it but students willingly sign-up for the class. Students do have to pay somewhere between 20 to 25 dollars for the independent projects but students claim they believe the money spent is well worth it.
During the 2014-2015 school year the industrial technology department received a curriculum review which awarded funding to the department. The school invested $12,000 for the purchase of
tools which included the purchase of a CNC machine, a laser engraver, and more. Students typically start out by creating simple things such as a tool box. As their skills improve, they are granted access to laptops and computer-aided design software such as CNC machines. The advanced students have been able to develop go-cart bumpers and metal signs using the CNC machine, along with many other creations. The CNC machines allow students to create things quickly and with great precision.
Through the sheet metal class, the high school students enrolled are also exposed to careers that would involve CNC machines and CNC technology. The students take field trips to local technical colleges to help students see what a higher education in this field would be like. They also tour business and establishments that use CNC machines to understand what people do that use CNC machines for a living.
Students enrolled in this sheet metal class are learning valuable skills that might allow them to establish themselves as a professional through CNC machines. If students aren’t planning to make a career out of CNC machines, at the very least, they are learning a valuable skill.
You have been told countless times, by countless tech gurus, just how important it is to keep regularly updated backups of the data on your cell phone, digital camera, desktop computer and laptop. And whether you actually back up this data onto a secure hard drive as often as you should or not, you are probably confident that should damage occur to your device, you have most (if not all) of your important files saved to another location.
But have you ever thought of doing the same for your CNC data?
If you have never created a backup copy of the data stored on your CNC machine, we at CNC Masters recommend you do so promptly. Not only may you need the data from previous projects, but you also have fine-tuned your machine to work exactly to your specifications and needs. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but having to revert your CNC lathe back to its factory settings after a power will be a great frustration. Especially now that you know there are alternative solutions.
Knowing how to make backup copies of all the data stored within your CNC is imperative for all machinists to learn.
As mentions on MMSOnline.com, not only should you create backup copies of recent programs, you should also save CNC parameters, custom macro variables and more.
Regardless of the size of your business – or even if your CNC machine is used for hobby – the information and settings saved on your devices is incredibly important. Make sure you know how to save this information to an external hard drive and do so regularly to ensure that none of your valuable data is lost.
For all your CNC machining needs and questions, please contact CNC Masters at 626-962-9300. With more than 20 years of experience in the machining field, we pride ourselves in our ability to offer competitive pricing and expert knowledge that assists business owners, machinists, teachers and hobbyists operate their machinery with success.
Anyone who works with CNC machines on a regular basis will tell you a great deal of training is involved before becoming proficient with the equipment. In the past, students and trainees only had the option of operating an actual CNC machine under the guidance of an experienced teacher. While being able to work hands-on with an actual CNC machine is great in a lot of ways, it also opens up the possibility of crashing a piece of expensive equipment. Today, however, people have the opportunity to undergo CNC training in a virtual space.
By taking a virtual approach to CNC training, a trainee is able to try different tasks over and over again in a much faster manner. Machine Training Solutions, the company behind the leading virtual CNC training software, is able to tailor their virtual program to meet the specific needs of different industries and jobs, reports Modern Machine Shop in a recent blog post. For example, they offer a range of simulations including everything from five-axis turn-mills to Swiss-type CNC lathes.
Another advantage of virtual training is that a student or employee is able to learn new skills that they may otherwise never have the opportunity to acquire. A school or company may not have a wide selection of CNC equipment, but this software opens the door to training team members on a long list of CNC machine tools. This can help if you’re considering purchasing a new piece of equipment or looking to expand your team’s capabilities. Most importantly, the virtual training process is exactly the same as if a student was working with a physical machine, ensuring that those individuals participating in the virtual session receive all of the advantages of standard training without any of the risks.
These are just a few of the reasons why more and more companies and schools are turning to virtual training options like the ones offered by Machine Training Solutions. As technology continues to advance, the level of training offered by these simulations is only going to become better and more diverse.
At CNC Masters, we offer a full range of new CNC equipment for those looking to upgrade or expand their current capabilities. With high quality service and cutting-edge products, we’re a premier source for milling machines, CNC lathes and much more. Check out our inventory online or call us today at 626-962-9300 to learn more.