Unless you’re intimately familiar with the ins and outs of precision machining, the phrase “CNC machining” may not mean an awful lot to you. CNC, which stands for Computer Numerical Control, is what it sounds like: controlling machines with computers.
However, this process in the manufacturing sector is incredibly important, and makes manufacturing facilities and plants the high-technology spaces they are today. CNC machining helps processes become more effective and finds ways to utilize machines to their full capability, which is important for efficiency, and in the long run, profit for the manufacturer.
CNC machining is essentially any process that uses computers to control machine tools. As you can imagine, these processes can function in a wide variety of ways. Tools like lathes, mills, routers, and grinders work by numerical control, meaning that a computer program is customized for one of these tools, the machine is programmed with CNC machining language, and the machinist then controls all aspects of a machine through their keyboard.
For manufacturing both metal and plastic parts, the machinist will take the processes from a CAD drawing to creating a code that the machine can understand. This helps processes be more precise than they would be manually, and can also produce more complex three-dimensional shapes. CNC machining is used in industries that need a high level of precision, or for very repetitive tasks (producing an item in mass quantities).
As a CNC machinist, you’re ensured a fairly stable availability of job openings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 9% growth in employment for machinists from 2012-2022 thanks to improvements in technology. Additionally, they expect to see plenty of entry-level jobs available, since the number of machinists entering the field is lower than the number of openings (thanks to the skills gap).
If this sounds interesting to you, there are a few different schools in Nebraska where potential students can work on their CNC machinist training to prepare for future lucrative, fulfilling careers.
Central Community College: You can actually work on your CNC skills at two different Central Community College (CCC, there’s many C acronyms in this post) locations: The Hastings campus and the Columbus campus both host options. Their Advanced Manufacturing Design Technology program offers a CNC Manufacturing Machinist certificate, as well as a CNC Manufacturing Machinist Diploma. Alternatively, their AAS in Advanced Manufacturing Design Technology can include computer numerical training as part of the degree.
Southeast Community College: In Milford, take advantage of learning computer numerical training with their Precision Machining and Automation Technology program. The program offers the options of AAS or a Diploma. To read a full spotlight on this program, check out our blog post here.
Questions? Comments? Want to learn more? Leave a comment in the section below!