CNC routers may get you fast, consistent, and quality cuts, but not all of them are easy to use. Wouldn’t it be great to just need one, unskilled operator to take care of all your production? With new 5th Generation (5G) CNC Technology, you now get to automate not just the cutting, but all the thinking and labor-intensive tasks too!
Look for these features if you want to reduce staffing and increase productivity this 2021:
1. A Dedicated CNC Controller With 21” Touchscreen And Status Indicator Lights:
CNC controllers with touchscreen displays over 20” allow for easy operation and fewer errors. Aside from having more legible screen controls, 5G CNC controllers let you select your cabinets and cuts right at the machine, along with performing other robotic operations, without the need to leave your production station. Status indicator lights also provide additional visual cues to alert you of any operational errors.
Having a dedicated CNC controller, instead of a PC, avoids the production nightmare of freezing during Microsoft updates. Personal computers have a place, but not in running a high caliper CNC Machine.
2. Fully Automated Vacuum Valve Controls:
With 5G CNC, you never need to manually crank levers to adjust vacuum suction. 5G CNC lets you control vacuum zones with a press of a button and tells you whenever you don’t have enough work holddown. This not only saves you the physical effort of adjusting levers (which takes strength under high pressure), but also eliminates the need to remember if the vacuum is always on before you start cutting.
3) Robotic Marking And Labeling:
Applying labels or marking onto cut parts to indicate secondary production keeps you organized. It saves your components from getting lost (especially when nested), avoids human errors, and decreases the risk of damaging your products, as you do not need to move them to a separate marking station. Go from CNC to production, faster!
4) Instant ON:
Calibrating or homing a CNC machine each time you reset or turn it on is eliminated with 5G CNC technology. Your CNC, knows exactly where it is – even when you lose power. This saves 5 to 10 minutes daily!
5. Automatic Loading, Alignment, Cleaning, Unloading, And Lubrication:
5G CNC machines can be expanded with accessories such: as hydraulic loading tables; robotic material alignment; robotic cleaning and dust extraction; an unloading conveyor with material sensing; and automatic pressurized lubrication. All are labor-intensive functions. If you don’t automate these tasks, you may need a second staff to help your operator. Even if you don’t need all these now, make sure your CNC machine is pre-wired for these upgrades, so it can grow as you grow.
6. Graphical Interface W/ Working Lists:
With 5G CNC, the interface is visual with easy-to-understand English commands – no need to learn G-code! Working lists also allow you to queue hundreds of jobs so you can let the machine work on auto pilot. – Know exactly what job needs to be executed, even if your operators change shifts!
7. Working Cell-Ready:
CNC routers are just one part of any woodworker’s production. To convert raw materials into products ready for flat packing or installation, you may need edgebanders, hidden fastener insertions, thermofoil presses, or conveyors. 5G CNC machine centers, that are designed to work in tandem with these different machines, is what facilitates a true single-operator system.
8. Lifetime Support:
Look for manufacturers that provide lifetime support for your CNC machine and a dedicated training facility. This assures you will receive guidance when you need it, and your manufacturer will be around as long as you need them. We recommend buying machines from a USA manufacturer. The quality is assured and your representative is more accessible for parts (no stop signs with overnight shipping!) and training.