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CNC Milling Vs Manual Milling, What's Best?

CNC milling machines

One of the most important elements of successful batch production is streamlining your workflow without compromising on quality. In this blog, we'll be taking a look at whether manual milling or CNC milling machines are the better option for you.

The benefits of CNC milling vs manual milling are as follows:

CNC Milling Benefits

  • Reliable: CNC milling is dependent on the quality of the software used, rather than on the skill of a human labourer, so there are fewer chances for making mistakes – although mistakes still do happen.

  • Fast: A CNC milling machine is capable of producing a large number of components in a short period of time, which makes it a great tool for mass production.

  • Uniform: One of the most significant advantages of CNC milling is that the machines are capable of producing products of the exact same size and quality over and over again to precise measurements.

Manual Milling Benefits

  • Detailed: Because the manual milling process requires more time and attention, it is better for producing smaller objects and adding fine details. Repair work and fine-tuning flaws are much easier with manual milling.

  • Cheap: Manual milling machines can be purchased at a much lower price than CNC precision engineering machines, so you're more likely to find a local company that has them on hand.

  • Intuitive: Because manual machines are simple to operate and have been around for so many more years than CNC, manual machine operatives are much more readily available.

  • No programming: For a CNC machine to function properly a great deal of programming is required. Manual machines require zero; this means that you won’t need a technology expert on hand for a possible program glitch.

  • Faster setup time: Since manual milling does not require any programming, this means work can begin straightaway, cutting an hour or two on pre-programming time, which in the long run adds up to a lot of saved time.

Which One Should I Use?

When you're deciding whether to opt for CNC milling or manual milling, you need to take into account what kind of project you're working on. If you're working on a large batch production, CNC milling is a quick and efficient option, but if you’re working on a small batch of components or repairing/modifying existing parts, then manual milling will give you much better results.

For added flexibility, it is often better to use a combination of both CNC and manual milling for your production process so that you can work on precise components and parts without being limited.

At Eaton Socon Engineering, we're proud to be one of the top bespoke engineering companies UK-wide. We have a vast range of both CNC and manual machines in our workshop, so we can help whatever your project or order volume. For more information about our services, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts today.

Image source: Pixabay


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