The Emergence Of CNC Machine Tools In The Development Process

The world’s first electronic computer was born in 1946, which laid the foundation for human beings to enter the information society. Six years later, in 1952, computer technology was applied to machine tools, and the first CNC machine amidine was born in the United States. Since then, the traditional machine tools have undergone qualitative changes. For nearly half a century, CNC machine tools have gone through two stages and six generations of development.

l. Numerical control (NC) stage (1952-1970)

The computing speed of early computers was low, which had little impact on scientific computing and data processing at that time, but it could not meet the requirements of real-time control of machine tools. People have to use digital logic circuits to make a machine tool special computer as a numerical control system, which is called hardware connection numerical control (HARD-WIRED NC), or numerical control (NC) for short. With the development of components, this stage has gone through three generations, namely the first generation in 1952 – electronic tube CNC machine tools; the second generation in 1959 – transistor CNC machine tools; the third generation in 1965 – integrated circuit CNC machine tools machine tool.

2. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) stage (1970 to present)

By 1970 – general-purpose minicomputers have appeared and been mass-produced, and their computing speed has been greatly improved compared with the 1950s and 1960s, which is lower cost and higher reliability than logic circuit-specific computers. So it was transplanted as the core component of the numerical control system, and it entered the computer numerical control (CNC) stage. In 1971, Intel Corporation of the United States integrated the two core components of the computer, the arithmetic unit and the controller, on a single chip using large-scale integrated circuit technology for the first time in the world, which is called a microprocessor (MIC, RO-PR (X_ESSOR), also known as the central processing unit (CPU for short). In 1974, the microprocessor was applied to the numerical control system. This is because the small computer is too powerful, and the ability to control a machine tool is redundant, but it is not as good as using a microcomputer. The processor was economical, and the reliability of small computers at the time was not ideal. Although the speed and function of early microprocessors were not high enough, they could be solved by multi-processor architecture.

Because the microprocessor is the core component of a general-purpose computer, it is still called computer numerical control. By 1990, the performance of the PC (personal computer, commonly known as microcomputer in China) has developed to a very high stage, which can meet the requirements of being the core component of the numerical control system, and the production volume of the PC is large, the price is cheap, and the reliability is high. . The CNC system has since entered the PC-based stage.

In short, the computer numerical control stage has also experienced three generations, namely the fourth generation in 1970 – small computer numerical control machine tools; the fifth generation in 1974 – microcomputer numerical control machine tools; the sixth generation in 1990 – based on PC (foreign CNC machine tools called PC-BASED).


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  • CNC machining can create very similar parts to series parts. It is often more efficient and faster than other rapid prototyping technologies for the manufacture of a quantity of prototypes between 1 and 10 parts . We also recommend CNC machining for parts with large sizes (greater than 600 mm).

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