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January 2017 – CNC Machining – The Uses of CNC Machines

Published on: 24/01/2017

Learn more about the CNC machining process used in manufacturing and the tools that can be controlled by a CNC machine; lathes, mills, routers and grinders

A smiling CNC machinist operating a CNC machine, dressed in his overalls, about to pull a heatsink out of the machine.

CNC Machining is a process used in manufacturing that involves a computer to control machine tools. The tools that can be controlled by the machine include: lathes, mills, routers and grinders. CNC Machines are used to cut and shape pieces of material, including: metal, aluminium and steel. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control.

GD Rectifiers have dedicated CNC machinery used purely for machining heatsink to bespoke outlines specified by customers. No matter how complicated your design is, with state-of-the-art CNC Machines, we are able to skim, drill, and tap any heatsink from our range to your specification producing identical copies every time. We then store the programmed files for our customers which can then be used at a later date.

Removing Metal

One of the most popular uses of a CNC machine is to remove metal from a wide range of raw materials in order to give it a more desired effect. Many industries use CNC machines for this purpose, the automotive industry use the machines for making shafts, gears and various other parts.  Numerous other industries require the removal of metal on raw materials, these are performed by different machine tools like lathe, milling machine, drilling machine, boring machine, shaping machine and reamer. Historically these machines were operated by operators but today CNC versions of all of these machines are used now used extensively across the markets.

Today it is possible to carry out almost all machining operations with CNC machining centres, it is also possible to carry out all the turning operations such as facing, boring, turning, grooving, knurling and threading on the turning centres. On the CNC grinders it is possible to carry out the grinding of the internal diameter, outer diameter and the flat surfaces. Contour Grinding technology enables the industry to grind surfaces of all shapes. 


Fabricating Metals

Many industries require thin steel plates, CNC machines are used for numerous machining operations like shearing, flame or plasma cutting, punching, laser cutting, forming and welding. CNC lasers and plasma cutters are used to bring the plates to their final shape. Turret punch presses are then used to punch holes in the plates (which can be of any size) and if bending the plate is required for it’s final shape then CNC press brakes can be used.


Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

The EDM machines are commonly known for creating sparks which burn and remove the metal from raw materials. There are two types of EDM with CNC automation, Vertical EDM and Wire EDM. Wire EDM is used to make the punch and die combinations for the dies set that are used in the industries where fabrication is done. The Vertical EDM needs an electrode of the shape and size of the cavity that is made in the job.


Other Industries where CNC Machines are used

One of the most common industries to use CNC machines is wood working, they perform various operations such as routing and drilling. Today CNC technology is also used in engraving systems, people from all different pursuits, such as hobbyists and even military groups, take advantage of the cost savings accrued by using CNC machines to turn raw materials into final products. The machines are faster, more efficient and safer too.

Specialising in high quality batch-work machining with a highly-skilled workforce, GD Rectifiers operates a modern machine shop with a range of CNC and milling machines. We are experienced in the machining of complex components in a diverse range of materials that include: aluminium and mild steel.

The typical size of GD Rectifiers’ CNC machines are up to 1,000m with a saw capacity of 500mm x 200mm.

Watch GD Rectifiers’ CNC Machining Process on YouTube here.

For further information on CNC machining please contact: 01444 243 452 or by email:  



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