Computer Numerical Control is a system in which a computer program coded in alphanumerical codes is installed to control the motions and functions of a machine. The computer numerical control consist of basic components namely, part program, machine tool and part program. With these systems installed on a machine, the machines becomes capable of providing high accuracy, reduced manufacturing time, greater flexibility, contour machining, and minimized human error.
Computer numerical controls finds its application in both machine tool and non-machine tool categories. Under the machine tools category CNC is used for drill press, lathe machines, milling machines, sheet metal, laser and tube bending among others. Additionally, highly automated machinery at turning and machining centers are now being controlled using the computer numerical controlling systems. Welding machines, electronic assembly, coordinate measuring machinery, filament winding machinery and tape laying machines among others are included the non-machine tool category.
The increasing demand for machine tools is one of the major factor that drives the growth of the computer numerical control market. Other factor that is contributing to the growth of the market is the upsurge in retrofit segment. The major demand comes from the automotive segment and aerospace segment. It is expected that other segments such as woodworking, healthcare, food industries and jewelry would soon adopt computer controlled machineries. Computer numerical controlled machines needs high investment and skilled labor to operate them, so these could act as restraints for the growth of the market.
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The dominating players in the computer numerical control market are, Siemens AG, Fanuc Corp. and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. Other vendors in the market includes Fagor Automation, Soft Servo Systems, Bosch Rexroth AG, Sieb and Meyer AG, Heidenhain GmbH and GSK Computer Numerical Control Co. Ltd.