The new year brings a novel chance to reflect upon the factors that influenced the current manufacturing environment and consider the forces that will shape the manufacturing industry in the new 365 days and beyond.
In the CNC machining industry, regardless of what our plans and strategies were for the past two pandemic years, now more than ever before, there’s an evident need for pushing new technology solutions even further as the industry needs to react and implement remote work and automate essential processes in order to stay functional and open. Put differently, the CNC machining industry had to grow and adapt quickly to confront supply chain problems and adapt to shifting consumer demands by embracing new technologies and tools.
And while the industry has followed a fairly steady path since the mid-1900s, like with many other sectors, recently, the Industrial Internet of Things continues to bring new challenges and opportunities for CNC manufacturers. In addition, attending trade shows to find new partners and secure the production of new products has been limited due to government travel restrictions and the need for physical separation, making things more difficult for CNC machining companies to acquire new clients on the open market.
However, progress always finds a way, and the CNC machining industry is one of the most progressive manufacturing sectors in today’s world. With these things in mind, here are the top 4 CNC machining industry trends for 2022 and beyond.
Shorter New Product Development Cycles
In the years to come, companies will continue to search for ways to shorten their product development cycles to grow their business further and beat their market rivals. Companies focused on top-line revenue growth can achieve this goal by launching new products in faster product development cycles thanks to rapid prototyping services to propel speedier growth and gain a more significant market share.
For that reason, we can expect CNC engineers and designers to eagerly adopt new tools, technologies, and processes like rapid prototyping to keep up with their desired accelerated product launches.
With a growing appetite for sustainably produced products among consumers, CNC companies will need to begin measuring and reducing carbon emissions created by their manufacturing processes and supply chains. Corporate responsibility, consumer demand, and government regulations will continue to contribute to CNC machining services’ new or renewed efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
In 2022 and beyond, all manufacturing companies will use more accessible manufacturing and supply data chains to evaluate their products’ carbon footprints better and search for new opportunities to manufacture and transport their goods more sustainably.
6-Axis CNC Machining Will Thrive in 2022
Although they first emerged in 2019, we predict that 6-axis CNC machines will become the next big thing in CNC manufacturing in 2022. In the end, the more axis there are, the quicker the production time will be, which goes hand in hand with the shorter product development cycles we covered earlier in this article.
Currently, most CNC machines provide three or five-axis support, which means that the machine can manufacture a design in three dimensions (X, Y, and Z), while five-axis CNC machines use an additional spindle to work with an extra two axis. In addition, the six-axis CNC machines allow for a further rotation around the Z-axis, making for rapid cut times.
In 2022 and beyond, we can foresee that more and more CNC fabricators and shops will turn their attention to six-axis CNC machinery, which will prove ideal for high-precision production of parts like automotive components or aerospace parts that demand the highest precision possible.
MaaS Will Keep Gaining Momentum
MaaS, or manufacturing as a service, made its way into the CNC machining only recently, but expect it to gain wider acceptance as we advance in time. In a few words, MaaS uses networked resources to achieve manufacturing tasks, as CNC machines and tooling are placed in one central location. At the same time, the costs of operation, repairs, and annual maintenance are spread among the service’s subscribers.
Furthermore, MaaS can provide companies additional flexibility, superior productivity, agility, and cost savings through reduced labor expenses. Therefore, as the fallout from the pandemic persists, assume that companies that want to lessen their expenditures and operate on tight budgets to at least explore the possibility of subscribing to a CNC-powered MaaS service.
Irrespective of the past two and half year’s unanticipated market interruptions because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the CNC machining industry will continue to be at the forefront of global manufacturing. For companies to become more flexible and adaptable in these uncertain times, they will have to find ways to shorten the development cycles of their new product designs and come up with sustainable solutions for their manufacturing efforts.
In addition, CNC manufacturers will become to incorporate six-axis CNC machining within their shops or subscribe to the growing MaaS CNC services that have emerged in recent years to cut the costs tied to the physical keeping and operation of the machines.