What is The Difference Between NC and CNC Machine?

the difference between nc and cnc machine

Numerical Control (NC) and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining are both processes that use computer networks to control machine tools. You’ve heard both of them, but you might be wondering what is the difference between NC vs CNC machines.

In short, NC machining is typically used for simpler applications, while CNC machining is used for more complex applications. 

NC machines are operated by a set of coded instructions that tell the machine what operations to perform. These instructions are known as G-codes. 

CNC machines, on the other hand, are operated by a set of computer-generated instructions known as programs. These programs can be created using a CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) system.

NC vs CNC Machine

1. Stands for Numerical Control. Stands for Computer Numerical Control.
2. Uses punch tapes and punch cards for input. Uses keyboards for input.
3. Alteration in operation parameters is not possible. Alteration in operation parameters is possible.
4. No memory for storing instructions. Memory exists to store instructions.
5. Less expensive than CNC. More expensive than NC.
6. Maintenance cost is low. Maintenance cost is high.
7. Requires highly skilled operators. Requires less skilled operators.
8. Less flexible than CNC. More flexible than NC.
9. Less accurate than CNC. High accuracy.
10. Execution of jobs takes more time. Execution of jobs takes less time.
11. Cannot run continuously. Can run continuously for 24 hours a day.
12. Limited machine control. Advanced machine control capabilities.
13. Programming changes are difficult. Easy to update and modify programming.
14. Limited to a basic set of instructions. Can execute a complex set of instructions.
15. Lower precision. High precision in operations.
16. Less capability for intricate tasks. Greater capability for intricate and complex tasks.

The Benefits of CNC Machines

CNC machines offer several advantages over NC machines:

  • They allow for more precise control of the cutting process.
  • CNC machines take less time to execute operations.
  • They can do multiple operations without needing to be re-set.
  • CNC machines can be operated using a variety of input devices, such as keyboards and touch screens.
  • You can store operation programs in their storage. And then use them multiple times without resetting them.
  • The computer programs can be easily changed or modified.
  • They can continuously operate 24 hours a day.
  • A highly skilled operator isn’t required to run this machine.

There is one arguably disadvantage that CNC has. The price is relatively higher than in NC. However, if you can boost the performance of operations by 10x, can you call this a disadvantage?

Between NC vs CNC, Which Machine is Best for My Industry?

NC Machines can run a variety of tasks, including milling, turning, and drilling. In contrast, CNC machines are primarily used for milling and turning. As a result, NC machines are often found in a wider range of industries, including auto manufacturing, aerospace, and medical device manufacturing. 

However, CNC machines offer several advantages over NC machines, including increased accuracy and repeatability. In addition, CNC machines can perform multiple tasks in a single setup, which reduces overall production time. CNC machines are computer-controlled tools that can perform a variety of tasks.

They can perform drilling and milling to lathe and grinding. As a result, CNC machines are often the preferred choice for high-precision applications such as aircraft engine manufacturing.

Which Machine is Best for My Business?

In today’s economy, businesses are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs. One way to do this is by investing in CNC machines. By investing in CNC machines, businesses can:

  • save money on labour costs
  • increase production speed
  • improve the quality of finished products
  • stay ahead of the competition
  • remain profitable in the long run 

The “Benefits of CNC Machine for Businesses” Infographic is available to download here:

Download Infographic

Get The Best CNC Machines at Tekcel

cnc machine

Tekcel CNC Routers model P2

Now that you know the difference between NC and CNC, it’s time for your business to get the best CNC machines. Tekcel is the best place to get CNC machines and parts for your business. We have a wide range of CNC routers in Perth for different purposes and industries.

We also have a team of experts who can help you choose the right machine for your business and provide you with the necessary training to use it. Tekcel also offers a variety of parts and components that you can use to upgrade or replace your existing CNC machines. We have a wide range of products to meet the needs of different businesses.

Whether you need a new machine or parts for an existing one, Tekcel in Perth is the best place to shop.

Reviewed by

  • Patrick Tan

    Patrick Tan brings a unique blend of product and business development to his role as Sales Manager at Tekcel (Tommotek WA Pty Ltd). Starting his journey with the company in 2006 as Tech Support, Patrick has a deep understanding of CNC routers from both a technical and operational standpoint.

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