AVR: 2023 Ultimate Uptime Solution for CNC Machine Stability
25 May 2023
CNC machining has long been the foundation of infrastructure and manufacturing processes. It is an indispensable part of numerous items and structures that people use, including dental equipment, construction material, vehicle parts, and sensitive electronics. From a financial perspective, the CNC machine market is lucrative, with global revenue projected to hit $153.8 billion by 2030.
Given the growing demand for advanced CNC machines, there is a strong motivation for CNC manufacturers to produce accurate, resilient, and cost-effective machines. In this article, we’ll explore emerging trends in CNC machining, common challenges, and how leading manufacturers efficiently overcome them.
The Future of CNC Machining
CNC machines are associated with drilling and milling metal parts but with significant human involvement. In recent years, industrial enterprises have witnessed a gradual but definite transformation of CNC machining technologies. As digitalisation and connectivity revolutionise the manufacturing industry, there is a growing demand for smarter, precision-driven machines capable of handling more complex tasks.
With Industrial Revolution 4.0 setting the pace, the demand for reliable CNC machines with data analytics, robotics, and automation capabilities—is greatly rising. This raises manufacturers’ engineering and production standards when integrating advanced features with the machines. Rather than performing linear machining operations at scale, advanced CNC machines are designed with multiple capabilities, allowing enterprise clients to approach manufacturing more efficiently, and at reduced costs.
Despite packing more features than their legacy versions, modern CNC machines must be relentlessly accurate. Manufacturers must ensure reliable ultra-precision machining in critical applications such as defence, medical, and aerospace. A slight error in the machining dimension can result in costly consequences. Such is the growing importance of CNC machining across different sectors.
CNC machining is also entering intriguing and uncharted territories that involve additive printing and robotics applications. Such advancements in CNC technologies require increased usage of complex electronic hardware and software programs. Therefore, conventional approaches to engineering, producing, and deploying CNC machines may need appropriate revision.
Common Challenges for CNC Machine Manufacturers
As the future of CNC machining unfolds, machine manufacturers should prepare to overcome the challenges that follow.
CNC machines are expected to undertake complex geometry machining tasks as the ability to deliver precise straight lines or circular cuts no longer suffice. Now, industrial clients expect advanced CNC machines to handle asymmetrical textures with precision and ease. Manufacturers must engineer modern CNC machines with more flexible movements to do that. Besides, CNC manufacturers must keep pace with evolving technologies such as AI, IoT, and robotics.
Purchase & Repair Cost
CNC machines are a sizable investment for most businesses. With advanced technologies powering the newer machines, the cost to acquire, install and operate CNC capabilities naturally increases. Industrial clients may hesitate when purchasing CNC machines or opt for cheaper but less reliable ones. Likewise, repairing advanced CNC machines can be equally costly. If CNC manufacturers fail to deliver robust machines, they’ll face a barrage of complaints, repair, and warranty claims.
Data & Automation Technologies Adoption
Besides cost pressure, CNC manufacturers face stiff competition as the race toward data and automation technologies heats up. Incorporating such capabilities into CNC machines require specialised skills and substantial investments. Manufacturers must also address the complexities of integrating sensitive electronics with high-power electrical parts and providing the required power supply.
Unreliable Voltage Quality
Voltage quality issues become more pronounced as the machine’s intelligence, cost, and capabilities grow. The machine’s operation will be compromised without a stable and accurate voltage supply. Voltage irregularities, a common phenomenon in industrial premises, will significantly affect CNC machining performance and prematurely shorten the machine’s lifespan. For example, voltage sags, or undervoltage, might cause specific crucial components in the machine to overheat and fail. This becomes a teething problem that all CNC manufacturers must overcome.
Types of CNC Machines Requiring Superior Voltage Quality
CNC machines require substantial power to operate. However, most of these machines also need stable and clean voltage to deliver the desired precision and reliability. We share some examples of CNC machines with strict power quality requirements:
CNC Plasma Cutters deliver precise cuts on the metal structure by moving the plasma torch along the intended coordinates. Voltage fluctuations can destabilise the plasma arc and cause unclean cuts.
CNC Laser Cutting machines apply highly-powered laser beams to form precise cuts on various materials. It requires consistent supply to maintain machining integrity.
CNC Bending machines rely on stable voltage amplitude to shape metal sheets according to specific angles. Voltage spikes and other irregularities will impact their accuracy.
CNC Lathes apply rotational force to the material and turn it against a cutting tool. The machine’s precision is highly influenced by the incoming voltage quality.
CNC Milling machines are common manufacturing equipment for removing specific parts of the workpiece’s material. It has little tolerance for noisy power supply.
The above list is not exhaustive but underscores the importance of a clean voltage supply for accurate CNC machining.
How CNC Manufacturers Solve Voltage Issues
CNC manufacturers are aware of the potential complications their machines could suffer when installed in challenging electrical environments. They are committed to ensuring client satisfaction, brand reputation, and profitability. Reducing breakdowns, repairs, and warranty calls by delivering robust machines outfitted with Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVRs) are ways to meet such goals.
What is an AVR, and how does it work?
An automatic voltage regulator (AVR) is a voltage optimising equipment that continuously turns irregular input voltage—into stable, precise and fluctuation-free output voltage. It is commonly used to eliminate voltage sags, spikes, transients and other anomalies in industrial applications. Installing an AVR between the mains supply and the equipment ensures the latter operates at its nominal power rating.
Most AVRs consist of an autotransformer and an electronics sensing circuit. The AVR monitors the output voltage and compares it to the nominal rating. If it senses a difference between the desired and the actual output, the AVR adjusts the transformer’s winding ratio between its input and output. This allows the AVR to compensate for the offset and ensure the connected load doesn’t experience voltage fluctuation.
Increasing CNC Machining’s Reliability with AVRs
There are few options for CNC manufacturers to ensure their machines receive a clean voltage supply, except by installing an AVR to each unit. By bundling an AVR to the CNC machine, you can ensure optimal and robust performance regardless of where the machines are installed. In case of surge, voltage sags or fluctuations, the AVR automatically adjusts and stabilises the voltage to the required level. This prevents disruptions to ongoing machining operations and equipment damage.
For example, Electro Scientific Industries (ESI), a leading CNC manufacturer, overcame all voltage issues affecting its machines by adding an Ashley Edison AVR to each CNC machine. When installed at the end user’s premise, ESI’s machines demonstrated remarkable resilience and tolerance against noisy electrical lines. Subsequently, ESI noticed a drastic drop in machine breakdowns from voltage irregularities. With minimised repair requests, ESI can distribute their machines to clients with more confidence.
Why Ashley Edison AVR?
Ashley Edison is an industrial leader in voltage-stabilising solutions. With 4 decades of improved field-tested design, extra rugged “Plug-and-Forget” AVRs are engineered to fully safeguard and incorporate with the most sensitive CNC machines.
Ashley Edison AVRs are trusted by global brands, including ABB, Schneider, Siemens and General Electrics to achieve clean, disruption-free, “one-and-done” voltage protection.
Ultra-Precise Voltage Regulation
Highly regarded as top-of-the-line solutions to the CNC market, Ashley Edison AVRs are capable of sustaining precise voltage regulation at ±0.5%, a remarkable performance 10x above industry standards. This way, CNC manufacturers are assured that their machines are completely protected with ideal operating voltages for optimum performance.
Ashley Edison AVRs are built with modular structure and premium components. Not only does the design allow for seamless installations, it also provides for simple and doubt-free maintenance. Technicians can use visual indicators when conducting annual ocular checks. Additionally, heavy-duty carbon brushes used can last for years before any replacements.
Comprehensive Warranty Policy
Using regulated inspections to assure the AVR’s absolute reliability—Ashley Edison now provides a 3-year ‘no-question-asked’ warranty for all parts in all AVRs. The goal is to ensure clients achieve maximum ROI—with complete peace of mind.
The CNC machine industry is experiencing intriguing changes to meet changing and complex demands. CNC manufacturers must grapple with several challenges to produce high-precisions, automated and multi-capabilities machines, including power quality issues. A stable and precise voltage supply is essential to ensure high-performance machining, which explains why top CNC manufacturers have chosen to incorporate Automatic Voltage Regulators on their machines.
We’ve explored the benefits of AVRs for CNC machines, including eliminating voltage spikes, surge protection and delivering optimal performance. Also, we’ve introduced Ashley Edison AVR—which has proven to efficiently helped CNC manufacturers overcome process challenges on the field.
To learn how to permanently maximise your CNC machine’s uptime and efficiency, speak to an Ashley Edison Voltage Specialist today!