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Six Industries That Rely on CNC Machining


Industries That Rely on CNC Machining

Modern CNC (computer numerical control) machines have capabilities to manufacture precision parts quickly and efficiently. CNC machines are used worldwide to manufacture millions of parts every day. All of these parts range in size, material, and purpose.

CNC machining is typically used for metal parts and components that have complex designs and tight tolerances. Because of the accuracy and ability of CNC machining, it’s one of the highest demand manufacturing methods. In 2022, the global CNC machining market topped $100 billion, and it’s expected to reach $150+ billion by 2023 (source). 

These industries rely heavily on CNC machined parts: Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, Medical, Construction Equipment, Power & Energy, and Industrial. In this article, we’ll share how each industry uses precision machined parts.

Automotive Industry

The automotive and transportation industry is one of the largest users of CNC machined parts. Cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles all use precision metal parts. Vehicles require thousands of parts that require high precision and durability.

CNC machining is ideal for many automotive parts, because the parts need to be identical and made with hard metals like steel and stainless steel. Many engine and transmission parts are CNC machined. There are few manufacturing processes that can match the precision and repeatability that CNC machining offers.

Electric vehicles are playing a role in the growth of CNC machining, as they require high volumes of precision machined parts.

Learn more about CNC machining in the automotive industry.

Medical Industry

Similar to the automotive industry, the medical industry requires parts with extremely tight tolerances. There’s no room for error when making life-saving equipment.

CNC machining provides the medical industry with precision parts, the materials they need, and the rapid manufacturing. CNC machines can use the specific materials that the medical industry requires, such as stainless steel, titanium, and copper parts. 

CNC machining is also ideal for supporting crisis response. In early 2020, many CNC shops transitioned some of their efforts to manufacture essential medical equipment like parts for ventilators. CNC machines have a broad range of capabilities, and they can be easily programmed to make a new part.

Industrial Equipment Industry

CNC machines manufacture parts used for other manufacturing operations. The industrial industry includes packaging equipment, electronics, and other general industrial equipment. Overall, this industry accounts for ~25% of CNC machined parts. 

Industrial equipment often requires high-precision parts that can function in high-stress environments. The consistency and custom machining capabilities that CNC machining offers is necessary for this industry.

Energy Industry

The gas, oil, and energy industry is another huge market that relies on many CNC machined parts and components. Precision valves, bushings, and sensor equipment all require precision machined parts.

To keep important energy infrastructure running at its highest efficiency, the components need to fit perfectly. 

Parts used in harsh environments need to be precise, and have high corrosion and heat resistance. Saltwater and chemicals destroy many metal parts, so this industry requires metals like Hastelloy which usually require modern CNC machine cutting tools.

Aerospace and Defense Industry

The aerospace industry is an estimated $300 billion, and there are no signs that it’ll slow down. We usually think aerospace = airplanes, but there are also 1,000s of satellites and rockets that all require 1,000s of precision parts.

The aerospace and defense industry relies on CNC machining to manufacture complex precision parts, and leaves no room for error. The tight tolerances, rapid prototyping, and scalability of CNC machines is ideal for meeting the needs of this industry.

Construction Industry

The construction industry requires reliable, high-strength parts that function in tough environments. CNC machines can machine the big and small metal parts that construction equipment needs. 

CNC machining is the best manufacturing method for difficult to machine metal alloys. High-strength steel alloys are often used for parts in cranes, lift equipment, bulldozers, and other construction equipment. Gears, pump equipment, and high-strength fasteners are a few examples of CNC machined parts.

Spex is a precision machine shop based in Rochester, NY. Since 1947, we have used CNC machining to manufacture millions of precision parts for a wide range of industries. Our shop and partners have limitless capacity, so we can support your business at any level, from rapid prototyping to full-scale operations.

Reach out to our team to learn more about how we can partner with you. 

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