This month, we’re taking a look at some of the hidden assets of the industrial Midwest – the parts of our economy that don’t often get noticed when we talk about our strengths.
We found one hidden asset right smack in the middle of our manufacturing sector. It’s a machine that’s in literally thousands of factories across the Midwest. And, though, you might not have heard of it before, the CNC machine – and the people who operate it – are at the core of our economy.
CNC stands for computer-numerically-controlled. And what the computerized machine does is it machines things. That sounds ridiculous unless you know that machine is not just a noun. It’s also a specific manufacturing process.
It’s when you cut away a material. It’s basically commercial sculpting.
“Machining is at, or very close to, the foundation of manufacturing,” says Peter Zelinski, senior editor at Modern Machine Shop magazine.
Zelinski says, even if you’ve never heard of it, CNC machining is essential to your life.