What is Numerical Control?
Numerical control (NC) is a form of programmable automation in which the processing equipment is controlled by means of numbers, letters, and other symbols. The numbers, letters, and symbols are coded in an appropriate format to define a program of instructions for a particular work-part or job. When the job changes, the program of instructions is changed. The capability to change the program is what makes NC suitable for low and medium-volume production. It is much easier to write new programs than to make major alterations of the processing equipment.
The applications of numerical control range over a wide variety of processes. We divide the applications into two categories in this article.
- Machine tool applications such as drilling, milling, turning and other metal working.
- Non-machine tool applications such as assemble, drafting, and inspection.