What You Need to Know About the CNC Process in Aircraft Manufacturing


Technology is changing and bringing new innovations. Industrial developments have lessened human intervention to a greater level while relying on automation. Whether it is controlling machines or manufacturing them, automated processes have brought a lot of relief.

One such process utilizing pre-programmed software is the CNC process. CNC process is short for “Computer Numerical Control.” This is a program/software that dictates the movement of machines. The CNC process aids in machine manufacturing.

It is widely used in aircraft manufacturing companies and parts forming that ensures accuracy.

What Is the CNC Process?

CNC, which stands for “Computer Numerical Control”, is a process that controls and manipulates machines using computer software. The CNC method generates prototypes from digital files. It works much like a robot; you would have seen performing tasks for which they are programmed.

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In the CNC process, instructions are taken from CAM or CAD files. These help to cut prototype parts thus automating the process. All this improves productivity along with speed and accuracy.

Several CNC machines are used in manufacturing prototype parts such as drills, lathes, oxy-fuel cutting machines, water-jet cutting, and more. The CNC process is used on several materials such as aluminum, steel, titanium, wood, fiberglass, polypropylene, copper, steel, and more.

Application Areas of The CNC Process

The application areas of the CNC process are wide. It is not confined to a single industry. What you see is carefully manufactured parts that are manufactured out of the CNC process. Therefore, it has numerous applications. We can see its applications in the medical industry to create parts such as:

     Research equipment

     MRI machines

     Electrical parts

     Orthotic devices

     Medical instruments


The CNC process has its applications in the transport industry helping in manufacturing transport trucks, freight trains, shipping vessels, and more. It also manufactures brakes and other engine parts. It has its application in the aircraft and aerospace industry as well. 

Apart from the applications mentioned above, we can find CNC wonders in the oil and gas industry, automotive industry, electronic industry, marine industry, military and defense industry, and cooking ware industry.

How Is The CNC Process Used In The Aircraft Industry?

Specialized processes and CNC routers are used to manufacture aircraft parts. Aviation welding and manufacturing industries use the CNC process to precisely develop parts with more productivity and accuracy.

CNC machining is used for the production of aircraft components. It manufactures airboxes, engine mounts, fuel tanks, exhaust, nozzle, wings, retainer rings, flanges, and other hardware components. Nobody wants to take the risk of flying high without having the guarantee of component accuracy.

Manufacturing aircraft parts by the CNC manufacturing process involves the creation of a 3D model and importing it into the CAM software. You enter the input functions such as the virtual part’s dimensions and coordinates of the point of origin.

You then choose the tools available in the machine to design specific features of the required component. After this, you have to select tooling parameters such as tooling path, cut depth, and tooling speed. Finally, the whole process is run through a virtual production cycle.

Benefits Of The CNC Process In The Aircraft Welding Industry

The CNC manufacturing process in aircraft manufacturing brings numerous benefits.


You won’t want to take the risk for something that is going to fly at high altitudes of 36,000 feet. People’s lives are at stake, and only an aircraft manufactured out of high precision can provide satisfaction. It gives the accuracy of +/-0.001.


CNC manufacturing involves the automation process through the use of computer software. The usage of CAD and CAM software performs manufacturing faster. In the aircraft industry, you can’t afford delays in designing, prototyping, machining, and manufacturing.

There are aviation parts manufacturing and welding companies that manufacture parts through the process of CNC end forming and CNC routers.

Better Capability

CNC machines manufacture such components with an accuracy that manual machines can’t. They apply to numerous materials that inexpensively create prototypes of materials. Furthermore, it produces uniform products that match with each other.

There are several aircraft maintenance and parts manufacturing companies that use the CNC process from designing to the manufacturing stages, that deliver better precision and quality.

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