NC Drilling Machine

What is a NC drilling machine?

A NC drilling machine is a semi-digital controlled drilling machine, which operates with both manual setting and computerized programming. The NC drilling machine appeared in the middle of the development for drilling machines. This invention not only turns a new chapter in the automation of drilling machines, but also helps increase profits with more efficient operation method.

Regarding the semi-digital controlled drilling machine, it refers to the elimination of excessive manual force. That is, it only requires the operator to do the settings on the interface, which is the digital touch screen, that the operation can be initiated or stopped. The procedures like positioning the tools or adjusting the drilling speed are all accomplished by means of the computerized control. 

How this advanced drilling machine realizes the computerized control can be traced back to the naming of the NC drilling machine. The term NC stands for numerical control, which means that through the programmed procedure, the instructions are transformed into numerical codes. When connected to the computerized system, it is the system that follows the numerical instructions to drive the machine instead of the operator’s control.

Depending on the form of hole created on the end products, the drilling machines are categorized into different types. Among them, the NC drilling machine is specialized in radial drilling, which drills holes within the given radial distance. As the parameters are determined with the computerized system, the NC drilling machine is the ideal choice for radial drilling. 

The machine features

● PLC interface
As mentioned above, the NC drilling machine is equipped with a digital touch screen, and it is the so-called PLC interface. The PLC interface refers to the programmable logic controller. The PLC interface is what makes this type of drilling machine different from the conventional unit. It enables the operator to press the buttons on the screen to do the settings. Once the controller receives the numerical message, the machine would automatically drive the tool to drill on the workpieces.

● Automatic lubrication
No matter manual or automatic operation method, as the tool that rotates at a high speed contacts with the workpiece, lubrication is necessary for the working site. In this way, it prevents the contact surface between the tool and the workpiece from overheating, as well as ensuring the smooth operation. The NC drilling machine automatically provides the lubricant such as oil mist as the tool is advanced towards the workpiece. Also, the speed and volume of lubrication are under the computerized control as well.

● Increased working distance
On the NC drilling machine, the available working distance is increased, which means the length and width of the machine is extended compared to the conventional drilling machine. The conventional drilling machines should rely on the manual force to change the movements of the tool along the workpiece. In contrast, without the restriction of the ability of the operator to adjust the machine, the working distance is thereby broader under the numerical control.

● Improved drilling capacity
The larger the tool diameter is, the bigger the holes being drilled on the workpieces. It is the maximum size of the drill bits that determines the drilling capacity of a drilling machine. However, not all sizes of drill bits can be compatible with every drilling machine. To decide which tool to choose should consider many other factors, such as the clamping force of the chuck. 

On a drilling machine, the drill head contains a spindle and a chuck. The former dominates the rotating motion of the drill bits, and the latter, which is attached to the spindle, provides the clamping force for the drill bits. Whether the clamping force is enough or not makes a difference in not only the ability of the machine to carry the tools, but the drilling capacity of the entire unit. 

With the extended working bed that allows for longer and wider range of working distance, the drill head is designed more rigid and stable. In this way, the drilling capacity is improved, and thus enhances the versatility of the NC drilling machine.

The development of drilling machines

As far as we know, the invention of NC drilling machine is in the middle of the drilling machine development. With the automation in the drilling process, it dominated the mid-20th century. In the beginning, the conventional drilling machine is simply a machine that utilizes spinning fluted tools to create holes as the tools move up and down on the workpieces. Considering the drilling capacity and the skill of the operator, there were some limitations in the products that the conventional drilling machine could make. 

With the progress of the programmable drilling process, the advanced drilling machines are good at more drilling techniques, including radial drilling or deep hole drilling, etc. This happened in which the NC drilling machines showed up on the markets.

Nowadays, drilling machines are brought to the era of fully automatic operation. This refers to the appearance of the CNC drilling machine. The CNC drilling machine varies from the NC unit in the involvement of manual force. With the CNC drilling machine, there is no need of any operator that supervises beside the machine, and the machine can be left unattended. This helps increase the working efficiency as well as the productivity of the entire manufacturing process.

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