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CNC machines used in contract electronics manufacturing

By VentureOutsource.com Staff

Contract electronics manufacturing and design firms use computer numerical control (CNC) automation machines and tools to achieve better control of customer product box build and system integration casings and enclosure design, function and features.

Essentially, CNC machines are automated processing of lathes, punch pressing, routers, drills, cutters and millers and grinding along an assembly line able to create forms, faceplates, enclosures…from various substrates ranging from metal to plastics and more.

For the past few years there has been a trend with demand for CNC capabilities exceeding supply of CNC services. See graph below for estimated 2014 v 2015 CNC machines supply v. demand.

Estimated 2014 v 2015 CNC machines supply v. demand

When comparing metal die casting v CNC extrusion, metal casings produced by die casting typically can have surface flaws and need special treatment. Die casting will cost less than CNC but do not typically achieve the same quality parts and enclosures produced by CNC extrusion.

 

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And since metal casing design has become an important feature for hardware products and components like smartphones, handsets, cameras, batteries, processors…OEMs turn to design complexity capability CNC machining offers.

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Case in point. An earlier report by UBS reports when smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi announced its Mi4, CEO Lai Jun talked in detail at Xiamoi’s product launch conference about the phone’s metal frame as a key feature.

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