History of NC and CNC Machines Advantages and Disadvantages

Before we start, let's clarify what NC and CNC machines are and the difference between them. NC stands for "Numérique de Commande" and means "Numerical Control" in Turkish. These machines are machines that are not computer controlled but can be numerically programmed. CNC, on the other hand, stands for "Computer Numerical Control" and means "Computerised Numerical Control" in Turkish. CNC machines are machines that can be controlled and programmed through computers. Now, let's take a look at the history, advantages and disadvantages of NC and CNC machines.

History of NC and CNC Machines:

NC machines were first developed in the 1940s using mechanical or hydraulic systems controlled by humans. However, the programming of these systems was quite time consuming and limited. In the 1950s, NC machines became more common in industrial production as companies such as IBM developed more efficient programming methods for NC machines using computer technology.

CNC machines appeared in the 1970s. These machines, together with the use of more advanced computer technology, made it possible to manufacture more complex parts. CNC machines provided a more flexible, precise and efficient production process and revolutionised industrial production.

Advantages of NC and CNC Machines:

  1. High Precision: Both NC and CNC machines can operate with high precision. This enables the precise production of complex parts.
  2. High Production Speed: Computer control allows operations to be performed faster and more efficiently, which reduces production times.
  3. Reduced Labour Requirements: Thanks to automated processes, NC and CNC machines require less manpower. This reduces labour costs.
  4. Flexibility: Thanks to programmability, NC and CNC machines can be used in the production of different parts, making the production process more flexible.
  5. Reusability: Thanks to programmable codes, it is easier to produce the same parts over and over again, which reduces costs.

Disadvantages of NC and CNC Machines:

  1. High Initial Cost: NC and CNC machines have a higher initial cost than conventional machines. This can make access difficult for small-scale businesses.
  2. Technical Knowledge Requirement: The use and maintenance of NC and CNC machines requires specialised technical knowledge. This can increase the costs of training and competent personnel.
  3. Risk of Failure: Computer-based systems are more prone to software or hardware failures. This may pose a risk to production continuity.
  4. Update Requirement: With the rapid advancement of technology, NC and CNC machines must be continuously updated, otherwise competitive advantage may be lost.


NC and CNC machines play an important role in industrial production. In addition to their advantages such as high precision, speed and flexibility, they also have disadvantages such as high initial cost and technical knowledge requirement. However, with the continuously developing technology, the advantages of these machines will further increase and their disadvantages will decrease.