Early in the Cold War, the US Air Force commissioned a man named John T. Parsons to build a machine that would allow them to manufacture helicopter blades and aircraft skins with greater efficiency and speed. What he formulated, with its motorized axes and ability to process preprogrammed functions, was an early prototype of a machine that is now ubiquitous in manufacturing—the modern-day CNC machine.
From the beginning, national defense was the impetus of CNC machines. And to this day, CNC machines continue to play a vital role in the defense industry.
This is familiar territory for us at Diversified Machine Systems (DMS). From our headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO, we operate in close proximity to five major military bases. We are proud to provide American-made CNC routers that are often used in military applications and government manufacturing.
In a nation where military spending is the second-highest budgetary allocation, we know that the success of CNC manufacturing is linked to the defense industry. The same factors that make them an integral part of defense efforts are what make them vital to so many manufacturing sectors.
CNC machines are extremely versatile. Not only are they compatible with many different materials (metals, plastics, wood, foam), but they are utilized to fabricate a wide array of products. These could be anything from small, intricate components used in electronics or weaponry, such as the lower receiver of the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle, to massive structural elements, such as radome panels or the skins of missiles and planes.
CNC machines are also known for their exceptional precision. This is an obvious requirement for many defense applications, but one example is found in the development of stealth aircraft. Before CNC technologies came along, airplane “parts were typically smoothed out using epoxy… [which would then] harden and separate in the field, creating sharp edges and making the aircraft easily detectable by radars.” Now, thanks to the precision of CNC machines, these parts can match up seamlessly, allowing planes to achieve a “very low observability” that would have been previously unheard-of.
CNC technology is also favored for its efficiency. Defense contractors are always looking for ways to reduce lead times and cut costs without compromising safety. Because CNC machines’ actions are preprogrammed and automated, they are capable of accomplishing just that. These routers and mills can produce more parts with less manual labor, which means fewer human errors and a reduced likelihood of workers being injured.
CNC machines continue to be a good investment in America’s future. In March 2022, the Director of National Intelligence testified to the US Congress and named China and Russia as America’s two greatest strategic adversaries. She stated that China in particular was “coming ever closer to being a peer competitor to the United States economically, militarily, and technologically.” Clearly, despite a decrease in the United States’ involvement in the Middle East, all is not quiet on the eastern front.
And it is these mounting threats, paired with many other factors—including aging military equipment and government support for the 2022 National Defense Strategy—that have caused analysts to project that the US defense market “will register a CAGR of more than 0.5%” over the next 10 years. In light of the market’s projected growth, multinational consulting firm Deloitte says that “defense companies should emphasize building improved capabilities in fighter aircraft, space resilience, shipbuilding, and cybersecurity. . . This renewed focus could bode well for the major defense contractors.”
This market growth is an opportunity for CNC manufacturers. If defense spending is on the rise and CNC technologies play a major role in the defense industry, this as an ideal time to invest in a CNC machine that will help you provide supply to meet the growing demand.
Versatility, precision, efficiency, and rising demand are just some of the reasons DMS is proud to supply CNC machines to American manufacturing companies. Making sure that our machines meet top-of-the-line, military-grade standards is a matter of utmost importance to us because we know that the equipment and parts that they produce could ultimately determine “mission success.”
The experts at Diversified Machine Systems work hard to help professionals in the defense and military sectors solve complex problems and design custom machines that meet your unique manufacturing needs. If you would like to discuss how DMS can help you, reach out to us today at 855-266-5064 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.