Industry 4.0 Smart Factory

What is Industry 4.0 Smart Factory?  Engineering companies seem to be faced with a vast array of sometimes confusing ideas of what the Smart Factory is and how to achieve it.  First things first, it is a big subject and can mean different things to different sectors of the industry.

Put simply Industry 4.0 is about digitising your manufacturing, making the best use of modern technology in a manufacturing environment be it by monitoring, robotics, use of sensing technology – even staff training.  It’s about having the right tools and process in place to make use of all this tech.  It’s about being in control, empowering your workforce to be able to connect the right data with the right people in order to make informed decisions and all in real time.

In reality it’s really much more of an evolution than a revolution in the way we think and how we work, how we gather and make use of that collected data.  You may find that the technology is already in place with the information we need all around us and some of it being collected, monitored and collated over several platforms – a combination of digital and manual process.  The problem with this is that it can very quickly become unmanageable and is usually retrospective i.e. data is collected then becomes unused or out of date.

What if you could have a system that gathers the manufacturing data you require in real time so that you can be proactive in decisions, become leaner in manufacturing and give you the edge over your competitors?

  • You want to be able to see what the shop floor is doing and at what stage the jobs are at
  • How many parts have you made?
  • If a machine is not running you need to know why and as it happens
  • You want to be able to have control over your valuable CNC programs and be able to look at an audit trail of any changes made
  • You also need to have a level of user control to ensure only the right people make the changes required


The path to a Smart Factory and the advantages it provides is far less difficult and much more affordable than you think!  How do you start your journey to achieve all of this?  Well that’s where we come in.  At Cambridge Numerical Control we’ve been specialising in digital solutions for engineering companies for over 30 years.  We are the leading UK supplier of DNC, Machine Tool Monitoring and File Management Systems from the world-leading Cimco range of products.

Let us assist you in your journey towards a smarter way of working, a smarter way of thinking, a truly Smart Factory.

To get your journey started give us a call on 01480 468639 or email



TITAN Testimonial

Mark is the IT and Supply Chain Manager for long-standing client Titan, an engineering company who specialise in the design, manufacture and assembly of precision machined components predominantly for the motorsport and automotive industries.

We have been Titan’s partners for the last 12 – 13 years helping them to maximise productivity and efficiency from their machines. We have also been running a trial of MDC with them for a couple of months with them reporting that the data being provided is very useful. Titan will be rolling out the MDC trial across the rest of their CNC machines soon.

We are delighted to support Titan and thank them for their kind words on this video.

CNC Training Room


We are very proud of our Training Room offer and are taking it straight to our target market with this advert which we prepared for the annual Tertiary Schools and Colleges Buying Guide. If you are in the education sector or, indeed, if you train Apprentices in-house and are interested in providing them with the right environment for them to learn in – do get in touch with us here at CNC.

We can even show you how you can use your Apprenticeship Levy to pay towards the installation of a Training Room.

Worth having a conversation about isn’t it?

We’re Recruiting! Phenomenal Installation Engineer Required!

Due to our continued growth and workload we’re looking for a new Installation Engineer to join our team here at CNC.

We’re looking for someone with:

  • Computer networking experience – shares, permissions, credentials, IP setup and testing
  • Computer user setup experience – run as service, user permissions, Dcom setup
  • SQL experience MS SQL or MySQL, simple queries and installation / configuration
  • CNC control experience – Fanuc, Heidenhain, Mazak including parameter settings
  • Electrical wiring experience – low volt 24v installation in CNC machines, an ability to read machine schematics and wiring diagrams to find machine outputs
  • DNC software installation experience
  • Machine monitoring experience


Finally, excellent customer relations skills coupled with great documentation skills are a must!

To find our more, register your interest or discuss this vacancy please contact us via

Thank you for your interest!

2018. The Year of Engineering



The Year of Engineering is a government campaign which celebrates the world and wonder of engineering.  It also forms an important part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy which is committed to boosting engineering across the UK, ensuring everyone has the skills needed to thrive in a modern economy.

Did you know?

  • The engineering profession would like 186,000 skilled recruits each year to 2024?
  • There is a 20,000 annual shortfall of engineering graduates?
  • Only 1/3 of parents know what people in engineering do?
  • The current engineering workforce is 94% white and 92% male?
  • Almost half of engineering companies say a shortage of skilled people is significantly reducing productivity and growth



That’s why at CNC we are supporting the Year of the Engineer campaign by way of our Training Room initiative. To find out more about Training Room click here:

To find out more about the Year of Engineering visit

Are You Up To Standard?


CNC program control is vital to quality control, consistent production standards and, ultimately, to business continuity.

It is not enough to back up the programs from the machines and simply overwrite the old version.  More and more engineering customers and auditors are asking for a program revision history with full traceability.  Indeed the latest Aerospace AS9100 Rev D standard released last year, and now in force, insists on this.  The most recent FDA standards also make this a stipulation.

Yet we often visit companies without any formal method of controlling their CNC programs and who openly admit they have multiple variations of the same program from different operators or programmers.  Some machines are loaded by memory stick, some by RS232, some by memory card and, quite often, there is no recent backup of the machine memory at all.

Where companies do have a formal method, they are only keeping the current, proven, program without any audit history.  This is no longer sufficient and is beginning to affect more and more precision engineering companies.

So let’s be really clear here.  If you use CNC machining methods and you provide a sub-contract service for any of the larger Aerospace, Medical, Military or Motor companies they will insist that you adhere to the same standards.

That’s where Cambridge Numerical come in. We have a solution from Cimco, the world’s Number One DNC software company, and it is called NC-Base.

NC-Base controls program flow to all your CNC machine tools and makes sure that every program change is logged and fully audited.  CNC programs sent back from machines are compared and quarantined automatically for review by a supervisor.  CNC operators can only ever access the current, proven program.  Every single version of a program is kept and can be restored and when the auditors visit they can print a revision history and audit trail for all programs.

A few years ago this was niche software used by a few big companies.  Since 2014 it has become the largest selling product in our portfolio.

For more details on how NC-Base can provide you with the solution you’re looking for, or to discover what else we can do for you and your business call us on 01480 468 639.




Cambridge Regional College (CRC) testimonial

Cambridge Regional College (CRC) is the top Further Education College in the country for 16-18 year-old level 3 student achievement and a leading apprenticeship provider, with 3,000 full-time students and more than 3,800 apprentices currently in training.

They were looking to provide their apprentice engineers with an easy to learn and full featured software package to assist them in teaching the engineers of the future.

CRC decided on Cimco Edit, CNC-Calc and the Fanuc NC-Guide Machine Simulation Software to train their students.


Gas Arc Testimonial

Gas Arc are a world leader in the production of gas control systems to the oil and gas industry as well as the medical industry.

Gas Arc used to have systems in place that were manually controlled and retrospective.

A decision was made to look for an automatic solution that would enable them to organise and control their CNC files and give them versioning and traceability control in real time, they also wanted real time machine information, so they could be proactive on decisions regarding their production and machine management.

Gas Arc decided on Cimco Edit, NC-Base, DNC-Max and MDC-Max as a complete solution.


Did You Know….?


Cambridge Numerical Control was established in 1981 as a supplier of programming stations for CNC machine tools via paper tape.  Our first system was released on a Shelton Signet twin floppy CPM PC with no graphics capability and was called TapeMaster.  We supplied the PC, TapeMaster edit software, a printer, plotter and an M42 punch unit for creating the paper tapes.  The complete package cost over £8,000 (which was a lot of money in 1981) and our first customer was British Rail Engineering.

Scroll forward 37 years and we still supply software for CNC program generation and management – but the price is less in actual money and far less in real terms.

Cimco Edit does everything the TapeMaster software did, has full graphics backplot, verification and simulation and sells for £450.  Truly a testament to how most things are now far cheaper in real terms than they were nearly 40 years ago.

We still supply a complete solution if required and our products range from Cimco Edit, DNC (program transfer to CNC machines), programme revision control (for ISO, FDA and BS approvals) to machine data capture (MDC) for managing your CNC machines and generating OEE statistics.

We also design and develop custom solutions for our customers based upon our standard products and can integrate our solution into your existing ERP systems to capture machine job times, part counts and machine efficiency.

We are continuously investing in new technology and methods and we are a forerunner in Industry 4.0 by connecting older legacy machines to internet and cloud based systems.

We are passionate about up-skilling engineers for the future and have recently released our CNC Training Room – providing state-of-the-art machine simulators for common machines so CNC programmers and operators can learn to use the machine.

To find out how we can help you, call us or email us at


Breaking News…

Cambridge Numerical Control (CNC) will be exhibiting in an all-new, custom built stand at the MACH Exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC from the 9th – 13th April this year.

For those of you not in the know MACH Exhibition is the outstanding showcase for advances in the manufacturing industry and is brought into being by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), of whom CNC are also a member.  The exhibition attracts over 25,000 visitors representing the whole of the UK manufacturing industry and we would love to see you there.


We have taken a large central space in Hall 17 and have dedicated it to the unique solutions we have for precision engineers, manufacturers and those working in education.  We will be demonstrating:

NC-Base – the professional choice for CNC Program Management

MDC-Max – a real-time machine data collection system

Training Room – empowering you to train the engineers of the future

Amongst the wealth of information that you can gather from us, for FREE, at the MACH Exhibition we will be showing you how we can give you a minimum of 3% increase in productivity through the installation of our systems software.  To put that in perspective, in most cases we’ve worked on, that’s a payback time of just 3 months and tens of thousands of pounds in extra profit year-on-year.

What are you waiting for?!  Register now, for free, here:

MACH Exhibition 9th – 13th April 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham.

We are in Hall 17 on Stand: H17-665.

Come and discover what we can do for you.