Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Much has been written about numerical control (N/C) and its various benefits and limitations, but there is a definite lack of and need for a unifying decision concept, particularly one oriented to small machine shops. Numerically controlled machining operations can be a major investment for a small shop and therefore management needs good guidance for sound decision making when it comes to deciding whether or not to introduce N/C to his operations.

This study examines the various aspects of N/C and categorizes them under three general areas: (1) technical aspects, advantages and disadvantages, (2) economic aspects, and (3) intangible aspects. The findings in each of these areas are then analyzed for applicability to small shop operations. This was done in an attempt to synthesize the data into a unified set of criteria in the form of a model that the management of a small company can use to evaluate whether their products or operations are suitable to N/C machining

This analysis indicates that N/C can be a profitable innovation for a small manufacturer, but before implementing N/C he must base his decision on certain key criteria. Numerical control is a powerful management tool and can be a valuable asset to most small plants where the decision criteria can be satisfied