IntroductionMachines and Machine Tools make up the core around which all industrial manufacturing is built. Developing nations like India have to put special stress on machine tools, accessories, components etc. India has progressed immensely in the previous decades and there has been a huge rise in the number of machinery exporters, manufacturers, machinery equipment & components exporters, machinery and machinery spares and accessories suppliers in all parts of India.
Since time immemorial, machines and machine tools have been used by us to lighten the human workload. The Indian machine manufacturers and exporters community stands apart; with their pursuance of a systematic approach to quality control and product standardization coupled with a long history of engineering excellence.
In ancient epics such as the Mahabharata, there are many references to remarkable wind weapons such as the vayavya-astra and fire weapons such as the sataghni. This technological superiority can be clearly gauged from a growth rate of over 52% in the Industrial Machinery sector during Apr-Dec "99 and 27% in Machine Tools sector during the same period.
More than 2500 firms from the engineering sector have already acquired ISO 9000 accreditions in areas of casting and forging, automobile parts, machine tools, electrical machinery, primary iron and steel products, industrial machinery, IC engines, pumps, textile machinery, etc. to name a few. According to IMTMA (Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers' Association), as many as 200 medium and large sized firms and over 1000 small sized firms manufacture machine tools in India, with imports comprising of used and refurbished machinery, and machine tools, for cost considerations.
Machine tools can be powered from a variety of sources. Human and animal power are options, as is energy captured through the use of waterwheels. However, machine tools really began to develop after the development of the steam engine, leading to the Industrial Revolution. Today, most are powered by electricity.
Machine tools can be operated manually, or under automatic control. Early machines used flywheels to stabilize their motion and had complex systems of gears and levers to control the machine and the piece being worked on. Soon after World War II, the numerical control (NC) machine was developed. NC machines used a series of numbers punched on paper tape or punch cards to control their motion. In the 1960s, computers were added to give even more flexibility to the process. Such machines became known as computerized numerical control (CNC) machines.