CNC Machining: A Path to Sustainability

01 November 2023
CNC and sustainability

The Computer Numerical Coding (CNC) Machining industry has seen remarkable growth, with its market value already exceeding $81 billion. Projections indicate that this thriving sector is set to surpass the $126 billion mark by 2028. As the demand for CNC machines continues to surge, one critical question looms large: what is the environmental footprint of CNC machinery, and what can be done to make it more sustainable?

sven daniel eaanLTG7TCU unsplash
Image: Sven Daniel

Environmental Impact of CNC Machining 

In an era where sustainability is a global imperative, industry must be aware of its environmental impact. The CNC machinery sector is no exception, and like many others, it operates under various regulations aimed at fostering eco-friendly practices. These policies encompass a range of measures designed to mitigate the industry’s impact on the environment.

CNC Machining stands as a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process than traditional production methods. Primarily, CNC machining delivers improved efficiency to its users; reducing material waste and machining time. In addition, companies can produce precise quantities of their product, with less material to meet demand, eliminating excess stock and the associated material and stockholding costs – economic and environmental. 

CNC production is also a greener production method as it can be done electronically. CNC customers can send electronic files to factories and production sites, reducing the carbon emissions caused by driving to and from the site. In addition, manufacturers can meet their sustainability goals, contribute to global sustainability efforts, and reduce their carbon footprint with the adoption of this manufacturing method. 

Business plans
Image: Scott Graham

Reducing Waste through Business Plans


Sustainable business plans have become a fundamental element of CNC machinery manufacturing. Strategically designed to reduce waste at every stage of production, these plans optimize processes and minimize excess. As a result of adopting CNC production and sustainable business plans, companies are not only contributing to a greener planet but also improving their operational efficiency.

Path to Sustainability
Image: Ivan Bandura

The Path to Greater Sustainability


One crucial step towards greater sustainability in the CNC machinery industry is the adoption of more environmentally friendly technology. Manufacturers are increasingly investing in innovations that enhance productivity and minimize their carbon footprint. Furthermore, these technological advancements not only benefit the environment but also contribute to long-term cost savings, with a reduction in production time and material wastage.

Recycling materials is a pivotal component of the CNC machinery industry’s sustainability efforts. For instance, some management systems are specifically engineered to recycle oil used in CNC machining processes. The University of Northern Iowa has published a comprehensive guide on fluid management systems, shedding light on how recycling oil can make a significant difference:

“With increasing environmental regulation, a reduction in cutting fluid waste is an economical, practical and achievable goal.” – Iowa Waste Reduction Center

EMO Hannover 2023
Image: EMO Hannover

Economic Viability of Sustainability


While the transition to sustainable practices may seem like a significant investment, studies reveal that the financial benefits are substantial. The University of Northern Iowa’s research, for example, highlights how smaller companies can recover their investment in green technology within just eight months.

Moreover, Procedia Manufacturing has published two studies that underscore the long-term profitability of CNC machinery companies that invest in sustainable technology. These findings suggest that embracing eco-friendly practices not only safeguards the environment but also strengthens a company’s financial position over time.

The CNC machinery industry is experiencing remarkable growth and provides not only economic benefits to its adopters but environmental ones as well.  The next steps along the path of sustainability for the CNC manufacturers are adopting more green technology, recycling, and waste minimization. These are essential to ensure that the industry continues its astounding success. 

Discover more about how AMFG streamlines your CNC Machining processes.


We work with hundreds of businesses to enhance and accelerate their quoting process. Take control of your quoting procedure and streamline your pre-production workflow: our real-time inventory management empowers you to efficiently oversee your resources, leading to a smoother and more productive operation.


Whether you’re an SME machine shop or a multinational OEM, AMFG offers a comprehensive end-to-end MRP system to enhance your inquiries, quoting, and pre-production processes.


Find out how AMFG can supercharge your Additive Manufacturing and CNC Machining processes today.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Get our best content straight to your inbox

Thank you for subscribing!

You'll receive our latest content every week, straight to your inbox.

Book demo

    Request sent successfully!

    Thank you for submitting a demo request. A member of our Sales Team will be in touch shortly.