Are you wondering what you should know before buying the right CNC machine for your manufacturing tasks? From 5-axis machining centers to vertical and horizontal milling machines and lathes, and multi-axis turning centers, CNC machines come in a wide range of functions, performance, and sizes.
Available in different axes and dimensions, with different level of automation and quality, CNC machines are important assets in your manufacturing company. In this article, you will be able to read about five things you should consider when looking for the right machine for you. Let’s take a look at the list:
Know what your project requires
First things first, you will need to know what your current and future productions need in order to avoid buying a smaller machine or a bigger machine that you need. You should ask yourself the questions below:
1. What are the parts and materials that you want the machine to make?
2. What levels of precision should it have?
3. How many axes do you require?
4. What are the different sizes, grades, and complexity of materials that you will be working with?
By answering these questions, you will be able to determine what capabilities and features you will need as you move to the next step.
Consider the machine type
With various machine types available, you will need to think about which one will best fit your manufacturing jobs. You should look at the following features before you choose a machine:
1. Shapes, dimensions, and materials of parts that will be manufactured
2. Production cycles and turnaround time
3. The size of the working spaces
4. Fixture width, length, height, number of parts made in one cycle, and the number of operations in one setting.
5. Tool capacity and machine power and performance
6. Types of tools holders
7. Number of machines axes which will depend on the pieces you produce
If you want to make parts that need both milling and turning, you should consider a multi-tasking machine like C1 or C2. Click here if you want to learn more about these machines.
Understand the CNC machine tool prices
The prices of these machines range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, machine purchases are usually considered to be a high, long-term investment by manufacturing industries. When you are deciding on your budget for the machine, you will need to think about the options that you have. You will also need to consider the trade-offs between prices, production, and quality. A machine that is cheaper might be easier to pay for, but it might be unable to provide the performance and speed that your business needs.
Understand your spare parts and maintenance cost
One thing that is usually overlooked is the maintenance and parts costs. When looking for the right machine, you will need to determine that the life cycle of your investment is.
Origin of the machine and its parts
Each industry has its own competitors. If possible, machine buyers will try to choose the best machine that will fit their needs at a lower price. Machines that are made in countries that are technologically advance usually have better quality and durability, and the prices might be higher. You will also need to look at where the parts are made and assembled.
By following these 5 tips, you will be able to make the whole process of choosing a CNC machine easier, less time-consuming, and less overwhelming. The tips will also allow you to choose the best machine that will fit all your manufacturing needs.