More than a few buyers stumble into a competitive market looking for a CNC machine for sale only to find themselves confused, disillusioned and ultimately disappointed. This is mainly due to the fact that their search is random and unfocused without much knowledge or thought of exactly what their application really needs. The result is they end up researching or buying very cheap (expensive) machines that do not give them value or the tools they need to get their projects done. Key considerations have to be analyzed in order to make a sound and profitable investment when looking for a CNC machine for sale. The following questions will help one choose the most suitable machine.
Whats the point of a CNC machine?
Before searching for a CNC machine for sale, take a little time to really evaluate the reasons for buying one. This will help you select the best machine. It is important to establish whether one is replacing existing equipment, adding the capacity of the existing one or upgrading the current ones available. Whatever the reason, it is important to keep the objective clear. For example, purchasing excess CNC Lathes when one requires CNC mills will make one end up with fewer machines that they require and overpay for those they will not use. Moving into new markets also warrants an extensive research on the machines to buy and their prices.
2. What kinds of materials are being machined?
The materials you process will more than likely help you to determine the size machine you need. Easier-material to machine like wood or aluminum sheets under 4×8′ does not require a huge complex piece machinery. Since they an easier to machine, a light-duty piece of equipment is suitable. However, harder materials such as titanium and stainless steel will require more stable and heavy-construction machinery. The machines must have a powerful spindle drive to maintain high spindle speeds and feed rates. A CNC machine today offers a wide variety to choose form depending on the parts being created. The CNC plasma miller is a good choice to operate light material with. For tougher machinery the CNC is appropriate due to its stable high-powered spindle speeds. I have recently discovered that a laser cutter company Boss Laser is building both a spindle and laser in one. I don’t have any of the particulars as to how the 2 will work on the same gantry but it’s a very intriguing concept of adding a useful tool that will open up other opportunities.
3. What tolerances do your projects require?
When producing close-tolerance parts, a very stable and rigid machine is required. The machine should incorporate a powerful structure and design to produce parts at a high speed but while maintaining the accuracy of the parts. Temperature variations are bound to occur when production is ongoing. It is important to look for a device that will monitor the temperature to either allow increase or decrease of the machine speed. CNC routers are very good when considering this factor.
4. How much material does one need to produce?
The materials and production speeds will determine the type of CNC machine to be purchased. When looking for a CNC machine for sale today, the production rates of parts dictate the machine to be bought. For materials such as cast iron the machines chosen should have an adequate horsepower, torque and heavy duty construction. Machines such as the CNC Turret Punch are a wise choice for this job.
5. How complex are the parts to be produce?
There are more sophisticated multi-faced parts such as turbine blades, impellers and airframes that require a greater number of operations. These parts can be produced by using multiple CNC machines but it is always better to use a multi-purpose machine. The most common machines that facilitate the functioning of more than one CNC machine in a single one are the vertical machining centre (VMC). They are capable of up to a 5-axis machining functionality. The multi-purpose lathe is another good functionality combined machine. The advantage these machines offer is that they require fewer costly fixtures and specialized tools, reduce operator time per part, and increase spindle usage and provide flexibility of parts.
6. Are the parts being produced associated with each other?
A CNC machine comes with more interactive controls that help in reducing setup times, manage production schedules and monitor material usage. All a person does it to set the parameters for the associated parts and the machine writes a program to facilitate the production of all of them. All this will lead to better productivity and profitability. The best machines come with a swivel Head Rotary Table and a Travelling column. The VMC machines are the ideal ones to buy when looking for these features.
With the right answers to these questions, one will be in a better position to purchase better machines when looking for a CNC machine for sale. It is important to ensure that the investments people make are worth it to ensure long-term profitable investments.
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