If you’re sold on all the benefits of CNC machines, you might be left wondering which one is right for your business. One of the best things about these impressive feats of engineering is their ability to adapt to so many different processes. But there are still differences that are important to keep in mind before taking the plunge.
It doesn’t matter which CNC machining techniques you’re interested in, because these tips can be applied across models to help you get the one that’s right for your business. Here are some things for you to consider…
While CNC machines will all work efficiently and help take your productivity to new heights, some will be speedier than others. It might be tempting to always go for the fastest option possible, but if your business doesn’t need that level of production, another model may offer better value for money. Pay attention to the different feed rates that are available, which will tell you how fast materials can be cut into shape.
If you need a highly durable machine that’s up to the toughest of jobs, it’s best to get a heftier model that weighs more. But if you intend to use it more lightly for smaller projects, there’s no sense in shelling out for something bulky made of iron. Consider an aluminium build that offers some strength and a lighter construction.
Maintenance and Parts
Ideally, you won’t want to be making repairs on your machine too often. But at some point, you will need a little fine-tuning or a new part or two. It’s important to be aware of the availability of new parts, as some may be hard to come by. The last thing you want is to buy a machine and find the part you need has been discontinued. Buying popular CNC machines used by a large number of businesses usually means there will be greater demand for parts, so companies will be manufacturing them.
You also don’t want to choose a model that’s so obscure that not many technicians are used to dealing with them. If you’re thinking of buying a machine from another country, make sure they’re compatible with local services for smoother running.
It might seem obvious but the size of your machine is going to be a very important factor in your buying decision. If you’re currently operating out of a smaller space, don’t buy a machine that’s going to eat up all the room. Even if you’re planning to scale up soon, you either need to wait for your bigger premises before buying the bigger machine or replace your small one at a later date. Businesses don’t always move as expected, so you want to make sure your machine is right for your current situation, not the one you hope to be in after ten months.
Ease of Use
While CNC machines are notoriously simple to use in the engineering world, some may require more training than others. Consider the capacity of your staff and whether you’d need to hire a machine operative to use your new piece of equipment.