When buying a CNC, what should I consider?

If I'm buying a new machine with CNC controls or retrofitting an old one, what are some questions I should ask prospective vendors? See our advice and leave your own tips.


Leave your feedback or advice for Control Engineering readers below.Dear Control Engineering: If I'm buying a new machine with CNC controls or retrofitting an old one, what are some of the questions I should ask prospective vendors?

   When selecting a CNC, consider faster program processing, easier integration and use, customization capabilities, and tooling speed. Also look at CAM integration, volumetric error compensation, CNC/IT integration, motion system connectivity, simpler integration, setup, use, maintenance, and human-machine interface standardization.

   Prior to selecting your next CNC machine, see the following checklist based on information from CNC manufacturers. 

1) What’s your industry? Are there specific needs for your application? High-production markets, such as aerospace, automotive, and medical, may have different needs from others, such as wood, marble, glass, presses, grinding, cutting, or forming.

2) What types of machines will you use? Dedicated turning and milling machines may have different needs than complex 5-axis, multi-spindle, and extended bed gantry machining centers. Needs may differ for prismatic part production, mold and die work, lathes, and other areas in the machine tool industry.

3) What kind of facility are you in? Contract manufacturer needs may differ from those of a small job shop, for instance.

   Read 15 more considerations at...


   FEEDBACK! Have you purchased a CNC recently or are you considering such a purchase and have additional questions to raise or advice to offer? Leave your comments below please. Comments are approved to avoid spam - be patient; we'll get to it soon! (Cannot see the comments box? Click here and scroll down to leave your advice about buying or specifying a CNC.)

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