Manufacturing will have to automate if it wants to keep up with foreign and domestic competitors during the 4th Industrial Revolution. A CNC machine is one of the most accessible and effective forms of automation. It can significantly increase productivity and profitability. In this article, few things to consider when selecting CNC machines.
1. Determining factory requirements
It depends on the nature of the work being performed on the CNC machine. Using a 3-axis milling machine or CNC lathe for simple parts may be enough. However, the cost-effectiveness of having equipment that can process most parts in one operation increases as it becomes more complex. A five-axis CNC machine may be best suited for this type of work. There are also specialized CNC machines for other products used Mazak. The Swiss lathe might be a better choice if thousands of small, complex, cylindrical parts are required.
2. Reduce machine costs
CNC machines are often selected based on their cost. Manual machines tend to be less expensive than CNC machines. A variety of factors affect the cost of CNCs as well. Costs of tooling, cooling systems, chip conveyors, bar feeders, and automatic tool changers can be among these factors. You should only purchase add-ons that are required. If only a small amount of material is removed, a chip conveyor is not necessary.
3. Verify Spare Parts Availability
For CNC machines to operate optimally, they need to be maintained regularly. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a machine with a local technical support department stocked with the most commonly required spare parts. Whenever a machine malfunctions, revenue is lost every hour it is down. Accessible and competent technical support is also essential. In some companies, on-call technicians cost extra. CNC machines benefit greatly from this.
4. Place the machines
If you want to include accessories like chip conveyors and tool changers in your CNC machine, it is necessary to plan. Machine weight is another consideration. A concrete floor designed to support the weight of large CNC machines is required. When selecting CNC machines, pulling up the factory plans is definitely worth the effort if the foundation is not sufficiently strong.
5. Verify power requirements
Many CNC machines use 3-phase power and are power-hungry. For the new equipment to function, it is imperative to supply the building with enough power. Current power consumption should also be verified. The building may have enough power when all the machines are operating, but adding a new CNC could increase the consumption.
6. Machining tools
Machines with automatic tool changers may be beneficial to machining multi-featured, complex parts. Continuous machining is possible without operator input. For example, once the CNC has finished machining a part requiring one tool, it can be programmed to retrieve the next tool without human intervention quickly.
7. Control System
Choosing one control system over another is important when selecting CNC machines. For example, Fanuc, Haas, Heidenhain, and others have factory-installed CNC systems. Some manufacturers provide options regarding the control system, although the machine manufacturer usually determines it. As one of the easiest control systems to use, Haas is easier than Fanuc but has more features.