What is the Real Cost of Owning Manufacturing Equipment?
A CNC machine tool or accessories such as bar feeders, chip conveyors or work holding devices, are significant investments for any manufacturer. Obviously, we’re all looking for the best return on that investment. However, the initial price tag is only part of the cost of owning the equipment. That’s why it’s important to consider other factors before making a buying decision:
- How well does the equipment fit your applications? If you’re performing high precision machining, for example, will the CNC machine continuously hold the necessary tolerances? Will the bar feeder, steady rest or other work holding devices properly support the workpiece to reduce vibration in the cutting zone and allow optimum spindle speeds for maximum throughput? If you work with a variety of raw materials, will the chip conveyor handle all types of swarf without causing bottlenecks? Does the machine tool or accessory maker have applications experts who can advise you on how to attain peak performance?
- Changeovers: If you run a number of different parts on the same equipment, how fast and easy is it to change from one job to another? Some machine tools have operating systems with customizable APPs that allow you to easily switch between programs. Smart bar feeders have automatic features and can communicate with the machine tool control to change programs on the fly, thus reducing material waste. These considerable time and cost savings easily offset purchase price differences.
- Reliability: In today’s competitive world, a manufacturer cannot afford unnecessary downtime. Regardless of initial cost, equipment that breaks down, or requires constant monitoring is no bargain. Choosing machine tools or accessories with proven, real-world track records simply makes good sense. Look for a company with a long history of designing, building and supporting their own products, and that isn’t afraid to let you speak to their other customers.
- Replacement parts & technical service: Even the most reliable equipment needs periodic maintenance to operate at peak efficiency. So you want to be sure that the company has readily available replacement parts and skilled technicians nearby to keep you up and running.
For further advice on maximizing your ROI on machine tool accessories, contact you nearest LNS representative or call 513-528-5674.