When the CNC machine is employed for professional use, whether in large industries, in small workshops, or for freelancers who work from their garage or from home, it can bring great benefits to the company. If compared to other methods of machining or part production, the CNC reports fantastic results, higher productivity, better quality finishes, and much more. Here you can see the reasons why you should implement this type of equipment in your company.
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Why acquire CNC technology in your company?
Machining is one of the most used production methods in the industry. To achieve this process, a multitude of tools and machines were used until the arrival of the new cncs, controlled by computer to be much more efficient, precise and fast. On the other hand, these machines not only brought an improvement in productivity, but also greater safety, since the operators intervene little or nothing in the process.
As everything is programmed, another positive aspect of these CNC machines is that they will be able to reproduce the same concept in tens, hundreds or thousands of pieces, with identical and uniform results. This is good for mass production, as well as for meeting tighter tolerances.
On the other hand, that reproducibility does not detract versatility and flexibility at work time. It can be programmed in an instant to make completely different parts, or go back to the previous job after doing some different machining, since everything is controlled by software and you can store the models and codes in memory.
Currently, both large industries, as well as other sectors such as research, and even small metal workshops, wood, etc., usually use this type of CNC machines, since they are a guarantee of improving productivity, win in competitiveness, get better results, and increase profit margins.
- Automated machining, with almost no human intervention.
- Greater speed, performance and productivity, increasing the benefits for the company.
- Reduction of costs in machining, due to waste of material, or due to defective parts.
- Possibility of creating all kinds of parts, even some complex ones without the need for several processes, from the raw material itself.
- Easy programming and reprogramming, and versatility when changing jobs.
- Very high precision, to create identical parts with little margin for error.
- Fewer staff are needed, so costs are reduced.
- The tools are usually more durable than those used by operators who carry out the work manually, since in those cases they are usually forced, perform poor maintenance in some cases, etc.
- Possibility of monitoring parameters and changing them in real time.
- Better finishes and, in many cases, no post-processing is needed.
- Increase in the quality of the products, improving the image of the brand or the company.
- Larger scale or mass production capacity.
- Reduction of the workforce (negative from the point of view of unemployment).
- High initial cost, as CNC machines can be expensive in some cases.
- Specialization. Some brands are only suitable for milling, others only for welding, or for placement, etc. This may be less flexible than a multitasking operator. Although, today, many CNC machines are multi-tool or multi-tool.
What CNC machine do I need for my business?
This is a somewhat personal question, since each business or each user will need a specific type of CNC machine. For example, a user who wants to set up a home business to personalize objects with laser engraving is not the same as a company that mass-produces PCBs. However, as a guide, let's look at some practical cases:
- Furniture manufacturing (carpentry and joinery): You might need machines like CNC lathes and CNC milling machines for wood, being able to create all kinds of shapes and embellishments. In addition, you can probably also think of a CNC router, and even a CNC drilling machine, CNC grinding machine, cutting machine, etc. Laser engravers could also be an option to engrave text or images on the surface.
- toy production: many toys are made of plastic, so they could be worked with some special CNC milling machines for plastics, rubber, etc. Also CNC routers and cutting. You might even need a 3D printer to create the toys or a laser engraver to customize them.
- Metal or aluminum carpentry: In these cases, they usually work more with milling and cutting machines, as well as some welding machines in some cases.
- Personalization and jewelry: if you are dedicated to personalizing jewelry, costume jewelry, advertising material (logos on key rings, lighters,...), souvenirs, customizing laptops with engravings, or keyboards, etc., then one of the best CNC machines you should have is a laser engraver , especially those of greater power, to work with metals.
- metal industry: Most of these industries typically require CNC machines of three main types: cutting, milling, and welding.
- Semiconductors and electronics: In these cases, the most demanded are welding and CNC pick and place machines. Milling machines are also frequently used to create heat sinks, casings, etc., and laser engraving is also used to make marks or codes on chip packages, PCBs, etc.
- Packaging: pick and place machines dominate here, to pick up objects, position them correctly in the wrapper or box.
CNC training for employees
Although CAD/CAM and control software for CNC machines is becoming more intuitive and easy to use, with its GUIs, it is always positive that the operator who is going to be in charge of the CNC machine is shapely. In this way you will understand its operation, you will know the necessary maintenance, the limits of the equipment, or what to do in case of problems. There are courses for this, as well as books, and other material, such as the one we recommend here:
Before, I have commented that one of the disadvantages of the CNC (or advantages, depending on how you look at it) is that it needs fewer operators, so it could destroy jobs. However, CNC machines can also create job opportunities Secondly. Here are some highlights:
- Workshops and manufacturing industries:
- Operators' helpers
- machine operators
- Tool setters and setup technicians
- machining officers
- CNC programmers
- CAD/CAM designers
- Internal maintenance staff
- Marketing companies for CNC machines and spare parts:
- CNC machine design staff
- CNC machine factory staff
- Technical and maintenance service
- CNC application engineers
- CNC instructors
- Specialized or commercial vendors
- Post-sale advisers
- Collection and dissemination:
- CNC teachers
- Organizers of courses, seminars and other events.
CNC machine prices
Say a concrete price for CNC machines It would be giving figures that can be confusing, since there are price ranges depending on the type of CNC machine you are looking for. But to get an idea, here are some prices depending on the type of equipment:
- Hobbyist CNC Router: 100-3000 €
- Router for professional use: 800-100.000 €
- 3-axis vertical machining center (entry-level): 60.000-100.000 €
- 3-axis vertical machining center for production: 150.000-300.000 €
- 5-axis milling machine (entry-level): 200.000-500.000 €
- 5-axis mill for production: > 500.000 €
- 2-axis lathe (entry-level): 1000-30.000 €
- 2-axis lathe for production: >30.000-60.000€
- CNC machine with more axes: > 250.000 €
- Multi-axis, multi-function, multi-tool: >500.000€.
As you can see, it is usually a team Really expensive, but many workshops and large companies make great profits, soon paying off the initial investment. Of course, as we have been recommending in previous articles, you can also get more affordable machines for your home or small private business, some for hundreds of euros and others for a few thousand euros, which is more affordable for many.
If you wonder what can make a CNC machine more expensive, there are some parameters that are the ones that most influence the final price:
- machine size
- Number of axles
- Country of manufacture
- Extras (automatic tool change, cooling, chip or dust collection system, etc.)
- CNC machines: guide to numerical control
- How a CNC machine works and applications
- Prototyping and CNC design
- All types of CNC machines according to use and characteristics
- CNC lathe types and characteristics
- Types of CNC milling machines
- Types of CNC router and CNC cutting
- Types of laser engraving
- Other CNC machines: drilling, Pick & Place, welding and more
- Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best CNC Machine
- Maintenance of CNC machines
- Definitive guide on plotters: what is a plotter and what is it for
- The best CNC machines for leisure and professional use
- The best printing plotters
- The best cutting plotters
- The best consumables for potters: cartridges, paper, vinyl, and spare parts