If you’re looking into purchasing a CNC turning center, there are several important factors you should take into consideration. While the price of a CNC turning machine can vary widely between different distributors, these machines can also be quite expensive. It’s important that you realize that the price you pay for one of these machines is an investment in your business. Therefore, it’s crucial that you put some thought into the type of CNC turning center you’re purchasing before making any final decisions.
#1 Versatility. CNC turning centers are geared towards producing precisely accurate components from short runs of lathes. As such, they can generally be used on different types of equipment, as well as on different websites, all with very little to no downtime. This is extremely advantageous to the small to mid-sized CNC lathe business. In fact, CNC turning centers often have multiple spindles that can be switched and used for different jobsite assignments without any downtime, saving you money and time in the long run.
#2 Reliability. A CNC turning machine is designed for reliability, as it must stand up to years of heavy use without breaking down. Many CNC turning machines come with extended warranties that cover parts and labor in the event they break down during operation. However, keep in mind that most CNC turning machines are still built using traditional methods of constructing workpieces, meaning that they may still require their own fair share of maintenance. Still, with proper care and maintenance of these machines can operate for years to come, extending the lifespan of your business.
Versatility. A CNC turning center is more versatile than a traditional milling machine. While CNC lathes may only be able to handle one type of material (usually wood), a CNC turning center can handle a variety of materials, including metal and plastic. While this may seem like an extreme difference at first glance, CNC turning centers can also be set up to handle other types of materials, such as ceramics. They can even cut through and bond different types of composites. All because the CNC turning machines are designed to operate on a CNC spindle and work platform.
Efficiency. CNC machines are much more efficient than their counterparts, which is why many turners use them. The efficiency of CNC machines means that they use less time and less material in processing cuts, which leads to lower costs to the business. Typically, CNC machines are designed to cut out certain shapes with pinpoint accuracy. This precision is not found in a horizontal or vertical machining center. This is because both horizontal and vertical machines typically have poor accuracy and are inefficient at high speeds.
Cost. As noted above, CNC turning centers tend to be more expensive than horizontal or vertical machines. In addition, CNC lathes typically need to be grounded to a dedicated electrical source, which makes them far more expensive than their counter-parts. However, CNC lathes can also run for hundreds of thousands less than similar machines.