If you’re scouting for a firm that provides precision machining services or if you’re the one looking to upgrade your own machinery, it’s important that you take a good look at the equipment specs. Since buying equipment has a high opportunity cost (you can’t easily give back what you bought), you need to clearly think about this investment decision. |
Right off the bat, you need to ask about the quality of the machine is. One key criterion is the accuracy of the machine. You need to check how closely the output is to the original plan. For small parts that you can’t easily observe, you can opt to see the ‘tolerance’ specifications of the equipment. Tolerance refers to the deviation of the finished product from the original design. A good tolerance rating should be not more than .005 millimeters.
Moreover, you need to also look at the repeat capability of the equipment. Take note that your machine will be under heavy stress throughout its work life. You need to compare the expected workload per day against the capability of the equipment. If the machine can’t manage producing 1000 parts per day, expect it to easily break down within a few months. Assess also the depreciation of the machine, since you expect the machine to last for a good three to five years.
Aside from the basic capabilities, you should also take a look at what’s under the hood. For instance, the number of axes within the machine indicates how heavy the maintenance job will be. More parts mean more friction. More friction means more wear and tear.
Speed is also another thing to consider. A good standard to use is the rate of production per piece. In the competitive manufacturing market, consumers want huge amounts of output at a very limited time frame.
Lastly, the size of the machine as a whole also matters. If you are frequently moving from one location to another, the size of your equipment should also be considered. Obviously, you can’t afford to move a 2-tonne equipment across the country without sacrificing profit.
Energy to power ratio
Precision machining equipment require huge amount of power to run. These machines aren’t your ordinary appliances that need 110 watts to run. These machines demand 100 times that amount. A good way to assess the energy efficiency is to compare various equipment who have the same power specs yet evaluate which one has greater power.
Joseph works for Howarth Engineering, which specialises in precision machining services. When she is not at work, she enjoys writing articles and blogs on different tips to do with CNC engineering.
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