How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your CNC Machine

How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your CNC Machine

When it comes to lasting power, CNC machines are durable and reliable. These machines will work through a long line of processes for a long time, but what happens when they begin to show signs of wear and tear? Don’t leave yourself stranded with a growing line of pending production for a machine that may or may not need to be replaced. Take these steps to be sure your machines are working for you and not against you.

Questions to Consider Before Replacing Your CNC Machine

  • How long have you had your CNC machine?
  • How many processes do you use it for over the course of your regular work week?
  • How often do you perform maintenance on it to ensure top working capacity?
  • Have you noticed a difference in the output of the machine, or its overall production quality?
  • When did you notice the lower production rate, and how long has this been occurring?
  • Have there been failures or malfunctions in your machines functionality?

Even the most complex, top-of-the-line CNC machines are not exempt from aging. Like any other machine, motors will lose power, belts will lose resilience, gears will loosen, joints will lose flexibility, and your once efficient machine will lose overall proficiency as the years go by just from the stress of use alone.

What are Your Options for Your Aging CNC Machine?

Your options are simple: repair the damages, recondition your machine to its fullest capacity, or sell your machine and replace it with a newer model that will get the job done.

Repair vs. Replace: When is the Right Time to Replace my CNC Machine?

If you’re not 100% sure whether or not it’s time to sell your machine, we’ve explored some key situations that will help you decide.

It takes substantially longer for your CNC machine to complete everyday functions.

One of the more subtle signs of needing a CNC replacement is production slowdown. Any malfunction of your machine could result in fractions of seconds added to your overall production time over the lifecycle of your machine. While a fraction of a second might not seem troublesome right now, those seconds add up quickly and can critically affect your production time. Have your production cycles been gradually taking longer to complete, even with regular maintenance performed on your machine?

Once you start to see a slowdown, be sure to perform speed tests as part of your regular maintenance inspections, this will help you see where your CNC machine stands while giving you a good idea on when to expect to replace your machine.

Malfunctions happen on a more frequent basis than usual.

When parts begin to suffer, wear and tear will eventually result in malfunctions on the job just like any other worker on your team. While your machine might not look in poor shape, your production quality will start to show it.

There’s no place in your success for a malfunctioning machine. If your quality assurance team starts to notice an increase in failures for your products, the culprit could be the CNC machine. That’s when it’s time to find a replacement, today and not tomorrow.

Equipment and machinery parts are getting harder to find for your CNC machine.

We’ve all done it. You have a great machine and you love it. It does the job and it fits in your budget. So, when it breaks down you go out for parts to fix the items that misfire or malfunction in order to keep that machine going for as long as you possibly can. It saves you money, it keeps your production line moving smoothly, and it keeps your business moving forward.

But when it comes down to it, machining companies don’t always make compatible parts for every machine as the new models come out. For the most part, progress in the machine tool industry means upgrades to parts or restructuring the machine to work more efficiently, eventually leaving you with a machine that needs a replacement part…but you can no longer find it.

So what do you do? Your best bet is to consult a CNC machine specialist and check out options in used machinery. If you find a company that does it right, you will see that reconditioned CNC machines can still be an upgrade as opposed to a more expensive, completely new machine.

What to Look for When You’re Ready to Buy a CNC Machine

When it comes to budget, buying a used CNC machine is the way to go, but it all comes down to the company you trust in making that purchase. If you’ve already owned a CNC machine for many years, you know what proper care can do for your machine.

There are two things to keep in mind while you look for a replacement machine.

1. Age/Condition

Obviously, it’s best to purchase the newest model you can afford, but older models can still function at peak capacity if they have been properly cared for and have been reconditioned to work at their highest capacity.

2. Function/Speed

What do you need your CNC machine to accomplish? Before you commit to a specific model, consult with your CNC specialist to be sure what types of work you’ll be needing the machine to handle and how many options you’ll need for functionality and speed. To produce big numbers fast, it’s all about the right machine to get you there.

Trust ASI Machine Tool with Your Next CNC Machine Purchase

In order to find the right machine for the job, you need to know all of the details: what models work best for which jobs, why the specs of one machine might outlast another, why that year was a bad year for that company, and the list continues. Just like you are the master of your processes, you should trust a team who has the experience to get your production where it needs to be—starting with your machines.

Since 1996, ASI Machine Tool has been more than just a used machinery dealer. We do our research. We look for potential in the machines we buy, and take the time to recondition every machine in our inventory to meet your standards and exceed your expectations.

Contact one of our CNC specialists today, and we’ll help you sell your machine, get you the parts you might need, or walk you through the process to buy a machine to get your business where it deserves to be.

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