Purchasing Guide: CNC Machinery Considerations
March 5, 2013 | 11:12 am CST

Purchasing Guide: CNC Machinery ConsiderationsSome key considerations to keep in mind before buying CNC equipment for your wood products manufacturing operation.

The following list of guidelines are designed to be referenced by purchasing agents or owners who are looking to purchase CNC equipment. For the purchasing and installation of CNC machinery to go smoothly, it is recommended that the wood products manufacturer consider and fully understand the options available.

Machinery Installation: 5 Basic Requirements

Listed below are five basic requirements to keep in mind before buying any CNC equipment:

1. While it may sound obvious, make sure that the electrical power incoming to your factory or facility meets the machine requirements.

2. The compressed air used in the factory must be clean, dry and meet the minimal PSI requirements of the CNC machine. This is critical to prevent premature failure and unnecessary issues with your new machinery.

3. Network connectivity also is an important part of the machinery installation. It is important that the machine be placed where the operator panel can be connected to a company network in order to efficiently load software programs.

4. Ceiling height restrictions are important to understand. Even if your facility has a low ceiling, there are many options for installing CNC machinery that can be considered.

5. Check your facility’s incoming overhead door restrictions. A minimum width is required to move the machinery into your shop. While this may seem obvious, failure to check this basic fact can lead to a costly mistake.

Material Handling Options on the CNC Machine

Material handling is an important consideration in terms of the machine’s productivity. Additional items to consider before buying a machine include:

• The machine’s placement. It is extremely important to plan the layout of your facility so that workflow is efficient throughout. Placing the CNC machinery in the right spot can save thousands of dollars and gain extreme production efficiencies.

• Loading and unloading of the CNC machine can be done using overhead cranes, vacuum lifts or manually. If an overhead crane is being considered, the placement is extremely important to cover the entire work envelope of the CNC machine.

Controlling Contamination in the Plant Environment

Ways to control contamination in the plant include:

• Consider water/coolant filtration and recycling stations for the flood coolant applications.

• Consider a dust/chip collection unit with a separation of the combustible materials, if required for your woodworking application.

Additional Maintenance Items for Consideration

No one likes to have downtime in the plant. Therefore, to reduce the possibility of this occurring at the machine site, regular maintenance and cleanup after each shift is a must.

Also consider keeping a spare parts kit or package, which can be beneficial to keeping your machinery in constant operation.

Tooling requirements also are an important consideration. Look at the tooling that is needed for your application and determine the best plan for replacing tooling as it wears.

Source: Northwood Machine Mfg. Co. For information visit NorthwoodMachine.com or call (502) 267 - 5504.

For CNC machinery suppliers, visit RedBookOnline.com


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