Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Should You Buy New Or Used CNC Machinery?

Ultimately, only you can decide whether new or used CNC machinery makes sense for your business. 

However, this list outlines some of the top factors to consider when making your decision.

Here are a few things to think about:

What do you want to do with your CNC machine?

The main difference between old and new CNC machinery is the customization options and controller performance. Old CNC machines would quite possibly need extensive software and a controller updates in order to comparably perform to newer machines. However, if the old machine you’re looking at does exactly what you need and is up-to-spec in every other way, the price difference may justify the purchase.

How urgently do you need your CNC machinery?

If you need machinery in a pinch, it may make more sense to buy a new machine. It’s easy to find newer machines, and they typically don’t take as much effort to set up. But to find the right used CNC machinery for the job, at a good price, and in relatively good condition, usually takes extensive research.

What’s your employees’ skill level?

Generally speaking, newer CNC machinery has more sophisticated software that is user friendly and is capable of producing a consistent cut quality. Older CNC machinery may require more training since the software may not be as robust. Much of this depends on the specific CNC machine you’re considering or looking to purchase.

Will you link the CNC machine to an existing network in your shop?

Older CNC machinery is more difficult to network into your shop’s workflow since there may be compatibility issues. If the machine you need to purchase will operate stand-alone, then you don’t have to worry. Although, depending on what the machine might do it may be best to consider a machine that can quickly and easily join your shop’s network.   

What’s your budget?
With used machines, you want to look for later models with lower hours of usage. Generally, you’ll look at spending approximately $70,000 - $90,000 for a decent used model. You can, of course, pay much less than that but as the price lowers, so does the quality of the machine.
New machines go for approximately $100,000 - $300,000.

Do you have time to figure your CNC machine out on your own?

Before you invest in a used machine, consider the support that may come along with it. Is there a learning curve and will you have a difficult time getting support? You’ll have to do much of the setup, upgrading, and training on your used machines unless it is backed by the company you purchased from or the manufacturer.

Do you have the time for that?

Compared to used machinery, new machinery comes with great support and service readily available. More than likely, you’ll get up and running faster and more efficiently.

What Makes Sense for You?

There is no set right or wrong way when purchasing new or used equipment. What may work for one shop may not work for another. Be sure to take a step back and analyze what works best for your business in order to get the most bang for your buck!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

4 Tips for Starting and Growing Your Own CNC Business

Where’s your CNC shop in its life cycle? Are you a rookie or a seasoned veteran? Do you have one machine or multiple machines that constantly manufacture? Are you a bustling factory with a long list of customers you need to keep happy?

Regardless of where you’re manufacturing capabilities are at, you can benefit from the tips below:

First, focus on mastering one thing

This holds true especially for new CNC machine shops. As your business grows, you can diversify but first, you must master one method or production. Once you’ve began to produce consistent and quality results, customers come easier and stay with you longer.

Consistency and stability is the key to remaining in business. First, achieve a perfect balance before you start looking into other things to attract a whole new market or production.

Build a strong network of contacts

Make sure you have a method for reaching out to new and additional contacts so you can grow your network. One great customer experience can lead to another and it can possibly gain even larger traction by a word-of-mouth reference. Be sure to complete time-sensitive jobs on time and provide a quick turn-around to give your customers and contacts a reason to come back to you for work.

Consider customizing your own components

By providing customers with custom components, it diversifies your business from the rest. Be capable of creating something no one else can in order to promote customers to regularly come-back and attract new designs.

It could even be something as simple as special bicycle components. If you have a specialty piece you can produce and sell, that’s a big plus for the grow of your business.

Expand as your revenue allows

Make sure you have the demand in place, before considering expansion. As demand grows for your services and products, then you can acquire more machinery and potentially more staff. Remember, only purchase new machinery when it’s cost-efficient.

Once you’ve got these tips down, create a plan for the future of your production capabilities. 

Consider diversification along the way. That protects your business, just in case one arm of it suddenly loses demand.

If you keep these points in mind as your grow your CNC manufacturing, it will help set a path to success and grow for the future.