If you gave me money and asked me to buy a machine for you, these are the options I’d make sure it had:
1. Optical Scales
These increase the positional accuracy of the machine; five years or more later the machine is still accurate. Optical Scales also compensate for thermal growth.
2. Extra Tools
I want at least 30 tools. This speeds up set-up times if you are running repeat jobs, as most tools can stay in the machine. It also allows more complex jobs to be done with a wider variety of tool options.
3. Tool Length Measure
This should be standard on every CNC lathe or VMC. It speeds tool set-up and removes human error.
4. Work Piece Measure
I would always have this option but it depends on the accuracy required on your parts. It can measure a part in cycle and compensate for any variation in an off-set. Even the fact that it can be used to set work co-ordinates over the life-time of the machine would more than cover the cost.
5. Spindle Cooler
The addition of this option is a small cost that allows you to run at maximum spindle speeds for extended periods, and extend the spindle bearing life.
This is a very useful method of monitoring machine usage, run times, and efficiency. It allows you to keep an eye on your machine from a computer or a smartphone, and even send text and emails if there are problems. iDirect is great in a shop with lots of machines.
Investing in extras at the purchase point will make the running of your new machine simpler and more efficient. If you’d like advice on what’s best for you, get in touch with iCNC today.