7 Questions to Ask When Buying a CNC Cutting Machine

Looking into getting a new CNC cutting machine? Customers are always wondering what to ask before buying a CNC machine. The good news is, we're here to help. With so many options, add-ons, specifications and quality concerns, we're going to cut right to the quick. We present you with seven important questions to ask before buying a new CNC machine. Check out our list to learn more about CNC tables and what to look for when comparing different plasma systems.

1. How Will a New CNC Cutting Machine Improve My Business?

You need to have a solid plan in place for how to integrate your new CNC plasma machine into your machine shop or factory floor. That includes having adequate space for a CNC table as well as projects and applications that would greatly benefit from the speed and accuracy of a cutting machine.

Once you have sorted all that out, understanding your power and cutting requirements would come next. How thick is the metal being cut by your CNC plasma machine? That will help you determine the appropriate power for your plasma system, along with cutting implements and other consumables.

2. What Are the Life Cycles of a Cutting Machine's Consumables?

It's always good to know how often you can expect your CNC cutting machine to be down for servicing. The useful service life of your consumables — the nozzle, electrode, retaining cap, swirl ring and others — will give you a good idea of the operating cost of your CNC plasma cutting machine.

Knowing the life cycle of your consumables will help you budget for downtime caused by maintenance and give you lead time on purchasing replacement parts from the manufacturer.

3. What Are This CNC Plasma Cutting Machine's Service Requirements?

While most CNC cutting machines have similar service requirements, the amount of time it takes to perform maintenance can vary. Additionally, CNC tables that use more complex parts or have specialized functionality can require additional levels of maintenance depending on your application and plasma system.

However, it is always important to perform routine service on your CNC cutting machine. Minor disruptions in service now can lead to longer overall life cycles and prevent major disruptions later on down the line.

4. Who Will Service My Cutting Machine?

Most manufacturers and suppliers provide servicing and preventative maintenance to prevent issues from arising. Servicing options include technology updates and retrofits for aging CNC plasma machines that breathe new life into older components. Finding machines that are compatible and capable of upgrades is important when comparing CNC tables.

5. What Parts of a CNC Table Are Covered Under Warranty?

Most manufacturer warranties are independent of any additional warranties you may receive from your cutting machine dealer. Most major components, such as input devices, control units, servo motors, drive systems, displays, electronics, power supplies, downdraft tables and others will be covered by manufacturer's warranties. Speak with a customer support representative to learn more about other warranty information before purchasing.

6. What Is the Expected Lifetime of a CNC Plasma Machine?

The lifetime of your CNC plasma cutting machine comes down to numerous factors that make it difficult to predict a true lifespan before full replacement is necessary. Nowadays, most systems can be upgraded or retrofitted to expand their life cycles even further. When buying a CNC machine, future-proofing your workflow with upgradeable technology will ensure the longest life at the lowest cost.

7. Will it Be Possible to Upgrade My CNC Cutting Machine in the Future?

In some cases, it may be possible to update your outdated CNC plasma cutting machine with new components. With compatible technology, you can upgrade things like CNC controllers, drives, motors, gearboxes, torch height controls (THCs), oxy-fuel lifters, bearings and more. Speak to your customer support team to discuss whether future-proofing options are likely to be available for your particular application.

Contact Cutting Systems With Your CNC Plasma Machine Questions

Still have questions about buying a CNC machine? Cutting Systems understands that you have dozens of options for your next CNC plasma machine. That's why we offer our knowledge and expertise to help you choose the right plasma system and CNC table for your needs. For comparing and purchasing a brand new CNC cutting machine, Cutting Systems can build the best solution for you.

Contact Us

Every industrial CNC machine from Cutting Systems delivers the cut quality, productivity and precision that your application demands. We consider all of our customers to be valued partners and provide unparalleled service to ensure your needs are met. If you have any questions about our steel cutting machinery, feel free to contact us – we're always happy to help. If you know what you need for your industry, try requesting a quote to begin building the CNC machine that will get the job done right every time.