When buying a CNC, what should I consider?
If I'm buying a new machine with CNC controls or retrofitting an old one, what are some questions I should ask prospective vendors? See our advice and leave your own tips.
Mark T. Hoske
Dear Control Engineering: If I'm buying a new machine with CNC controls or retrofitting an old one, what are some of the questions I should ask prospective vendors?
When selecting a CNC, consider faster program processing, easier integration and use, customization capabilities, and tooling speed. Also look at CAM integration, volumetric error compensation, CNC/IT integration, motion system connectivity, simpler integration, setup, use, maintenance, and human-machine interface standardization.
Prior to selecting your next CNC machine, see the following checklist based on information from CNC manufacturers.
1) What’s your industry? Are there specific needs for your application? High-production markets, such as aerospace, automotive, and medical, may have different needs from others, such as wood, marble, glass, presses, grinding, cutting, or forming.
2) What types of machines will you use? Dedicated turning and milling machines may have different needs than complex 5-axis, multi-spindle, and extended bed gantry machining centers. Needs may differ for prismatic part production, mold and die work, lathes, and other areas in the machine tool industry.
3) What kind of facility are you in? Contract manufacturer needs may differ from those of a small job shop, for instance.
Read 15 more considerations at...
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2012 Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.