Eight Things to Consider Before You Buy a CNC Machine

A Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router is a big investment, and it’s important to find the right fit. A poor choice will cost you needless time, money, and materials—not to mention frustration. By contrast, the right CNC machine will expedite your goals and reliably turn out a product that you can be proud of.

At Diversified Machine Systems (DMS) we have years of experience working with CNC machines, and we’ve learned several things along the way. Before you take the leap, here are eight things you should consider.

1. Application and Capability

As you begin your hunt for a CNC machine, you’ll quickly find that not every machine is suitable for the task at hand. A good CNC machine is perfectly calibrated to meet your unique application and capability.

That’s why DMS always starts this process with a conversation. We consider your particular job from every angle, taking into account issues of accuracy, speed, safety, and maintenance. Especially with composite materials, such as aluminum honeycomb, accuracy to within a few thousandths of an inch is critical. Consistent, high speeds are also a must.

DMS machines are good for a wide range of applications, from wood to aerospace materials — our specialty. We work with you to determine the perfect machine for the job at hand, often thinking outside-the-box to find creative solutions for your particular applications.

2. Value and Performance

If you stack a DMS machine against virtually any other in the market, you’re going to find that we provide the best performance at the optimal price point. As a vertical manufacturer, DMS cuts out the middle man and passes those savings on to the customer. We build everything in-house with a team of skilled craftsmen. From the time the steel arrives in our shop, we take care of everything—cutting, welding, grinding and machining. Since we oversee the whole process, we have the ultimate quality control. Value and performance are our top priorities.

3. Schedule and Cycle Time

Let’s be real. If you’re like most people, you’re working with impossible deadlines. We get that—which is why we do everything we can to get you ahead of schedule.

DMS has production down to an art, designing, testing and building machines in the shortest time possible. Our average delivery time from start to finish is 12-16 weeks. Because we’re based in the US, we can ship to you faster. We have the agility and capability to produce a machine in minimal time.

The waiting period for our Freedom line is even shorter. We keep a stock of partially built machines that are ready to be outfitted according to your designs. Most Freedom products get out the door in two to three weeks, and custom builds average six weeks.

We get our machine to you quickly—but that doesn’t matter if it can’t complete the job just as fast. That’s why we ensure competitive cycle times for our machines. We can program them to go as fast as possible, while still maintaining peak tolerances. With stable industrial CNC controls, we program the necessary tolerances and set the speed, and it takes care of the rest. Our machines will keep that reliable cycle time, day in and day out.

4. Downtime and Maintenance

A good CNC machine is a workhorse. To have the highest production, you need minimal downtime and maintenance. With very few exceptions, DMS machines lubricate themselves automatically. Even for the few machines that require manual lubrication, they are easily serviced at three locations. While other machines may need to rest for hours a day, we recommend a simple monthly inspection to ensure optimum output. DMS machines need a minimum of downtime and maintenance.

5. Return on Investment

Of course, ROI is a huge concern. Will a CNC router cut down on time and cost?

It’s important to acknowledge that a CNC router is not the right fit for every job. Some jobs won’t require such a robust machine. However, we’ve seen time and again that the right CNC machine recoups costs by getting the job done faster and with greater accuracy.

DMS has a no-frills approach to manufacturing. We build heavy-duty, reliable machinery at low cost. A DMS machine’s return on investment extends far beyond a traditional machine’s lifetime. Even after a specific job is completed, we often repurpose machines for new jobs, making them a fixture in your shop.

6. Customer Service

Unlike many manufacturing companies, DMS offers 24-7 customer service. We’ve spent years developing a team of qualified staff members who keep our customers up and running. When we learn of a problem with one of our machines, we move fast, dedicating the necessary resources to address the issue. Our service team is sizeable and is composed of experienced workers who have access to all the expertise they need. We’re a friendly team that gets stuff done.

7. Adaptability

At DMS, we customize our machines to your precise needs. We really like problem-solving, and our crew of engineers is ready to take on a myriad of challenges with expertise and innovation.

From day one, we work with you to provide the custom machinery you need. And when your needs change, we quickly adapt to hit your moving targets. Even after you’ve completed a job, we can retrofit our machines to enable you to tackle new tasks and materials.

8. Made in the U.S.

Every machine we deliver is manufactured in the United States. That means a lot to us, and it also affects your bottom line. Because of our location, we can deliver to customers in the US more expediently than our global competitors. COVID-19 has made this more vital than ever, as we see the consequences of becoming overly dependent on foreign companies. DMS is happy to support US jobs and manufacturing.

As you look into purchasing a CNC machine, we hope these eight considerations will help you on your way. Diversified Machine Systems is here for you, not just as a manufacturer—but as a partner.

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