Buying a 5 Axis CNC Mill for your application
Buying a multi-axis CNC milling machine like a 5 axis CNC machine is similar to choosing a car make and model. You will base your decision on the intended use, budget and personality along with many other considerations. The garage of options for 5-axis CNCs is equivalent a garage of race cars, all-terrain vehicles, buses, and luxury cars. There are more general-purpose machines and there are used 5-axis CNC machines made for specific applications, Smaller shops often start 5-axis machining by adding a single or dual rotary to an existing 3-axis vertical machining center. They find they can make more complex parts with the addition of the single or dual-rotary unit and it starts the learning process for making more complicated machined parts. You may have started in this area of developing your expertise and now found that more quote opportunities are coming in for even more complex parts which have higher profit margins. This is a great time to buy your first used 5-axis CNC milling machine!
Why buy a 5 Axis CNC Mill?
There are many reasons why machine shops are replacing their other machines with 5-axis CNC milling machines now more than ever. Here are a few top reasons machine shop owners say drive their business decision to add or replace older machines with 5-axis CNC machines:
It saves time. And time is money in machining. The business case can be made for replacing standard 3-axis parts machining with 5-axis CNC machining based on the set-up time improvements and cycle time improvements. In one example by Hurco, one part that took 7 operations and 5 hours 30 minutes setup on a standard 3 axis needed only 2 operations and 1 hour 30 minutes to set up on a 5-axis. The cycle time for that same part also went down by over 30%. If a machine is running, its not making money, so this kind of savings can quickly prove ROI.
5-Axis CNCs can make complex parts. When you buy a used 5-axis CNC machine, you are adding to the complexity of parts that you can make. Some shops like work that others consider to be too difficult. If your company loves to learn from every challenge and become better and better with every job, this strategy can pay great dividends. 5-axis machining is great for the complex work and shorter running jobs. Your 5-axis machine should be flexible, precise and adaptable for the challenges. Many used 5-axis machines with having a swivel head that can articulate for cuts in almost any direction.
Buying a used CNC mill saves your company money. 5-axis CNC machines are built to last. Similar to buying a car, newer years might have some special features, but if you dont need those features, then why buy them? A solid used CNC 5-axis for sale should be able to reliably make parts for many years. The software can be upgraded, sensors can be added, skins on controls can be replaced and the machine will continue to make parts. You can find great bargains on 5-axis CNC machines for sale in our listings.
5-axis CNC machining can do what other machines can do, but other machines like Swiss lathes, vertical machining centers, 3-axis mills cannot do everything that a 5-axis CNC machining center can do. This makes the 5-axis CNC one of the most versatile pieces of equipment that you can buy. Combined with the power of modern CAD/CAM software, you can make a wide range of parts with one piece of equipment.
You can grow your shop with 5-axis CNC machining. Buying a 5-axis CNC milling machine gives your operators the opportunity to grow in their abilities to make more complex parts. Parts that you may not want to quote today will become possible as your machinists become accustomed to a new way of thinking about machining.
5-Axis mills have better spindle utilization. When a used 5-axis CNC is set up in a work center to allow for automated material loading and parts unloading, it can run unattended with as much as 95% spindle utilization. Compared to other types of milling like vertical machining centers and horizontal machining centers, you get more production simply because the 5-axis machine spindles run more.
Selecting your next 5 Axis CNC Machine
When deciding on the type of used 5-axis machine to purchase, key factors to consider will be part complexity, part mix and the average number of parts to be run per setup. Parts that can be made on a 3-axis machine may actually be a better fit on a 5-axis because of a quicker setup on a machine with tools already available on a tool changer, for example. Major options for used 5-axis CNCs include the rotary type and trunnion table type.
Part Complexity: Do you want to machine complex parts? Consider the differences between trunnion and swivel head style machines and the table tilting and rotation travel for the A-axis and C-axis. Also consider the number of tool slots available in the tool changer the more stations, the more complexity in one setup.
Primary Industry: Is your shop dedicated to a single manufacturing field like automotive, aerospace, mold & die, medical devise or oil? The different industries have different demands for torque, speed, and precision.
Physical Size: Youll want to consider the physical size of your used CNC 5-axis machine. This will be dictated by the size of parts that will be machined and the amount of room on your shop floor. Then youll need to determine the rigidity by thinking about the types of materials that you will be machining. Keep in mind that some multi-axis machines are better than others for particular applications. It will be helpful to learn if a particular used CNC machine was used in a similar application before.
If your shop produces 500,000 of the same parts annually, it would be wise to consider buying a dedicated machine just for that part. Consider a machine that would have the optimal cycle time and could be a part of a complete machining cell, perhaps even with multi-tasking machines and robotic loaders. However, if you expect to run short-runs, a more versatile machine would be a better option.
Benefits of a Trunnion Table on a 5-Axis Machining Center
We have for sale used 5-axis CNC machining centers with trunnion tables. A few benefits of choosing a trunnion style trunnion table on your 5-axis CNC machine include a better under-cut capability, larger work volume and more torque at low RPM. As compared with a swivel rotate machine which typically is limited to 90 degrees of the head in any direction, a trunnion table allows more than 90 degrees of rotation. This makes it possible to reach up under a flange, under the edge of a part or machine an angle hole that point down under the table. Since the part is under the spindle with z-axis and spindle always vertical, once a workpiece is clamped down you have the full travel of the X and Y as the machining envelope. As compared to a swivel head machining center, theres more torque at low RPMs on a 5-axis with a trunnion table.
Swivel Rotate (Swivel Head) on a 5-Axis Machining Center
We have for sale used 5-axis CNC machines with swivel heads. A few benefits of choosing a swivel head machine over a trunnion include the ability to run heavier parts, more versatility, fewer tool interference issues. A trunnion style machine the part is always rotating and twisting within the work envelope which limits the weight capacity that the axis can handle. Since the table rotates more like a standard 3-axis machine on a 5-axis machining center with a swivel head, the table can handle heavier parts because of better weight distribution.
Often swivel rotate used 5-axis CNC machines have much greater versatility than the trunnion because of table space on the side which allows for some fixturing, 3-axis work, or even 4th axis work using the tilting head. On trunnion table 5-axis CNC, when the part tilts towards the operator, the bottom of the head casting and the trunnion itself which can impede making smaller type parts as compared to the swivel. Standard length tooling works well on swivel rotate machining centers where often longer tooling is needed for trunnion table style 5-axis machines.