Used Machine Tools: Buying Used vs New
Used machine tools and equipment make parts around the world for almost every industry. From automotive to aerospace, to oil and gas and consumer goods, these machines make components for everything. They create things out of plastics, metals, aluminum, wood, and many other hard materials. Used industrial machine tools can be manual or CNC controlled machines.
A machine tool type is identified in two specific categories known as fabricating or metal cutting. Fabricating tools include machines such as laser cutters that can cast or cut material as well as other machines (like press brakes) that can punch, mold or saw metal, plastics or engrave/cut wood. On the other hand metal cutting takes a large amount of a material ( metals ) and cuts it into a 3 dimensional part. Metal cutting machines include milling machines, lathes, grinding machines, and turning centers. No matter the project or product you're making there is a machine tool available to meet your specifications.
Manual machines, like the Bridgeport vertical mill, use a series of levers and other mechanical means to articulate a cutting tool and workpieces to create parts. A used manual machine is primarily used for educational purposes and one-off piece work. Operators in training typically learn the feel of cutting first-hand on a manual machine tool.
Although manual tools are not as effective as a computer controlled machine, manual machines can be perfect for the hobbyist looking to make parts not needed at scale. Other types of industries that purchase manual tools are maintenance companies or car shops that may need the machine for smaller projects. Our inventory includes manual machines like knee mills or vertical mills. Let us know more about your project and we can suggest a manual machine tool for you to purchase.
CNC Machine Tools
The most popular type of machine tool for industrial applications is the CNC machine. Computer numeric controls (CNC) drive cutting tools, tables, speeds and feeds of spindles and every other aspect of a machine tool.
All CNC machine tools depend on digital instructions. They are usually created on Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) or Computer Aided Design (CAD) software like SolidWorks or MasterCAM. The software writes G-code that the controller on the CNC tool controller can read. Different machine tool builders like Haas, Mazak, Mori Seiki and Okuma have proprietary controllers and G-code languages. The program on the controller interprets the design and moves cutting tools and/or the workpiece on multiple axes to cut the desired shape.
CNC Machines are much faster and, accurate than manual machines and can scale with your business. In fact, companies like Fanuc have furthered the technology to become more automated in order to increase operations and decrease human capital. Automation and artificial intelligence have made moves to help manufacturers scale their operations. Options like robotics and automated software can be found in many US manufacturing facilities today.
If you're considering a used machine tool, our experts can help you find the right brand, type, and sizes for your application. Call us at 844-262-6789 and we can help you identify your needs.