Buying a New VMC? The Top Three Questions to Ask

Ready to invest in a new vertical machining center (VMC) for your fine die and mold work? There are many new options to choose from that will increase productivity and expand your parts processing possibilities and the variety on today’s VMC market might seem a bit overwhelming at first. However, making your decision is easy when you as yourself these three questions.

What are Your Company’s Needs?

The first thing to consider before buying a new VMC is what you need the machine to do. Determining what type of materials you will using and asking detailed questions about the parts you will be making, including will they be complex or simple, produced in large or small batches, and what type of tolerances you are looking to achieve, will tell you which type of spindle speed, axes travels, and table size you need, greatly narrowing down the list of VMCs to choose from. Identifying these needs will also help you decide which accessories and automations you might also want to purchase.

What’s the Level of Control?

Once you’ve narrowed your selection down to just a few, consider the level of control of each. Is it easy for the programmer and operator to understand and use? What level of training will your employees need to use it? Does a machine tool builder or someone else design the control? Since the functionality of the control determines the machine’s ease of use, these are important questions to consider before making your final selection.

Also consider control features such as expanded memory, high speed machining software, Ethernet and USB connectivity, coordinate rotation, scaling, and user-definable macros, and if you plan to add more machines in the future, don’t forget to check to see if the control is the same for all of them.

Do you Know the Manufacturer?

Once you’ve made your final decision, make sure you’re as familiar with the manufacturer as you are the machine specs. Do they have a reputation for producing quality machines and fast service? Do they offer a complete line of products and support their previous models? The latter is very important to find out, as chances are if they don’t currently support their older models, they will not support the one you’re about to buy in the future.

Be on the lookout for machine tool builders that have distribution networks providing local sales, applications, and support with efficiently, factory-trained technicians. Reputable manufacturers should offer installation and training as well as provide fair pricing and financing.

Once you’ve made your final selection and finalized your VMC purchase, Inora is here to help you keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Using our patented Math Engine technology, we offer several software options that will check and calibrate all of your machines with virtually no human error.