How To Buy A Used CNC Machine Tool

by Used CNC MachineryFeb 2nd, 2020

How to buy Used CNC Machine

There are many factors that go into buying a quality used CNC machine tool. This article will illustrate a course of action to buying a valued piece of used machinery. Whether you are looking for a used turning center, machining center or CNC grinder, the information below should help guide you on the right path.





Learn About The Previous Owner

The first thing you should do when selecting a used CNC machine is to learn a little bit about the original owner. Nowadays with the ease of the internet learning about a company can be done with a little research on the web. Search for the company’s website and/or any reviews submitted. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent place to start. You want to ask the original purchaser informative questions. Did they buy this machine new? How long have they owned it? Why are they selling this machine? Is the machine being bought free of any bank liens? Question if the machine would be sold with any warranty. When buying from a trusted used machine tool dealer they will often times offer a 30 day return privilege in the terms.

Check The Maintenance Records

One of the easier tasks you can achieve when searching for a quality cnc machine tool is asking to view any maintenance records. Many companies will keep a list with the machine (usually in the electrical cabinet) that will tell you any known maintenance issues and when they were performed. Some companies schedule timely health check-ups on their machines and keep a record of that in this document as well. If you can’t obtain any issue related documents, you can always call the manufacture. Give the manufacturer a serial number so they can look up any work done on their end. Once you get a better understanding on the over health of a machine you can then determine what parts have been replaced and at what date that was done. This can give you a better understanding on the wear and longevity of the used machine tool. Sometimes a used machine will go through a reconditioning process where many parts and boards will be replaced with new ones in an attempt to bring the machine back to its original condition.

Inspection Of Machine

Inspection of used CNC machinery is vital in the purchase process. There are many things to check for to determine the overall condition. Below I will list some of the more important items. First of all, you want to look at the overall cleanliness of the machine. Has the machine been taken care of, or do you see dirt, grime, rust and filth? Anybody can wipe down and clean a machine prior to your arrival, so you want to look at the small stuff. Look on the top and under the machine. Open the electrical cabinet, look at the cooling fans, are they clean? Are they running well? Next you want to check out the CNC control of the machine. You want to make sure that the buttons work and aren’t too worn down. While you are in front of the machine notice how bright the monitor is, this will give you some indication on how much time the machine as been on. Go into the control and find the runtime hours of the machine (please keep in mind that this can be reset). Run time and on time are two different factors, many times a used CNC machine will be on but not running. After visual inspection comes inspecting the machine’s mechanical aspects. If possible, get an operator to run a part or simple program. Move around all the axis and turn on all spindles. The axis should run smooth with little noise and vibration. I would encourage you to check the backlash of each axis to determine repeatability and accuracy of each axis. Walk around the machine and see if the pumps are running correctly and sounding quiet. Open and shut all doors making sure they open with ease without needing any hard pulls of pushes. Not only does the machine itself need to be inspected but all other equipment being sold along with the machine. Some of these items include: handheld controlled pendants, bar feeders, coolant tanks, mist collectors, transformers, fire suppression systems, chillers, backed up software and manuals. The last thing that needs to be done is determining how to get the used machinery from the current location to your facility. Ask about any local riggers that will be able to load the machine on your truck. Ask the previous owner if they still have any of the original shipping brackets. Before moving your purchased machinery make sure to block all movable axis.

With the tools I have outlined above, be rest assured that the next time you buy a CNC piece of equipment, you will be buying with confidence. Buying from a manufacturer or used CNC machinery dealer shouldn’t be a difficult decision, you will be making a great investment.

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