Purchase making decisions on buying capital equipment, such as CNC machines, can be extremely complicated. It may be even more challenging for a small woodshop that considers switching its core production processes from manual labour to a CNC router.
Can a CNC router act as a growth catalyst for your woodshop? What are the costs associated with its purchase? These and other questions are answered in an article – “Small, but thinking big” from Woodshopnews.com.
We have summarized a couple of key points from the article.
A CNC router could be one of the biggest steps for a small shop towards growth. So how exactly can a CNC router impact the shop’s business? Here are a few examples:
- Automatization of the manufacturing processes allows the shop to handle larger projects and complete them faster;
- Most CNC router processes are accurate to about 3/1000”, so the parts they create are more precise and uniform;
- Unlike people on the shop floor, CNC routers can work 24/7, so downtime can be sold to other shops which might require it for their manufacturing purposes;
- Tight optimization offered by computer programs enables a shop to get the absolutely largest number of parts from materials and reduce material remnants. What’s more, inventory management gets a lot easier, which means that stocking fewer raw materials can free up operational funds and floor space (Check an article from our blog “Don’t Let Material Remnants Cost You Money” to learn how to turn them from a problem to a profit);
- CNC technology allows to time the manufacturing processes. This means, that unlike different shop employees, who might be working at different paces, it will always do the same job in the same amount of time;
- The parts can be drawn once in a CAD program, stored in a computer and then called up whenever needed – just in time inventory management gets a lot easier;
- By simply replacing the router bit for a knife head, a wood shop can vastly diversify its production and start building cardboard or thin wood models for architects, balsa wood kits for airplane manufacturers, parts for pattern makers etc.
Before making a decision to purchase a CNC router it’s not only important to understand all the benefits associated with it, it’s also important to be aware of all the possible costs. This will help you to correctly justify your investment. Here are the costs that are important to be aware of:
- Real estate. Although sometimes a CNC router may help to save the floor space, in general, it’s going to require more space to be loaded and unloaded. You will also need to reserve floor space to store milled parts;
- You will have to do some research to understand what program suits your needs best. The cost of your software may vary depending on the application;
- Employee training. Training is essential when buying machinery. It’s important to ensure that your workers are aware of how to handle the machine. This will help to increase productivity and decrease the amount of material remnants;
- Power supply. As any machine, routers require a safe and reliable power supply, so it’s important to include an electricians’ bid when justifying your investment;
- Router bits tend to wear away with time, so the cost of their future replacement should also be included in your financial justification plan (You can find the best prices on router bits and tools at our online store – http://cncrouterstore.ca).
Considering the purchase of a CNC router for your woodworking shop can be difficult. Here at MultiCam we are dedicated to providing our customers with the right decision and giving them everything they need to stay a cut above the competition. You can learn more about our CNC routers here. If you have additional questions or looking to schedule a demo, we are always glad to help.