Heavy-duty machining of windows, doors, stairs and other solid wood parts always requires high standards for precision and finish quality. In an environment when more and more customers want customized solid wood products, having a machining center capable of maximizing performance and productivity is essential for your growth and success.
Ease of set up
From the day it is installed, your machining center can make a major difference in helping your manufacturing operation work more efficiently. What should you look for first when making a machine purchasing decision? From a productivity standpoint, ease and speed of set-up will make the most difference over the life of the machine. To achieve the quickest set-up and changeover, you should always look for a vacuum hold-down, raised-pod system, better if with automatic positioning. This system will offer better performance than a flat-table machine. Having a superior clamping/hold-down solution that comes standard will save you a great deal of time in machine preparation over using custom fixtures.
Multiple reference points
You should also choose a machine that has multiple reference points for positioning multiple components. Since such a system does not require an oversized stock, you save material and achieve more efficient machining than a flat table without a mechanical pin system.
Having selectable reference points not only makes machining more efficient, but it also eliminates the need to create custom fixtures for machining custom components. That advantage means you save time, money, floor space and storage space. You can also spread the cost of investing in a better-engineered machine over many different jobs that require the production of many different components.
Unlike 3- or 4-axis designs that have a limited range, a 5-axis design gives you a tool that can work in any direction. 4-axis designs can work with aggregates, but they rely on a gearbox with a mechanical structure that is subject to wear over time. A 5-axis machine’s direct-drive design eliminates wear and reduces the need for changing the tool as the same tool can work in many directions.
If more custom solid woodwork is in your future, always carefully evaluate these three machine advantages as part of your due diligence before considering a purchase.