Buying a new CNC tube bending machine offers significant advantages in terms of precision, consistency, and speed, as you might expect from the latest hardware and software technology. However, buying brand-new involves significant capital costs which, although recoupable over the lifetime of the machine, may lead to metal fabricators seeking viable, cost-effective alternatives.
New CNC Bending Machines: Pros & Cons
Modern, all-electric CNC bending machines employ servo motors to accurately adjust the position and movement of the tooling on the bending axes, within fine margins, in response to feedback. Consequently, such machines can create large quantities of complex bends, including those with tight bend radii, with consistent repeatability.
A new CNC tube bending machine should be capable of performing most bends required by a metal fabricator without manual intervention; except, of course, at the inspection stage. Eliminating most manual labour speeds up the bending process and, particularly in the case of high-volume, multiple-bend production runs, can significantly reduce operating costs. Of course, these benefits come at a price, but rapid, repeatable setup and low energy consumption always compensate for capital outlay over time.
Older, Reconditioned Bending Machines: Pros & Cons
As an alternative to buying a brand-new CNC tube bending machine, you might like to consider a reconditioned or factory-tested second-hand machine. Reconditioned CNC bending machines will typically have been completely rebuilt, with appropriate upgrades to their control, electrical and hydraulic systems, to enhance their bending capabilities and versatility.
Many second-hand CNC bending machines retain high levels of accuracy, functionality, and repeatability. Having said that, they can be tougher to troubleshoot than newer machines.
Bending Machine Control Software
Ultimately, whether you opt for a new or reconditioned CNC bending machine, do not underestimate the extent to which the addition of the latest, state-of-the-art control software can improve its performance. With an appropriate software upgrade, even an old model CNC bending machine can reach a similar level of productivity as a brand-new, all-electric CNC bending machine.
A CNC tube bending machine with multiple axes of control, each of which stops momentarily before moving on to the next, will allow better regulation of the bending process. Modern control software, such as our tablet-based Phenix MORE Control, is designed with this in mind. Phenix MORE Control, which can handle as standard 32 axes and up to 155 if required, offers an intuitive human-machine interface, which lessens the learning curve for bending machine operators, and functions seamlessly with existing bending programs and tooling.
A Considered Investment
A new or refurbished CNC tube bending machine is a capital investment, so it is important that businesses carefully consider their current requirements, and what they are hoping to achieve in the longer-term, before making a decision. Purchased alongside, or retrofitted with, modern control software, a reconditioned CNC tube bending machine may be capable of achieving similar results to a new machine, at a fraction of the cost. Discuss your options with us by calling 01782 953096 today.