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How to Avoid Common Issues with Used CNC Machines

Posted by Diego Zacarias on Feb 3, 2017 12:12:02 PM

Used CNC machines have lower price tags than new ones, which can make buyers question the condition the machine will come in. Many buyers know that a used machine can have hidden issues that will end up costing more to fix, than the initial price of buying a new one. The easiest way to ensure your financial investment is to have a certified technician or rebuilder inspect the machine before committing to a purchase. However, before hiring a technician, knowing some of the issues that used CNC machines can have will help narrow your buying choices. In this article, we will explore these common issues and teach you how to avoid them.


USED CNC - Bullard Dynatrol124" Bullard Dynatrol. You'll definitely want an inspection before commiting to buying this giant machine. 

Improper Care-Common mechanical issues often arise from improper care. Ask your sales representative if there is any documentation of the machine’s past maintenance. Reading over the documentation will let you know if the machine has had any reoccurring problems. Be sure to also inquire as what type of environment the machine was stored in, as this can contribute to a machine’s longevity. For example, a machine stored in a climate-controlled warehouse will fare better than a machine left in an outdoor and humid environment. An experienced inspector will be able to tell you if any parts will have to be repaired or replaced.

Inadequate Electronics-Several of the maintenance issues with used CNC machines are related to its electronic and wiring components. Even if a machine runs well and looks fine from the outside, it is possible that it has had wiring issues. Ask your inspector if the original wiring has been replaced or repaired. Buying a machine only to find out that MacGyver has been doing repairs, would be a costly mistake to fix. As mentioned above, ask your sales representative for any past repair documentation and make sure that a certified CNC machine inspector approves of the machine’s interior before committing to buying.

Unserviceable Equipment-Even if a particular machine runs well, it is important to ask the seller if it still serviceable by the OEM or original equipment manufacturer. If the machine were to malfunction, it will be either impossible or very expensive to repair due to unavailability of a qualified repair person or spare parts. Additionally, any specific tooling that is not included with the machine will be super hard to come by. In most cases, it is better to spend more on a serviceable machine that dealing with any issues it has later on.    

Outdated Controls-In the same vein as unserviceable equipment, outdated controls can be an issue with many used machines. Much like old computers, older controls are obsolete and cannot run modern software, and as such, cannot operate newer tooling. While it is possible to update or retrofit the controls on a machine, the cost of replacing parts usually defeats the economic incentive to buy a used machine.   

Being knowledgeable about some of the common issues that used CNC machines can have will hopefully ease your hesitations before committing to any major purchase. As mentioned earlier, be sure that the machine you are interested in is inspected by a qualified technician. An experienced sales representative should be able to answer any questions you have about the condition of a machine.

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Topics: Used CNC Machines