What's new
What's new

Buying the right CNC Machine and avoiding overspending

Zak__

Plastic
Joined
Nov 7, 2023
Hi, I'm new to this forum and to the machining world in general, with surface-level knowledge but am looking to learn and improve along the journey.

In the past few weeks I've been comparing several VMCs and have narrowed down my search to four, I've also confirmed that the specs should fit our needs, however, I'm a bit hesitant on which one to go for, so hopefully I get some insights/reviews from anyone who've used/had any of these models as that's the department that I'm lacking in right now (exprience & knowledge).

Context :
We have a Haas TM-2P, that's been holding out quite well, however we'd like to go for an upgrade while also not going too overboard and purchasing a machine that we won't utilize half of its functions while also keeping future projects and the potential to expand in mind.

Material to be machined :
Spring Steel (51CrV4)

Selected Machinery :
Haas VF-4 | Supplier - Haas :
as its predecessor has demonstrated an overall decent performance, I believe upgrading within the same category is a step in the right direction with some reassurance behind it.

JAZZ J18/2 | Supplier - CNS : this model have perfect working space for our needs, however, I've heard some complaints concerning customer service and after-sales service quality not being the best, I'd like more insight if possible.

Mazak 3-axis CNC machining center VCN-500 | Supplier - Mazak : in terms of potential and expanding, this seems to have what it takes to be treated as an investment for future projects, however, might be an overkill as we won't really utilize all these tools and all the extra power (30kW seems to be an overkill as the 5.6kW Haas isn't even reaching 70% of its capacity but I'm thinking of it as a future investment-- still unsure).

CL UHP1300 - Vertical machining center | Supplier - echoENG : not too keen on this one, as the table specs aren't the best, and will require modifications which might not be worth it in terms of price.

Key Questions :
- In terms of potential and future investement which one of these do you recommend ?
- Out of the 4 manufacturers which one is the most reputable (have good references/satisified clients and no faulty products) and do you have any recommendations that might be better for medium-sized workpieces (Length : 1800mm, Width : 500mm, Thickness : 100mm) while satisfying high demand.
- Is going for a VMC with a power of 15kW+ playing it safe, when the 5.6kW Haas peaks at 4.9kW or is it too much ? (cause I believe I'm overdoing it, yet at the same time I'm worried I might cut it too short and end up with an "uh oh" moment)
- Are there any known problems that I should watch out for with any of these machines ?
- Is there any more info I should look for concerning these machines besides technical specs / price / return on investment / manufacturer reputation ?

Update 1 :
I apologize for not including the primary operations to be conducted on the machine.
List of operations :
Drilling, Reaming, Trimming, Boring, Surface Milling, Chamfering.

UPDATE 2 :
Going by the recommendations, only Haas had local customer support with Hyudai WIA having customer support located in Algeria which in some cases might cause some delay in their support staff arrival time making it a bit hard to deal with problems and repairs that arise in the future, as well as being slightly more costly due to additional fees (will have to inquire more about the details with the financial deptartment to see whether or not it's worth the extra buck on the long run along with machine downtime).

Doosan also has the same problem as their customer support is located in Morocco and South Africa, again causing delays when dealing with any problems in the future.

Okuma has no customer support unfortunately.

So at the moment, it'll be between the Haas VF-4 and the Hyundai WIA-KF7600L, the final decision boils down to which one will be more practical and less costly, personally, I loved the Hyundai suggestion, however, we'll also have to consider practicality in terms of repair costs & machine downtime as pointed out in the suggestions.

Thank you to all who took the time to help out.
 
Last edited:
Hi, I'm new to this forum and to the machining world in general, with surface-level knowledge but am looking to learn and improve along the journey.

In the past few weeks I've been comparing several VMCs and have narrowed down my search to four, I've also confirmed that the specs should fit our needs, however, I'm a bit hesitant on which one to go for, so hopefully I get some insights/reviews from anyone who've used/had any of these models as that's the department that I'm lacking in right now (exprience & knowledge).

Context :
We have a Haas TM-2P, that's been holding out quite well, however we'd like to go for an upgrade while also not going too overboard and purchasing a machine that we won't utilize half of its functions while also keeping future projects and the potential to expand in mind.

Material to be machined :
Spring Steel.

Selected Machinery :
Haas VF-4 | Supplier - Haas :
as its predecessor has demonstrated an overall decent performance, I believe upgrading within the same category is a step in the right direction with some reassurance behind it.

JAZZ J18/2 | Supplier - CNS : this model have perfect working space for our needs, however, I've heard some complaints concerning customer service and after-sales service quality not being the best, I'd like more insight if possible.

Mazak 3-axis CNC machining center VCN-500 | Supplier - Mazak : in terms of potential and expanding, this seems to have what it takes to be treated as an investment for future projects, however, might be an overkill as we won't really utilize all these tools and all the extra power (30kW seems to be an overkill as the 5.6kW Haas isn't even reaching 70% of its capacity but I'm thinking of it as a future investment-- still unsure).

CL UHP1300 - Vertical machining center | Supplier - echoENG : not too keen on this one, as the table specs aren't the best, and will require modifications which might not be worth it in terms of price.

Key Questions :
- In terms of potential and future investement which one of these do you recommend ?
- Out of the 4 manufacturers which one is the most reputable (have good references/satisified clients and no faulty products) and do you have any recommendations that might be better for medium-sized workpieces (Length : 1800mm, Width : 500mm, Thickness : 100mm) while satisfying high demand.
- Is going for a VMC with a power of 15kW+ playing it safe, when the 5.6kW Haas peaks at 4.9kW or is it too much ? (cause I believe I'm overdoing it, yet at the same time I'm worried I might cut it too short and end up with an "uh oh" moment)
- Are there any known problems that I should watch out for with any of these machines ?
- Is there any more info I should look for concerning these machines besides technical specs / price / return on investment / manufacturer reputation ?
Of the ones you have listed I would go Mazak, but for me none of their service records are that great. Why not a DN solutions (Doosan) machine? The DNM 5700L is approximately the same size as the VF4 and a much better machine and better support.
 
Of the ones you have listed I would go Mazak, but for me none of their service records are that great. Why not a DN solutions (Doosan) machine? The DNM 5700L is approximately the same size as the VF4 and a much better machine and better support.
Oh, I see, I'd look into it then, thank you.
 
If you don't want to learn another control, then stick with Haas.

But you want a machine to be able to cut 1800mm x 500mm parts?
We have a Hyundai-Wia KF7600L that has 2032mm in X and 762mm in Y and have been very happy with it.
It's out 2nd Hyundai and zero complaints other than they're not as fast as our Okuma mills are.

https://machine.hyundai-wia.com/en/product/product_detail.asp?PRODUCT_SEQ=33573&PRODUCT_CODE=B02018
Will consult the machine and let you know, I believe if the machine is good it's worth to learn how it works differently, no time spent learning is wasted ! Thank you for the recommendations.
Also my bad, I didn't include the operations, I'll update it.
 
Will consult the machine and let you know, I believe if the machine is good it's worth to learn how it works differently, no time spent learning is wasted ! Thank you for the recommendations.
Also my bad, I didn't include the operations, I'll update it.
FYI that Hyundai machine will run you upwards of $150k-$200k. But that's probably the cheapest machine for that size table and travel that you can find.
At least that's what our base quote was 2 years ago.
 
When developing your short list of contenders you, of necessity, focus on what the machines in question can do.

Before making a final decision it's frequently useful to turn the selection questions round and ask what the machines can't do using something significantly further up market as a reference point. My experience is that the discipline of turning the question round shakes out things you may not have properly considered.

Saved me from a major oopsi (in a different field) when I'd unconsciously assumed that something was the same over all contenders. Turned out that the apparent best bang per buck had some inherent limitations that basically made about half of what we needed it do do either impossible or dog slow. Something many potential users would not have been affected by so the cost savings made by trimming performance helped to make it more attractive to them,

Clive
 
Zak
I see you are in Tunisia and I know nothing about the machine tool sales and service support in that country. I recommend you check the support for each of the brands you are considering. Of the four brands you listed, I am only familiar with Haas and Mazak, which have had worldwide exposure for many years. I never heard of a Jazz or CL, but that does not mean there is no support where you live.

You mentioned "spring steel" as the material to be machined, but that material is known to me as hard high-carbon steel that is typically in the form of sheet, wire, or thin bar. Is that what you meant? Do you know the alloy? The workpiece size you cited is not consistent with "spring steel" as I know it. Is this the material you are machining on the TM-2P?

Regards,

RKlopp
 
I see you are in Tunisia and I know nothing about the machine tool sales and service support in that country. I recommend you check the support for each of the brands you are considering.
Yep, this before everything else. No sense buying something you can't get local parts and/or service support for.
 
Hi, I'm new to this forum and to the machining world in general, with surface-level knowledge but am looking to learn and improve along the journey.

In the past few weeks I've been comparing several VMCs and have narrowed down my search to four, I've also confirmed that the specs should fit our needs, however, I'm a bit hesitant on which one to go for, so hopefully I get some insights/reviews from anyone who've used/had any of these models as that's the department that I'm lacking in right now (exprience & knowledge).

Context :
We have a Haas TM-2P, that's been holding out quite well, however we'd like to go for an upgrade while also not going too overboard and purchasing a machine that we won't utilize half of its functions while also keeping future projects and the potential to expand in mind.

Material to be machined :
Spring Steel.

Selected Machinery :
Haas VF-4 | Supplier - Haas :
as its predecessor has demonstrated an overall decent performance, I believe upgrading within the same category is a step in the right direction with some reassurance behind it.

JAZZ J18/2 | Supplier - CNS : this model have perfect working space for our needs, however, I've heard some complaints concerning customer service and after-sales service quality not being the best, I'd like more insight if possible.

Mazak 3-axis CNC machining center VCN-500 | Supplier - Mazak : in terms of potential and expanding, this seems to have what it takes to be treated as an investment for future projects, however, might be an overkill as we won't really utilize all these tools and all the extra power (30kW seems to be an overkill as the 5.6kW Haas isn't even reaching 70% of its capacity but I'm thinking of it as a future investment-- still unsure).

CL UHP1300 - Vertical machining center | Supplier - echoENG : not too keen on this one, as the table specs aren't the best, and will require modifications which might not be worth it in terms of price.

Key Questions :
- In terms of potential and future investement which one of these do you recommend ?
- Out of the 4 manufacturers which one is the most reputable (have good references/satisified clients and no faulty products) and do you have any recommendations that might be better for medium-sized workpieces (Length : 1800mm, Width : 500mm, Thickness : 100mm) while satisfying high demand.
- Is going for a VMC with a power of 15kW+ playing it safe, when the 5.6kW Haas peaks at 4.9kW or is it too much ? (cause I believe I'm overdoing it, yet at the same time I'm worried I might cut it too short and end up with an "uh oh" moment)
- Are there any known problems that I should watch out for with any of these machines ?
- Is there any more info I should look for concerning these machines besides technical specs / price / return on investment / manufacturer reputation ?

Update :
I apologize for not including the primary operations to be conducted on the machine.
List of operations :
Drilling, Reaming, Trimming, Boring, Surface Milling, Chamfering.
If your not fully using your haas now. What is the need for more machine?
Seeing as your only talking hp and nothing else. I assume your tm is stiff enough and feature rich enough for your work. So I will only talk hp.

Your tm has 7.5 hp, this is at 200% spindle load for 15 min max.(duty cycle)
So your using less than 2.75 hp now.
Until your running 100% all day long. Or 150% often with periods of rest (one tool running 150% for 3 min, then another tool at under 70%for 5 let’s say) then your not even using your current machine to its potentials.

So what are you trying to gain from a machine investment?

Maybe there are smaller investments you can make that will benefit you now and are potentially transferable if you bought a machine down the road.
Like new/better work/tool holding? 4th axis rotory
Spend some time and money on better cutters/tool paths?

New machines are great but not always the answer.

As for a machine comparison I’ve had a tm-1,tm-2, vf2. And there is a diference
Tm-1 vs tm-2. The 2 has 4” more spindle column length. When pushing the tools this was noticeable on these smaller frame machines. (Or maybe my 2 was just worn out more?

Tm vs vf: the vf is a lot more machine weight and power wise. Often it makes no difference in half my jobs. But the other half Need that power/stiffness.
As for features my tm-1P was stock with the p package, my vf is tricked right out (bought used that way) smtc, tsc, 4th,5th, 10,000rpm. I’ve certainly grown into these features and are now a must for my productive workflow.

There’s a lot of ways to spend money in buissness. Examine them all before committing to large capital purchases.
 
Are you machining that "spring steel" (what alloy?) in the annealed, or hardened condition? That'll make a big difference on rigidity requirements. What tolerances do you hope to hold? What are you smallest features like? That will help determine RPM requirements.

If it's a lose-tolerance rectangle of that size, I'd go for a box-way 50 taper. If it's tight tolerance with a lot of small details, probably an Okuma with an HSK-63 spindle.
 
Lol if you figure out how not to overspend please share with me. We like the Mazaks a lot. Great service & parts + knowledgeable applications people to help get the job done. As stated above it's most import to know how YOU will get service from all your vendors.
I have never been disappointed with any of our Mazak equipment and I believe you will have the highest resale value with them vs any other on your list.
 
When developing your short list of contenders you, of necessity, focus on what the machines in question can do.

Before making a final decision it's frequently useful to turn the selection questions round and ask what the machines can't do using something significantly further up market as a reference point. My experience is that the discipline of turning the question round shakes out things you may not have properly considered.

Saved me from a major oopsi (in a different field) when I'd unconsciously assumed that something was the same over all contenders. Turned out that the apparent best bang per buck had some inherent limitations that basically made about half of what we needed it do do either impossible or dog slow. Something many potential users would not have been affected by so the cost savings made by trimming performance helped to make it more attractive to them,

Clive
Never thought of it that way, perhaps due to what "can't it do" sometimes being overlooke as "standard" exactly like you mentioned, thank you for your insight, will add that into my list of questions, that also seems to work in everyday life scenarios as well with any item you need to buy.
 
FYI that Hyundai machine will run you upwards of $150k-$200k. But that's probably the cheapest machine for that size table and travel that you can find.
At least that's what our base quote was 2 years ago.
I see, thank you.
 
Zak
I see you are in Tunisia and I know nothing about the machine tool sales and service support in that country. I recommend you check the support for each of the brands you are considering. Of the four brands you listed, I am only familiar with Haas and Mazak, which have had worldwide exposure for many years. I never heard of a Jazz or CL, but that does not mean there is no support where you live.

You mentioned "spring steel" as the material to be machined, but that material is known to me as hard high-carbon steel that is typically in the form of sheet, wire, or thin bar. Is that what you meant? Do you know the alloy? The workpiece size you cited is not consistent with "spring steel" as I know it. Is this the material you are machining on the TM-2P?

Regards,

RKlopp
Apologies for any confusion, I'll clarify :
The material is : 51CrV4 used in Leaf Springs also known as spring steel.
And the parts currently machined on the Haas TM-2P are 1260x450, however, the parts we want to go for are of the dimensions I've mentioned (1800x500x100) but the Haas won't fit them, since the work table is around 1466mmx267mm again, sorry for the vague explanation, I felt like my post was too long, so I removed some information prior to posting.
 
Yep, this before everything else. No sense buying something you can't get local parts and/or service support for.
We have Haas support + CNS (JAZZ J18/2), as for the Mazak I'd need to verify, cause usually when there's no local service support, we call-in from abroad which is more costly, thank you for the advice.
 
Zak
I see you are in Tunisia and I know nothing about the machine tool sales and service support in that country. I recommend you check the support for each of the brands you are considering. Of the four brands you listed, I am only familiar with Haas and Mazak, which have had worldwide exposure for many years. I never heard of a Jazz or CL, but that does not mean there is no support where you live.

You mentioned "spring steel" as the material to be machined, but that material is known to me as hard high-carbon steel that is typically in the form of sheet, wire, or thin bar. Is that what you meant? Do you know the alloy? The workpiece size you cited is not consistent with "spring steel" as I know it. Is this the material you are machining on the TM-2P?

Regards,

RKlopp
We have Haas customer support along with CNS (JAZZ J18/2).
I'd need to verify the Mazak.
Thank you for the insight.
 
If your not fully using your haas now. What is the need for more machine?
Seeing as your only talking hp and nothing else. I assume your tm is stiff enough and feature rich enough for your work. So I will only talk hp.

Your tm has 7.5 hp, this is at 200% spindle load for 15 min max.(duty cycle)
So your using less than 2.75 hp now.
Until your running 100% all day long. Or 150% often with periods of rest (one tool running 150% for 3 min, then another tool at under 70%for 5 let’s say) then your not even using your current machine to its potentials.

So what are you trying to gain from a machine investment?

Maybe there are smaller investments you can make that will benefit you now and are potentially transferable if you bought a machine down the road.
Like new/better work/tool holding? 4th axis rotory
Spend some time and money on better cutters/tool paths?

New machines are great but not always the answer.

As for a machine comparison I’ve had a tm-1,tm-2, vf2. And there is a diference
Tm-1 vs tm-2. The 2 has 4” more spindle column length. When pushing the tools this was noticeable on these smaller frame machines. (Or maybe my 2 was just worn out more?

Tm vs vf: the vf is a lot more machine weight and power wise. Often it makes no difference in half my jobs. But the other half Need that power/stiffness.
As for features my tm-1P was stock with the p package, my vf is tricked right out (bought used that way) smtc, tsc, 4th,5th, 10,000rpm. I’ve certainly grown into these features and are now a must for my productive workflow.

There’s a lot of ways to spend money in buissness. Examine them all before committing to large capital purchases.
I agree, however, 4-axis and 5-axis machinery would be too much for our use, we machine simple parts, so no need for the extra axes, plus, I may be wrong on this one but don't they require a load more maintenance due to all the extra moving parts ?

As for why we need a new machine, the Haas working area is too small, and we want to machine a new product that's far too big for the Haas, that's why we've opted for an upgrade, as the working area seems to be more fitting and won't require workarounds.

But may I ask, when you say "stiffness" how do you evaluate it exactly?
Is it by how prone the machine is to wear/misuse ? Or how long it takes for it to run through a cycle as compared to other machinery? Or by HP and how much RPM the spindle can handle ?

I'm still new in the field so some of the obvious stuff might not come as naturally to me as those with experience that's why I'm trying to ask as many questions as I can.

Thank you for your insight.
 
Are you machining that "spring steel" (what alloy?) in the annealed, or hardened condition? That'll make a big difference on rigidity requirements. What tolerances do you hope to hold? What are you smallest features like? That will help determine RPM requirements.

If it's a lose-tolerance rectangle of that size, I'd go for a box-way 50 taper. If it's tight tolerance with a lot of small details, probably an Okuma with an HSK-63 spindle.
Apologies for the lack of details as I've felt that the post was plenty long already, as for the material it's : 51CrV4, and we drill + trimm it before heat treatment, as for boring leaf spring eyes they are annealed, so increased hardness and rigidity.

As for the RPM, we didn't go above 4.2k, we're using a 40CT Taper.
But no intricate details, I've also been thinking of a 50 Taper for more rigidity and stability (could be wrong).

Thank you for the recommendations, will look into it.
 








 
Back
Top