CNC Machine Tool: What Is Retrofitting and Why Is It Important?
Retrofitting of CNC machines includes rebuilding and updating of the CNC machine tool’s mechanical & electrical components and tooling. This includes optimization or replacement of existing machine tools and components which can increase the quantity and quality of the machines output.
Since machine technology is constantly changing and improving, it can be a wise investment, and more cost efficient to retrofit a CNC machine rather than buying new, modern equipment.
CNC Machine Retrofitting Options
Computerized Numerical Control Panel– CNC machine centers that have been owned for a long time could be due to be retrofitted. The computerized numerical controls have dramatically changed over the years and continue to improve every year as technology advances. An update to these controls means improved user options, increased machine capabilities, and advanced features. This is a great way to invest in your already owned machinery.
CNC Tooling– As new tool sets become available, there are many new customization options available if the CNC machinery has the required tool sets. Luckily, there are options to change or add new machine tools to existing CNC machinery. This upgrade in machine tools would be considered retrofitting. Retrofitting your CNC mill or other machinery will keep your shop on the cutting edge of CNC technology and capability.
CNC Retrofitting Cost Efficiency
Retrofitted CNC machines can save you money is several ways including:
Buying a retrofitted machine– When a budget is tight, it can difficult to justify spending the money to buy a new CNC machine. A cost efficient alternative would be to buy a used machine tool that has been retrofitted with modern technology. Not only can you save money right away, but you will be able to get a return on your money much quicker than if you had purchased new CNC equipment.
The truth about retrofitted machines is that they are not all created equal. They can function just as well as a brand new machine, but it is important to do some research to make sure the condition of the machine and the details as to what parts were retrofitted.
Retrofitting an outdated machine– Retrofitting is a cost efficient alternative to replacing older CNC machines. Most CNC machine tools last practically forever, but they do become outdated over the years and retrofitting your CNC machinery with the latest in CNC technology can be less expensive than buying another machine and will allow you to stay ahead of the competition.
Increased performance– Retrofitted equipment will improve the amount and the quality of product produced, saving time and money. With new tools and/ or new technology, your CNC lathe or other machinery will easily outperform other CNC centers without retrofitted parts. Retrofitting is always a good solution to maximize your machinery’s potential.
The aerospace and national defense manufacturers utilize retrofitting as a way to keep all of their CNC machine tools up to date and on the cutting edge of very competitive markets. These retrofitting projects can be very costly, but the production boost and quality improvements allow for retrofitted CNC machinery to quickly pay for itself, making the upgrades a worthy investment.