Owning an industrial lathe can transform the manufacturing capabilities of your business, but with so many options in this equipment niche, you may not know where to start.
Here are the key considerations to take into account as you start the process of picking an industrial lathe from the myriad products in this market.
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Should you go new or used?
Your first choice will be between brand new lathes and second hand equivalents that have already been put through their paces by a prior owner.
New models will be more expensive, but come with the benefit of things like manufacturer warranties, guaranteed access to replacement parts and the latest tech onboard.
Used models can be more cost-effective and inexpensive to acquire, while also offering a wider range of overall choice in terms of performance potential. And with a marketplace for used lathes available online, getting a good deal is a breeze. You do take more risks in terms of wear and tear and compatibility, but these are minor concerns in the context of the savings you can make and the business efficiency improvements you can achieve.
The second thing to bear in mind is that industrial lathes are typically made to comply with either metric or imperial standards for measurements.
Your location and the standard which is most widely used there will guide your choice in this matter. Personal preference and previous experience will also be a factor, although at the end of the day the performance of high quality machines made to either standard should be more than adequate for any organization’s needs.
Before you go all-out and order the most potent and versatile lathe you can afford on your budget, be sure to check the physical size of the machine itself. Unless you have unlimited space on-site, this will clearly be relevant to your decision-making.
As a rule of thumb, larger machines will be more powerful and capable, so aim to make maximal use of the space available, while still taking into account the practicality of housing the equipment.
There are a number of variables at play when considering the power of a lathe, with the raw power of the motor being placed at the top of many buyers’ agendas.
While the wattage should obviously be something you check, you should also scrutinize the torque that a given product provides. This is significant because the greater the torque, the more capable it will be even when operating at low speeds, limiting the likelihood of stalls occurring.
Following on from motor power and torque, it is also essential to establish whether a prospective purchase offers variable RPMs for operations, or whether it is a single-speed model.
The latter may be cheaper and suited to more basic tasks, while the former will give you more flexibility in terms of the kinds of projects you can complete.
At the end of the day it is best to work out your budget and set your priorities from what you want out of an industrial lathe before you start your search, so that you can narrow down the field from the get-go.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!