The topic today is whether to outsource your CNC routing or CNC milling needs or to invest in a machine to carry out the work.
Investing in machinery offers many advantages. There will be no third part costs if the work is carried out inhouse and production time will be speeded up if there is no need to wait for a third party to complete the project. CNC machines can be purchased at reasonable cost, and there is likely to be tax advantages for capital investment.
So far so one-sided.
But the situation is slightly more complex. Firstly, will the amount you can invest sufficient to by the CNC router you will need for all the projects you undertake. CNC routers can tackle increasingly complex projects but this functionality is often only offered in the latest cutting-edge machines that command cutting-edge prices.
Additionally these machines will maximise efficiency, in terms of productivity, energy use and minimising material waste. If you can only invest in outdated machinery these benefits are lost, and the cost of the project may rise because of this.
Each machinery purchase is just the beginning of the story. There will be costs for ongoing maintenance and support that needs to be factored in.
Unless your organisation has a regular requirement for the machinery, it will stand idle and that means it is a cost to the company, not a benefit.
Finally you need to be honest about the level of CNC routing skills within the organisation. From creating correct CAD input, setting up the project to on the job skills, if any of these are not up to scratch the project may require several resets – and that will increase the cost as well as impact on turnaround time.
Whilst investing in CNC kit opens up many possibilities for the organisation, finding an experienced provider of CNC routing services may provide a more cost-effective option, and allow you to undertake increasingly more complex projects for your organisation.