It's easy to get bogged down by the options available in any technology market. Routers are no exception. Consider these five tips to help you make more informed purchase decisions on routers:
- Investigate the level of support provided by the supplier. Machines will at some point require servicing and occasional repairs, so knowing the supplier’s support network and verifying its response capabilities with serve you down the road.
- Purchase a CNC router that can be upgraded. A router should be capable of evolving with advances in technology. Insist on a supplier that can retrofit and upgrade operating systems and software on a regular basis — usually these suppliers manufacture their own routers and software without any third-party involvement.
- Source a supplier that has its own spare parts available. Downtime is always the bane of business; it's expensive and unacceptable for either the company or its customers. Much of it can be attributed to time-consuming delays in securing needed parts. Router purchasers need to look for a supplier that operates its own online shop capable of providing spare parts, preferably by the next day.
- Source a supplier that offers customized training programs. All training issues can be alleviated by working with a supplier that understands each individual application and offers a training program specifically tailored to it. It is the best way to optimize performance of the workforce and the router. That is why training may be the most important concern on the list. It has to be thorough and robust.
- Don't forget the power of knowledge. Supplier expertise is essential. Buyers should ask about the supplier’s experience, and equally important, ability to add to that knowledge. Look for those with dedicated application engineers who test tooling, materials and software regularly — even daily. Having this knowledge base improves the business process and router operation.
—Robert Marshall, AXYZ International