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Discussion Question CNC Router Conveyor Option Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'CNC Routing & Laser Cutting' started by jsonpaul, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Hello,

    We are currently in the process of shopping for a CNC Router that do routing and digital finishing. We have quotes from colex and multicam dealers and for colex the cost of conveyor is additional $27,000 Canadian.

    My question for folks out there, is the additional cost for the conveyor really speed up production and reasonable? Does it have a lot of advantage? Or would $27,000 dollar savings makes more sense?

    We might run the CNC machine 3-4hrs per day on current job load. But we are also looking to service other small shops in town. We also plan to move the cut vinyl finishing jobs to this machine as well as the heat transfer vinyl prints from our eco solvent print and cut printer.

    I am heading out to print united this month to further my research and find out but sales guys are sales guys.. I like to get opinions from those who has been using this for awhile.
     
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  2. STIGparts

    STIGparts New Member

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    Jul 14, 2019
    Jupiter Florida
    We currently own a Chinese 4' X 8' ATC 3hp Italian router it was $17k and built to our spec. We initially struggled with the thought of not having the initial local technical support but justified it by the significant cost savings that gave us plenty of money to higher local techs. This machine has been a work horse for us and has only required minimal maintenance over the last 5 years. Most of the maintenance was caused by inexperienced operators.
    We ordered the machine with Japanese servos, 3 HP air cooled router, vacuum T slot table and ATC. You will learn a lot from your local Techs about Software, programing and day to day maintenance. This is what all of the domestic companies are bundling into the purchase price of the machine and you are paying dearly for that service. There are plenty of large machines on the market for under $10K that make great intro machines. In the begining you will have your fair share of crash and burn as you get use to the setups and control settings.
     
  3. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

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    I love my Summa F!! The only thing is will be a little slower than the ones you listed. For me, being a one man shop, speed hasn't been that big of an issue. I have the small F1612, which has done everything I have needed it to. Even cutting 10' boards with a 4' cut bed, the feed/realignment has been pretty much perfect!
     
  4. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Mesa, Arizona
    If you are cutting vinyl or roll stock a conveyor is essential or you will add alot of babysitting and manual labor. For routing only I would forego the conveyor unless you are buying a sheet loader.
     
  5. axelmk

    axelmk New Member

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    Sep 18, 2016
    Houston, TX
    It all depends on your application and volume of jobs.
    We've had our Colex (5x10) without a conveyor for over a year now and we absolutely love it. Support has been really good and the machine has worked like a charm.
    We considered the conveyor, but unless you are running a huge amount of decals, or large quantities of long banners, we did not find the justification at this point. We did add an attachment in the back to be able to hold a roll of media so that we can advance it manually, this has worked well for us. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or you would like nay more feedback.
     
  6. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I worked at a place that was a large graphic provider, who had a conveyor CNC & they ended up never using the conveyor option, but
    maybe technology has gotten better.
    Is this your 1st CNC or are you replacing one? If your 1st CNC, I would skip the conveyor.
     
  7. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Jan 3, 2014
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    Wow this is a significant savings, we are running 3.2m eco solvent china machine which i bought when i went to Guangzhou last march but any day that it falls out we have a mimaki cjv 130 to do the work. I will definitely look at this if we grow bigger and need for another CNC in the future.. But to have my mind in safe i might just have to burn those extra $$$ to get support and maintenance/warranty with english manual and instructions.

    But this is definitely something helpful. Thanks!
     
  8. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Jan 3, 2014
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    Hi thanks for the info, i am currently in that position where it is very nice to have as when i see that in the demo but contemplating as we might not be using that feature that often. Having a roll holder on the back sounds good, is it ok if you share me some pictures of that? just for ideas on how it will work out and what type of roll holder is recommended?
     
  9. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Winnipeg

    Hi Andy, this is our first CNC and we are also purchasing a flat bed UV at the same time. Somewhat i think that it is a $27,000 expense that we might not use as you mentioned.
     
  10. Eduardo Massuda

    Eduardo Massuda New Member

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    May 2, 2019
    Houston, TX
    My $0.02 cents...
    I recommend the Colex flat bed 5'x10' ((-) $20-30K), AxelMk have one and seen what it does ( not far from me)
    I end up getting the the flat bed instead the belt system..
    Belt system help if it is lot decals and banners to cut.
    If you will be running Hybrid 2-4 hours a day , cut and route, flat table is the way to go....
    ( it means a belt should be between $3k to $5k for replacement, (tech trip and install + down time)
    While a flat sheet of matt is $250, just remove one and drop a new one and use the old ones for routing.
    in reality if load is very high, you actually need 2 machines dedicated for each job.....
    routing create lot trash around,
    and cut decals need a very clean area.
    * Dallas is 3 hours from me and Multicam...... Didn't spark. Colex will do all and more.
    One the debate is electric x air tool , Colex only use air to lower and lift the tool.
    hope this helps..... have mine running for 2 months and been very happy, service and support is 110%.
    message me if any questions. Ed.
     

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  11. Grizzly

    Grizzly Member

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    We have a Zund with the conveyor and use it for sheets (flat stock) as much as we do for roll stock. It's automatically setup to roll forward after the job is complete so the cut pieces come to you and you don't have to walk around the table. I'm not sure if you're getting a 5'x10' bed but we only have a 72 wide x 98 length so we couldn't cut a 5x10 in one shot without the conveyor. With the conveyor, it reads the portion that it needs to, routes/cuts the portion it needs to and then rolls forward to finish registering and routing/cutting.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I do remember that when cutting acrylic or composite aluminum the router would cut into the material on the the router's bed, sometimes more than intended, is that not an issue for you?
    I would be worried about the router hiccuping and ruining the belt.
     
  13. Grizzly

    Grizzly Member

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    As long as your base depths are correct, very very rare if you know what you're doing. Especially with the new software and ATI.
    I've had the machine wig out about 3 times in the last 7 years. And in all reality 2 of those might have been user error. Didn't have the collet tight enough or trying to run too fast. The other I had everything setup and it wigged out and put a drill hole in my bed.
     
  14. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Normally you run a sacrificial mat over the belt anyway.
     
  15. axelmk

    axelmk New Member

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    Sep 18, 2016
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    Sure, here is an image of what we have.
    Let me know if you have any other questions.
    IMG_7710.jpg
     
  16. jsonpaul

    jsonpaul JASD

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Winnipeg
    Wow this looks good, thanks or the input and help.
     
  17. Don’t spend the money on the belt. We have that machine in our operator finds it faster to advance substrates manually. We are considering purchasing our second one but this one will not be with the conveyor belt.
     
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