Before we get to what the price should be, you need to ask yourself why should you do this?
What happens if he crashes your machine? What about the liability from someone who isn't your employee running a company owned tool?
And why should you help your future competition to that level? It's one thing to run parts for him at a market price, quite another to let him do it in your own shop. If he can't afford the price and overhead of having his own machine, then he needs to pay what you're willing to charge for making the parts for him. Of course, he's always free to buy parts elsewhere as well.
If you really want to help him (as a new shop owner), you could take this opportunity to help him understand the real overhead involved in his own shop.
Way to many "what if's". Just set a sheet rate for supply of parts and cut them for him and offer an alternative of an hourly rate for use of the panel saw. I'm sure he will just pay for the parts cut on CNC!
If he wants full access to a CNC, he should buy his own.
1. How well trained is this operator?
2. Who does the programming?
3. Do you trust your employees?
I have been around CNC routers for 20+ years both as an operator and programmer. Currently where I work I can ask the mill shop foreman if such and such is busy after work and 90% of the time he is "No go ahead". Why? Because I am a trusted, qualified and valued employee. They know that I care for these machines as if they were my own. I am their go to person when something goes wrong with one of the routers, beam saws or edgebander. Trust, that is the big question.
Do I have to pay a fee or hourly rate to use any of the machines? No not a dime.
To run one of the routers it takes a 200hp sawdust blower, 50hp air compressor, 40hp vacuum pump. And I don't have to pay for tooling.
So do you trust your employee?
I rent time on a CNC machine and laser cutter. So I can tell you how it works from the customers perspective. I bring them a flash drive with code/art work. The two shops I use both charge $350 to check my code/art and a per hour rate if they see a problem that needs to be fixed. The CNC shop charges me $200 per hour while the machine is running. The laser shop charges $160 per hour. They both offer additional services like material handling, finish or sanding at an additional rate. Both shops use their operators to control the machines and I am just there as a helper that has the authority to say stop if the project is not going as planned. Both shops set the time I need to be there to get the work done. I am sure it is based on when they need fill work to keep the machines running.
So, you "trust" and thus forgive overhead, utilities, and wear and tare on basic machine and tooling. What happens when you come to work the next morning to find there was an accident to either the machine or person? The borrowed tool is always the one that breaks. Accidents happen.
I appreciate the input so far. My former employee who was running the machine and programming previously will run it, I'm also renting the shop to him and another former employee. It helps me with overhead. I wanted to do a per sheet price for ease of keeping track of what"s done.
I will admit that I have enjoyed an advantage in having use of all the equipment in the mill shop. But you have to realize that I am the person who gets the call when something is down. I am the person who spec's the equipment to purchase as I know many times more about beam saws and routers than the owners, they come to me. Yes nothing has ever been mentioned about utilities, tooling or the like, and it never will be. I have their trust and I do not abuse it. My employer is not a tight A$$. I love my job as I get to play with all the latest equipment and try new tooling pretty much when ever I want, no questions asked.
Since the situation is that a former employee is renting (part of?) the original poster's shop, and presumably using other equipment, they ought to be able to negotiate an arrangement including the cnc router. I would want a written agreement that makes clear who is responsible for tooling, repairs, insurance and all foreseeable contingencies. It could really be a can of worms if a major piece of equipment was damaged or an employee injured due to a renter's activities.
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