1. We are considering an either a 4x8 or 5x10 cnc nested based router. Currently 85% of our materials is 4x8, however we could order melamine in 5x9 if it optimized better if we had the bigger table. Will we regret not going with the bigger table?
2. We are looking at the Weeke Vantech with the sweep and auto offeed table. To save money we are considering dropping this feature. Those of you with experience both ways: will we regret not having this feature?
We have a sweep on our 4x8 cnc. Well worth the money. Saves a ton of time. Our operator runs the nest, auto unload gets the next sheet going and edgebands and dowels the offloaded sheet. I imagine it would help resale also
For the material we use 4x8 is the most cost effective all things considered so I can't advise you there.
We went to cnc earlier this year. Altnough most of what we run is 4x8, I'm glad we bought a 5x10. There have been several times where I needed to run 4x10 sheets. I also can run 5x5 baltic birch sheets without cutting them down, which is nice.
We're about the same size shop and run a 5x12. 80% or maybe even 90% of our material is 4x8 but I'm really glad to have the extra length when we need it. Plus, we use that extra table space for jigs, etc without having to move the "standard" spoilboard.
I understand the rake/ push off concept and think it's cool. However, we are "quality not quantity" shop and so our machine is not running all of the time. Therefore, I couldn't justify the extra cost of saving a few minutes between sheets.
I have been doing time studies for the last week on my cnc. I have found that for the parts we run, it take 4-6 minutes to unload and have the next sheet ready to run. The new auto load unload machines are 45 seconds between sheets. We run 25-30 sheets a day so it will save 2 hours a day. In todays labor market that can pay for itself pretty quick.
What about the time to load the next sheet?
We have a vacuum lift, it works well but not as fast as a drag on system. How good of a job do the push off systems do on cleaning the table? Clean enough to not leave chips that cause loss of hold?
Yes the cleanoff systems work well. A quick blow may be needed but nothing more.
For us a drag on system would not make sense because we run many different types of sheets in a nest. We have a vac lift that gives us access to 16 different sheets/items, and currently services 2 machines. It could service 3-4 in the future the way we laid it out.
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