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Weeke or SCM...thoughts11/4
Trying to decide between the Weeke Vantech and the SCM Pratix for our first CNC and would be interested in any input/experiance you all would have on the two. The SCM is less expensive, but i'm trying to deciper what, if anything I would be giving up to go that route over the Weeke
I am also looking for a first CNC router. I was at IWF at the stiles booth, and they had a customer service board with call times and which company had the most customer calls. Weeke far and away had the most customer complaints and calls.
You may want to look around some.
In hindsight I wish I had bought a more stout rigid machine. I bought a machine like the SCM and given my time back I would have gotten an Onsrud.
With either the Weeke or SCM eventually you will have a part that needs to come in from overseas. If you have a real problem you will be dealing with someone for whom english is a second language.
I looked at Onsrud and it was more money. In hindsight the purchase price of the machine is insignificant. The cost of ownership over time and the service is the most important thing. Looking back spending 30% or more on the machine would have been worth it.
I love my biesse skilll .
I think the important question which hasn't been asked is what kind of work are you doing on your machine ?
And the software is just as important as the machine .
I'm a bit surprised by John's comments above. We have a Weeke Vantech 5' x 10' with offloading, and I wouldn't want to be without it. I haven't had a part yet that wasn't in Grand Rapids that I couldn't get for it the next day if need be. Service, support, and parts availability is top notch from Stiles. Like Bill said, the price of the machine is a secondary consideration compared to the support behind it. If your machine is down for whatever reason, the price you paid is insignificant.
The weeke Vantech and the SCM Pratix are almost un comparable to me. IMO, the Vantech is a superior machine, if only because it allows you to create parts on the fly at the machine. We program through Microvellum, but if any tweaks need to be done, I can do them directly at the machine instead of going back in the office.
If this is your first machine, you'll want this capability, because you can get stuff done at the machine. After you understand woodwop, you'll know what it needs when you're ready to tackle a design/manufacturing software.
Good luck in your decision.
I have always been a fan of big iron, Old school I guess heavy construction. I like Anderson CabMaxx and Exxact both have proven to be very durable with heavy loads and multiple shifts. I have never had an issue with an onion skin leaving an edge as I read that some have, I think the heaver machines give a better result.
I like the heavy machines too, but have worked with all sorts of machines over the years. For an entry level machine, Weeke and SCM are about the same from a user stand point.
i currently work for a shop with a Skill our sister company has a older Rover and agree with "Wood Dust".
I have worked for shops with most of the brands mentioned and their were pro/cons to each. When i asked the owner why he went with Biesse he said value to service ratio was the best. I am not sure what the cost differences are but expect to see some machine salespeople on here soon bashing one another.
Biesse - hands down. We have had our problems, but in the long run, we have literally not been down for more than 3 days total in 12 years.
As per changing and re-running @ the floor, don't, trust me. It is not a good idea with an office pushed floor
I programmed and ran 2013 SCM - Morbidelli Universal 20 - with unload. Liked it, until I ran a 2014 Homag BOF 211. Now I'm on a Homag 5 axis and would never dream of working with anyone but Homag. Their software (Woodwop- same as weeke) is brilliant. I can allow operators to change toolpaths, reorder - change operations ordering... almost anything down to the dust hood setting- right there on the machine through woodwop.
So Weeke vs SCM? Who is giving you the better financing, how smart of a programmer/operator team do you have?
How deeply into bed do you want to get with stiles machinery?
We purchased the Giben GS-510 with direct drive, as well as the on and off feed. Giben service has been really helpful with our Omnitech Salexx PAL as well. I know from experience Weeke or any Stlies brands are proprietary with their service. I've seen and heard many stories of trying to upgrade or repair a machine, and it is impossible to get parts outside of Stiles and they are extremely proud of their parts $$$$. I will never own anything from Stiles as long as I have a say in machine purchasing. Give Giben a look, I bet you can find a machine to serve all of your needs.
I am not sure about the new machines, but I have a Pratix that is a few years old and love it, I wouldn't trade it for anything. the parts are available with Parts pronto in North America, and you can do everything at the pedestal . it is also open on one side, which is an amazing feature as you can put really wide sheets in if you buy some of the european stuff and let it hang out the side.