Guide for purchasing machine tools: How to choose a machining centre for a marble worker?

Guide for purchasing machine tools: How to choose a machining centre for a marble worker?

For many industries, the machining centre is one of the most important machines. It is a versatile machine that can be configured to perform many different operations. To choose machining centres for marble workers are essentially distinguished by their size and number of operational axes.

how to choose a milling centre

How to choose a machining centre based on the pieces to be made?

Here are some of the uses where machining centres are used by marble workers and stone industry professionals:

  • Decoration: These machines are used to carve objects in stone or marble. They are also used to engrave objects and make moulds for casting. Consider a 4 or 5-axis machine
  • Monument: These machines are used to create gravestones and other memorials. They can also be used to create sculptures and monuments for war memorials, parks, etc. Consider a 3-axis machine
  • Paving: These machines are used to machine road elements such as fountains, benches, sidewalk edging, etc. Consider a 5-axis machine

All of these uses define the size of the piece to be made because a funeral monument will often be larger than a shower tray. This will influence the size of the machining centre.

Then the piece is defined by its material. The spindle of the machining centre must be able to mill without breaking. The marble worker has a fairly diverse and varied range of materials. Soft or hard natural stones, quartz, ceramics and synthetic materials.

Finally, depending on the number of operations to be performed on the pieces, you will have to change tools on your machine. It is necessary to take into account the capacity of the tool magazine of the machining centre. Depending on whether you are doing decoration or funerary work, this will impact the number of tools needed to complete your pieces.

tool magazine machining centre

How to choose a machining centre based on the production of a marble workshop?

For companies producing in large quantities, the important thing is to produce the most pieces in the shortest amount of time. The cycle time, which is the total time to produce a piece, should therefore be as short as possible.

While for a craftsman marble worker who produces on demand, the important thing will be the robustness and reliability of the machine or even the versatility of tasks as the machining centre will be his main working tool.

Several characteristics can be taken into account for this, including:

  • Advance speeds, in meters per minute (m/min), define the speed at which the movement on the axis can be made during machining.
  • Cutting or machining speed, in millimetres per minute (mm/min), is the distance travelled by the cutting part of the tool in one minute. This speed varies depending on the material being machined but also depending on the tool used.
  • Tool change time is the time it takes for tool A, which is in the spindle, to be replaced by tool B, which is in the tool magazine.
  • Masked work time is the ability to prepare a piece while another piece is being machined.
  • The length of the rolling path or work table is an important element. The craftsman is in a confined space, a machine with a table to produce one to two pieces at a time is sufficient. While the industrialist who produces in series has more space and requires a double table or a rolling path of several meters to be able to produce at maximum capacity.

What is the price of a marble machining centre?

The price of a machine is an important factor. The budget allocated to its machine tool cannot be neglected.

On the European market, you can find new machines for less than 100,000 euros made in Asia or Eastern Europe. However, the components and materials used are often of poor quality, which leads to breakdowns, breakages and poor machining precision on some models. The hardness of the materials machined requires robust and reliable machining centres with spare parts available quickly.

CNC T812 Thibaut

How choose a machining centre that best suits your needs requires an investment of between €120,000 and €180,000 for a marble worker for a 3-axis or 4-axis machining centre for funeral or decoration purposes. For a 5-axis machining centre, the budget exceeds €200,000.

If your budget does not allow for this, the second-hand market for machines from reputable brands such as Thibaut can be a good alternative. You will find retrofitted machines or machines with a new spindle for prices under €70,000.

choisir un centre d'usinage d'occasion

Our second-hand machines are available

How do you choose a machining centre based on customer service?

CNC machines wear out over time. How to choose a machining centre for the stone industry can be subjected to harsh operating conditions such as cold, water and vibrations. Training by the machine manufacturer is essential and regular preventive maintenance is necessary to increase the longevity of a machine.

machining centre with customer service

Human error can also occur during the use of machines, such as programming errors or tool calibration. Not all companies have the in-house expertise to deal with maintenance and possible repairs. It is therefore necessary to contact the manufacturer's customer service department for intervention or to supply spare parts. The machining centre must be connected to the internet so that the remote technician can prevent the machine from being immobilised at the customer's premises.

What can the customer of a machining centre expect from the customer service of a machine manufacturer?

Customer service should be :

  • Quick to respond thanks to remote maintenance with connected machines
  • Multilingual technicians and specialists: to know the machine perfectly in order to troubleshoot mechanical, electrical and automation problems
  • Provide official spare parts and optimised tooling on the machines

How does Thibaut help you choose a machining centre?

choose a machining centre thibaut

Thibaut is one of the leaders in the construction of machine tools for marble makers. Machining centres, cutters and polishers are the most common digitally controlled machines found in marble factories. Thibaut will help you make this choice from A to Z. A Thibaut sales representative or agent will be your sole contact and will guide you through your machine project according to your production, budget and available space. Our sales teams and design offices are at your disposal to help you choose the best solution for your marble factory.

You want to know more about our machining centre solutions for the stone industry.

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