CNC machine tools: the secret confession of a 5-axis VMC user

Recently, a Technical Tutor who works with me had the opportunity to speak with an English machine tool user who has recently added a couple of Flexible Production CNC machines to his Production Department.

In particular, this is a company that had a full 5-axis VMC machine battery that for years had used this business model for its production.

During their meeting they had the opportunity to talk about many things together and our Technical Tutor wanted to ask what his opinion was regarding the use of his new Flexible Machines.

And here’s what he revealed to him:

“At the beginning I was extremely fascinated by the cycle time we could get with this new machine tool model.

This is because with the 5-axis VMC machines we used about 15 minutes to produce a piece in our metalworking.

In this case, however, with the Flexible Machine we have reached the incredible cycle time of only 130 seconds, a truly extraordinary result.”

But that’s not all, because in reality he said that the real reason that made him happy and satisfied with this new machine tool is actually the TCO, or Total Cost of Ownership.

And here’s what he confessed:

“We had 5 VMC 5-axis machines bought from a famous American brand about 12 years ago.

We are using them on continuous shifts, 24/7, and we realized that this model of CNC machine tools is not suitable nor designed to be used on such long shifts.

And the thing that leaves us more perplexed and that has pushed us to look for a new solution is the fact that with these 5-axis VMC machines we had to buy one or two spindles for each machine every year!  Including the first year!!

Moreover, recently, this customer has replaced an entire tool change system for one of the machines and was facing major problems with the evacuation of chips and shavings inside the machines.

These issues bring with them a sharp increase in maintenance costs and machine downtime.

And these are things you DO NOT want for your production line, right?

CNC machine tools and continuous cycle production:

The definitive solution is …

In a production department that works 24/7, you absolutely need CNC machine tools that work like Swiss watches.

It is unthinkable to entrust your production model to obsolete systems that force you to apply old business models, which today are not very functional and even counterproductive for your company.

The solution?

I say, in no uncertain terms, that you absolutely must rely on manufacturers of machine tools that offer you turnkey solutions.

Complete packages with guarantees on the spindle, ball screws and Z-axis for at least 10 YEARS.

Do you not believe it?  I assure you that they exist and if you want I can show you how to find the right solution for you.

They are not miracles, just rely on those who have been doing this for years and years and thanks to their experience in the world of production today can offer you TOP quality components for your machine tools.

And this solution can finally be found in a new model of CNC machine tools, a new absolute category that is challenging the old rules of the market.

I’m talking about Flexible Machines.

A flexible machine may cost more at the beginning of the process, because it has a purchase price that tends to be higher than a classic CNC machining center.

But if we compare it, as in this case, to a battery of 5 (FIVE) 5-axis VMC machines, that needs 2 new spindles every year, then you will soon realize how in reality in the medium term a Flexible Machine costs you a lot less.

It seems absurd, right? Well, then take a calculator and check it out. You will soon discover the truth.

The basic concept is that:

“The price of the machine tool is only one of the costs”

Because it’s only the initial price that you pay to buy the machine.

And then? There are another list of costs, which often are not counted or even ignored and that in a few years can even go beyond the price of the machine itself.

Basically there are people who try to save money on the purchase of CNC machine tools, then find themselves with disproportionate annual maintenance costs.

But what are the other costs? Let’s consider them together:

1. Costs of installation of the machinery

2. Energy costs

3. Number of direct personnel required

4. Training

5. Area occupied (yes, even this is a cost and few know about it)

6. Maintenance (repairs, filter replacements, oil, coolant, adjustments, etc …)

Do you want me to continue? I could, but I will stop here …

So basically, by correctly combining these data and parameters, you will have found your TCO! That is the REAL money you are paying for having a Machine Tool in your Production Department.

To summarize everything, I recommend you not to always look for the cost of the machine tool as the main factor and the only parameter of evaluation when you are evaluating the purchase of a new plant.

Also consider in detail all the other parameters listed above and you will soon see that a Flexible Machine can be the ultimate solution to what you are looking for.

You can not spend a lot of money on a bunch of cheap CNC machine tools, which then have a lot of downtime and spend a large part of your repair budget.

Every machine you buy must “print money”.

A Flexible Machine may not appear to be the cheapest solution immediately, but it is definitely the solution with the best TCO on the market, which is the real data and the most important thing!  Therefore it is the best investment in your business.

And you? Are you ready to abandon old business models and old machine tools to enter the world of CNC machines?

If you want to deepen the world of Flexibility Production and CNC flexible machines I have excellent news for you, because from today you can ask for a direct consultation with one of our


A consultation of this kind for a day is quoted at € 599 VALUE, but you could be honored.

Write directly to for more information.

If you want to go deeper on the topic of “Flexible Production”,


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My book, dedicated to users of machine tools that want to make the leap in quality & productivity, is waiting for you!!!

Maurizio Porta