Purchasing any machine for your fabrication or engineering business can be a process fraught with risk and unforeseen consequences. Not only are you parting with a significant sum of money, the investment must pay off for years to come.
In this 5 part series, we will shed some light on the considerations to make when purchasing a hydraulic press brake. If you are a seasoned press brake purchaser, you may have most of these down pat, but maybe a few will give you an extra edge. If you are a new buyer then saddle up to learn what to ask to make sure the machine and accessories you are buying are right for you.
The price is not the first thing to ask or to base a decision on.
Why you may ask? Well, simply because there are many, many things that separate one press brake from the next. For example, even though many Chinese made hydraulic press brakes seem ‘homogenised’ into a single model for example ‘WC67Y’ this does not mean they are the same. This is simply the designation for that type of machine in the Chinese manufacturing and customs space. Every individual manufacturer worldwide has their own approach to quality, design and features with prices that reflect this.
Generally speaking European and American machines do cost more for a number of reasons - and not just ‘quality’, whether real or perceived. A big caveat though is that Chinese manufacturing is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was say, 10 years ago. Many European manufacturers now outsource to Chinese OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners. This makes sense provided the requisite quality is achieved - that amazing Iphone you may be holding is made in China for example. Some Chinese machines are just as good or dare we say it - represent better value than European machines.
Finally - a simple specification such as 100 ton x 3000mm is not enough to determine why one machine costs more than the same machine from a different dealer. Interrogate the specification in detail. If there is not enough information ask for it. If it is not forthcoming, then you would be right to be suspicious of the machine. The proof is in the pudding - ask to see the machine and get a demo with light material, either on the dealer’s floor or at one of their clients (often a good idea, since the machine is in production).
Look out for the remaining 4 points we will publish in the next few weeks and then return to the price question. We would be very surprised if your decision is still to buy the cheapest hydraulic press brake.
Stay tuned to MTO for 4 more insights into choosing the ideal press brake for your business!