A panel saw cuts sheets of material into sized boards. In woodworking, it is used to cut plywood, veneer, plastic, and other materials. Panel saws are categorized by their structural design—vertical or horizontal. They are also classified by their method of operation—manual control or computer numerical control (CNC). Because horizontal, computer-controlled machinery is preferred for production environments, a panel saw that features CNC technology is usually designed in a horizontal fashion.
CNC Versus Manual Control
Manual panel saws require the operator to guide the sawing mechanism across the workpiece. In elite models, this action requires minimal effort. Because a downward motion of the cutting mechanism is easier to achieve than a horizontal motion, vertical models have more cutting speed than manual models, although the speed differential is minimal. Vertical models also preserve the workspace, featuring a small footprint compared to most floor-standing saws. For companies that produce a low to moderate volume of panels, a manual, vertical panel saw could be an excellent choice.
CNC panel saws offer the same benefits as other types of CNC machinery. For companies that produce a high volume of panels, the most important benefits are excellent repeatability across large production runs and, when the saw has a large table, the ability to produce panels at a high rate of speed. If you are choosing between a manual panel saw and a CNC model, you should also consider the other benefits of CNC machinery:
• Removes the operator from the vicinity of the cutting mechanism
• Eliminates waste pieces that result from human error
• Requires less training time than manual machinery
• Has a higher resale value than manual machinery
• A single operator can potentially manage two or more machines at once
These benefits can provide a positive financial impact that mitigates the cost of CNC equipment. Before you conclude that a CNC machine is too costly, consider the financial impact of eliminating human error from the cutting process and reducing on-the-job saw injuries.
Each grade of CNC panel saws is more expensive than the equivalent grade of manual panel saws. What can you do if you need the former but you only have the equipment budget for the latter? At HUAHUA Machine, we recommend that you consider buying an industrial-grade CNC panel saw used. In addition to costing up to seventy per cent less than its original price, the saw could also perform like new for years to come, in spite of being pre-owned.
HUAHUA Machine sells new and used CNC equipment, including panel saws. We also perform machine location—if we do not have the machine you need in stock, we can locate it in another inventory and have it shipped to you. For over ten years, HUAHUA Machine has supplied new and used woodworking machinery to professional woodworkers and woodworking companies. If you need a CNC panel saw but are not sure which type to buy, call us today to discuss your options.