Mistakes to Avoid When Buying New Machines, Part 2

March 26, 2021 | Troy Clark

Our previous blog referenced 3 basic mistakes we have seen our customers make when purchasing new machines from their OEM dealer of choice. The first article addressed what we have seen when lathes are purchased. Our recommendation, while not dramatic, was – when possible always include a tailstock (not to mention live milling or Y-axis… we can dream can’t we?)

But when customers tell us they just purchased a new milling machine (whether vertical or horizontal) we love hearing about the options they purchased in the control, what type of touch probe they upgraded to, and how many axes it has. But the first question we always ask is what form of coolant is on the machine.

Mistake #2 to avoid when buying a new machine:

Sometimes you have to purchase the machine that is available to you in the moment. I get it. You finally got the contract and your local dealer only had one on the floor. But generally you have options (and time to choose those options) and when you have the time to choose your options – PLEASE ORDER THRU SPINDLE COOLANT!

Please hear me, both as a dealer and a Certified Appraiser (amea.org) -- there is never a time that Thru Spindle Coolant (TSC) on a Horizontal Machining Center or a Vertical Machining Center can harm your resale value. Ever. It can only increase the value.

Right now you may not need that deep blast of coolant, perhaps you’re only end-milling or roughing, but on the chance you do have a deep-pocket application and would like to keep your drill from melting down, or want to only cut chips once – the added cost of $10-15K pays off big-time throughout the life of the machine and especially when releasing that older unit from your lineup.

One of the first questions customers now ask is, “Does it have Thru the Spindle?” I don’t know if they’re going to use it or not – and it doesn’t matter at that point in my interaction with the customer. The customer has spoken. And customers (customers buying quality used machines) demand coolant thru spindle. It’s not a matter of getting less for your machine – it’s the difference between selling and not selling.

Listen to your new Haas Dealer (Okuma, DMG, Doosan dealer) and pay for the small upgrade. They’re not upselling you - It will pay dividends in the future. Both in productivity and future resell. At the end of the article are two great videos by Haas. We are not endorsing this brand, but find these videos do a great job to explain the benefits of through spindle coolant.

Sales Example: a great customer in Baltimore had a two year old Haas VF2YT, great machine. At the same time my salesman Don Aro let me know one of his better customers in Pennsylvania needed a late model Haas with 30” in X-axis. But this customer required Thru Spindle Coolant. I didn’t have anything. All I could think of was my gorgeous VF2YT but it didn’t have two pumps – so there was no way it could have Thru Spindle Coolant. I called the local Haas dealer and he informed me that during the years this 2YT was produced, Haas actually made each VMC with Thru Spindle Coolant plumbing standard off the Oxnard factory floor. Once we confirmed this – we lined up the inspection. Machine was flawless, inspection went great and the sale was ensured. Both customers were thrilled. The machine would not have sold without it.

  • ROI considerations: Saving $10,000 at point of new purchase by not ordering Thru Spindle Coolant prep and pumps, adds up to the loss of sale without it. It will sell eventually, at a reduced cost, but most customers cannot compromise on this.

I know there are exceptions to the above guidance, but just like buying a house in a good neighborhood, this is an option you can justify in the long run. Buy the Thru Spindle Coolant – it’ll be a blast!

(this is part 2 of a 3-part series titled, “Three mistakes to avoid when buying new machines”)

Click below image to read Part One in this series.