Top 10 Reasons to Buy a DATRON Milling Machine

by | May 8, 2018 | Blog

15 min read

When interviewing potential candidates to join our DATRON team, I am usually faced with a mix of common questions like: “Why did you start DATRON?”, “Who are your competitors?”, “Do you offer a 401K plan?” The one common question, that is somewhat challenging to answer is “Why would a company buy a DATRON?” This is a very good question … but the answer is complex. When I look at our customers who have purchased systems over the past 22 years, in most cases, they have decided on our technology for not just one, but a number of reasons. This got me thinking, what are the top ten reasons you should consider buying a DATRON milling machine? Everyone loves a top ten list, so here goes:

Top 10 DATRON Milling Machine Advantages

DATRON milling machine high-speed spindles up to 60,000 RPM for high feed rates and short cycle times.

DATRON Milling Machine High Speed: Featuring high-frequency spindles between 40,000 – 60,000 RPM for rapid rates up to 30 meters per minute.

  • High Speed. This is the heart and soul of DATRON milling machines. Not every customer of ours has purchased because of how fast we can machine a part, but most often this is one of the main reasons. If the application fit is right, meaning you need to machine parts with intricate detail, we likely are a very good solution. In a lot of benchmarks (test cuts of the customer’s part), it is commonplace that we are between 4 – 6 times faster in reduced cycle times over a conventional CNC machine tool.
DATRON milling machine with integrated probe and camera combination that reduces job setup and minimizes operator error.

DATRON Milling Machine Probe: Our newest machines are equipped with a camera/probe combination that greatly reduces setup time and minimizes error.

  • Our Probe. This unique and fully integrated option on DATRON milling machines allows you to reduce set-up times and can reduce part rejection rates. The automatic edge measuring allows you to get started on a job quickly and can also be used to measure a surface, compensating for surface variances. This is great for large parts (like sheet material) that is difficult to mount perfectly flat. It is also helpful for materials that vary in surface thickness, such as plastic. Whatever the case, our customers have stated that our probe can virtually eliminate part rejection rates or allow them to machine jobs that were not even possible, before having this feature.
DATRON milling machine support including free application engineering.

DATRON Milling Machine Support: We support our North American customers with world-class, 24/7 support.

  • Our Support. It goes without saying that almost all machine suppliers offer exceptional service and of course we do as well. We have built a team that takes great pride in the expertise they offer and the relationships they have fostered with our customers. We also take it to another level by offering free application support for the entire lifetime of the machine. No service contracts, no billing by the hour, we are simply just there when you need us and often within minutes of your call. We view support as a partnership, not a means to generate more revenue.
DATRON milling machines have a large work area compared to a small footprint.

DATRON Milling Machine Footprint: Small Footprint. Large Traverse Area up to 60″x40″.

  • Large Traverse Area/Small Footprint. In this vast world of wide open spaces, we are often approached that there is not enough floor space for another machine tool in their manufacturing operation. Crazy to think but often obtaining more floor space translates to building additions or relocating. This can be very expensive or cost prohibitive. With the DATRON milling machine, the large machining area relative to the overall physical machine size, means our customers get significantly more machining capacity in a fraction of the floor space required for a typical machine tool.
DATRON milling machine coolant system with minimal volume application.

DATRON Milling Machine Coolant: No messy flood coolants, and since it evaporates your parts are left clean and dry with no degreasing necessary.

  • Oil-less Coolant: Can you imagine machining a part that comes off the machine with zero, yes zero, oil residue. No part washing required with the DATRON milling machine. Our high-pressure, minimal-mist system evaporates clean as it meets the cutting tool. This also allows for more creative approaches to workholding, when you are not dealing with a flood-based system. Not to mention it saves on maintenance costs, oil coolant recycling fees, cleaning filtration systems and downtime associated with flood coolant, based systems.
DATRON Milling machine featuring an integrated vacuum table for workholding.

DATRON Milling Machine Vacuum Tables: Ideal for sheet material, batch machining, and holding small parts (to 1-inch square) even when they’ve been milled free from the sheet.

  • Vacuum Tables: Unfortunately, vacuum tables seem to have a bad rap. So often machinists have struggled to get them to work and have been unsuccessful for many different reasons. Due to the oil-less coolant and low cutting forces of our high-speed spindles, we have developed a vacuum-based work holding system that can successfully hold tiny small parts that our customers had no chance of securing before. Our unique design allows you to profile cut (batch machine) small parts that can fit in the palm of your hand. Always one of the most fun, jaw-dropping capabilities witnessed by our customers when seeing for the first time.
DATRON milling machine with linear scales for tight-tolerance applications.

DATRON Milling Machine Accuracy: From precision-ground ball screws and rigid granite or polymer-concrete tables to linear scales on some models, DATRON machines are great for tight-tolerance applications.

  • Accuracy: Yes, there are more accurate machine tools on the market. So why mention accuracy? Because of the gantry-style design, we are commonly recognized as a “router” which is viewed as a low-accuracy machine. With the DATRON however, we use ground ball screws, linear scales, thermally matching materials and X, Y compensation in the control software that allow us to achieve impressive accuracies, comparable to much larger and heavier machining centers. This is particularly important when you consider the cost of the equipment required to produce a large-scale part, in a tight-tolerance range.
DATRON milling machine automation can include a custom pick and place system like this.

DATRON MIlling Machine Automation: An example of a pick & place system that picks parts from a pallet, machines them, and returns them to the pallet.

  • Automation: In today’s manufacturing world, the need for automation to reduce labor cost is often a key consideration in the buying decision. Our large machining area allows us room to configure very simple, automated, pick and place systems, without involving expensive, external third party robotic or pallet changing add-ons. Our self-contained system, operated from our machine software, permits you to place a part in a clamp, perform the machining operation and then place it back in a simple tray. No extra floor space or additional systems to install and learn are required. Now you can let the DATRON milling machine run for hours, without any operator interfacing, only to magically drop by at the end of a shift and claim your multitude of parts.
DATRON milling machines have robust functionality with an easy touch-screen control.

DATRON Milling Machine Software: Robust functionality served up in an intuitive control.

  • Operational Software: One of our best-kept secrets. Spending a day at DATRON usually never shows off the power of what our operating software can do, and I certainly won’t be able to pull this off in a short paragraph. Quite simply, taking G code from any CAD/CAM software combined with the ability to customize it, has enabled a lot of our customers to achieve production flows they could never do before. Asking custom questions to the machine operator, interfacing with bar-code scanners, serialization or importing data from Excel files are just a few examples of how our customers have leveraged our systems to automate and reduce costs.
DATRON milling machine with a unique touch-screen control.

DATRON Milling Machine Cool Factor: from the ergonomics of a touch-screen control to status lights on the gantry and monitor, DATRON machines look different … because they are different.

  • The Cool Factor: All you need to do is take one look at our award-winning design to realize our technology is different. Many of our customers have chosen to showcase our systems front and center of their facility and are very proud of their DATRON milling machine. Our unconventional approach to the machining mainstream has become very disruptive to the manufacturing world. A new breed, a new look and an uncommon approach to machining parts gives our customers a unique competitive advantage. A very common expression that is stated after seeing our technology is simply that “it is really cool”.

So, the next time someone is in for a job interview and asks, “Why would a company buy a DATRON”, I will simply have this blog printed and ready to hand it to them.

Bill King
President of DATRON Dynamics, Inc.

About DATRON

High-Speed CNC machining is more than 60,000 RPM spindle-speed. When you’re making small or complex parts, you need speed and precision at every stage. DATRON AG engineers didn’t just invent a faster, more precise CNC machine. They re-interpreted and optimized your entire machining workflow from start to finish.

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You've asked (and asked, and asked) and we've listened! We are nearing the final stages of development for our tooling web store! Before it launches later this summer, get familiar with our catalog, especially our killer line of stepped single flutes: https://bit.ly/3gH5H1M

There's lots of ways to mill a hole, and there's a lot of ways to thread a hole, but there is not a lot of ways to do both at the same time. Check out our Milling Thread Mill, which can mill and thread at once. Learn more about our threading tools: https://bit.ly/38AsaKQ

Vacuum workholding can be a complete game-changer when it comes to batch machining production jobs. Cut down on the setup time, and just get to making chips. Learn more about vacuum workholding: https://bit.ly/2TFZFFq

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RED... WHITE... and BLUE! Now that we're done milling these America Flags, we should probably start the grill. Happy 4th of July from all of us at DATRON Dynamics, Inc

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To check out our tools, download our catalog: https://bit.ly/35Mg7Hq

Vacuum workholding that doesn't need a gasket? 🤔
Learn more about how easy and flexible vacuum workholding can be: https://bit.ly/2TFZFFq

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Robert Cowan just put our facemill to the test to find the best recipes for aluminum face milling on his AVID CNC. Look at those chips! 😍
Make sure to watch the whole video and follow Robert on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3ib2hFT
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Marking die manufacturing is a perfect fit for any DATRON. The need for micro tools and precision engraving is a perfect match for the spindle speed and dynamic motion of the neo.

Watch the whole video, with all the cutting parameters: https://bit.ly/31mYDCO

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