Well, our new article on original and non-original tools for machine tools. We are a supplier of non-original tools for press brakes, tube bending machines, punching machines, etc. There is an important question to explain what customers could receive with the purchase of original tooling but what they can get with non-original as well. And it is not only about the market we are acting in or sheet metal machinery, it is about the complete machine tool market worldwide with any type of machinery.
Let us not speak about the quality first but speak about the expectations. When the customer purchases the new machine the original set of tooling from the manufacturer of the machine is recommended. Even if we are talking about the competition and even if the price is bigger the set of tooling from the machine manufacturer is the guarantee for the main tests for the purchased machine first of all. The new machine cannot arrive without the tools because it should be installed at the factory. So to test the functionality with the parts the machine should be installed and tested. And because it is the complete responsibility of the machine manufacturer and supplier it is better to receive everything from one hand.
The main point that that we are talking about is “original” tooling there are no questions and doubts that the tools will fit and clamped directly to the tooling system of the machine so there are no doubts for identification and verification with the customer of the sizes and dimensions. Also, original tools usually do not need additional programmation or setup – they are usually incorporated in the machining software to be ready to run. There are a lot of cases in which the tools requested for us are not typical, or old type and we do not know the exact dimensions so we need to speak with the customer, check all dimensions but moreover to be sure that they are measured correctly. From the manufacturer of the machine, you will not have these problems – they sell what should be fit directly to their machine.
We believe we do not tell any secrets but usually “original” tools also are not manufactured directly by the machine tools producers. The reason is quite simple – it is a completely other production process so usually, it is made outside of the main company, under the order of the manufacturer and with his drawings and requirements. So we are coming to the question of the tooling factory that supplies to the manufacturer of the machine tools as well and sells other or the same types of toolings outside for its customers or to the free market will provide the same quality, same material, and same conditions.
And as we told before it could be the same for mills, drills, bending tooling, punching tooling, forming tooling, stamps for stamping presses, and any else. Moreover, a lot of tooling producers cooperate with manufacturers without disclosing their activities – the machine tool manufacturer uses one brand for the tooling he supplies with his machine, and the tooling producer if possible performs the additional promotion for the machinery of the manufacturer.
Even non-original tooling could be different by the manufacturers, quality, and possibilities. To explain this more simply – we all have cars and we can buy any parts directly from the official distributor or outside, in spare parts shops, or Internet. For sure car models are different so usually, parts traders check the model of the car by VIN or year of manufacturer, and normally from the beginning you know does it fits or not. The same is true for tooling for machine tools. It is completely different for spare parts for machine tools because any valve or contactor has its schematics and replacement with an improper one could cause problems with the complete work of machine tools. For main tooling usually are the general type, for example, heads for cutting machines with DIN-type so all worldwide manufacturers provide the same dimensions to be fit.
For our press brake tools also are different clamping systems that are used by press brake manufacturers but as we told you before it could be not a 100% solution because for example there were a lot of old press brake machines made with unique types of clamps different than others. Even today could be special or unique configurations for various purposes, for example for high-tonnage machines where standard tooling will be not effective anymore because of the impossibility of using such strong forces.
We have a real case right now. The customer is looking for the tools for the old machine in Holland. The photos and dimensions are nearly as the standard we know but not the same. For the customer it is a completely new task – he bought the used machine on the market and doesn’t know a lot. Moreover, the tooling is worn and not new so any dimensions are not referenced. We made our recommendations and explained everything we could but the customer should make the final decision and he is not 100% sure. But if he goes directly to the press brake manufacturer he can receive more guarantees for supply.
Now about the main part – quality and pricing. We do believe our tooling is cheaper and good quality and we have a lot of customers who have used our tools for several years. Can somebody be sure that if he buys original tooling the life of use could be the same or more? It is impossible to make the test during the same conditions and for several years and that is why even for big and famous companies you will not receive any real and proofed information about the comparison of their tooling to other trademarks original and non-original. Because such a document could provide some responsibility, it is impossible to duplicate the conditions.
What we usually tell our customers – we offer Italian tools, Italy is the leader on the market for such products and our tooling is nearly the same quality as any other Italian manufacturer. We know that Italy is also very strong for stamping press tooling – historically this position was very strong in Italy.
The last story – about working conditions. Even any high-quality tooling could be broken in a short time if the customer doesn’t respect the working conditions, and servicing procedures, and ignore the limits and other recommendations. Any operator of the milling machine can tell you how the mill or drill was damaged because of a mistake in operator work or program – speed, penetration, material problems, etc. The same thing with any forming tools. So tooling management is highly important for any factory production and any tooling types.
We understand that any opinion could be incredibly subjective. And instead of tooling quality, the customers will be happy with the tool packing or additional invitation to the exhibition. Or with one tool he ignored the limits and broke them but the other tool did not. And in these cases – and there are a lot of them there is no absolute answer even what tooling is better – original or non-original. We know anyway – the competition is competition and we are coming to the customer with our experience and professional answers. We are ready to tell all and let him decide wisely.