Surplex used machinery
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Metalworking Machinery

Well-maintained machines from top brands - for industry & craft 2,087 Machines

Metalworking business complexity is reflected in the great diverity of second hand metalworking machinery. There is a suitable used machine for each procedure: die casting machines and kilns for prototype-forming; presses, guillotine shears and forging machines for shaping; milling machines, drilling machines and lathes for machining; laser cutting machines for tool-free separating; welding machines for joining; machinery for surface treatment; measuring and testing machines for precision checks. You will find these and many more machines from leading manufacturers among our auctions at Surplex. Get high quality at fair prices!

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SCHAUBLIN Lathe Support Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 350 x 400 x 200 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 15 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Le Locle, loaded on truck
Le Locle Switzerland, 2400 Le Locle
27/11/2019 11:02
44 Bids
1,600€
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27
DOOSAN PUMA 400 B CNC Lathe
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DOOSAN PUMA 400 B CNC Lathe CNC Lathes
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 4222 x 2179 x 2250 mm
Year of manufacture: 2007
Weight approx.: 8200 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Remscheid, loaded on truck
Remscheid Germany, 42855 Remscheid
20/11/2019 15:49
37 Bids
40,400€
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ACIERA KF 1 Precision Milling Machine Milling Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 700 x 650 x 1600 mm
Year of manufacture: 1982
Weight approx.: 160 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Le Locle, loaded on truck
Le Locle Switzerland, 2400 Le Locle
27/11/2019 10:31
33 Bids
2,900€
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27
VOLLMER CX 100 CNC Tool Grinding Machine Tool Grinding Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 2500 x 1500 x 2000 mm
Year of manufacture: 2008
Weight approx.: 3000 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Kirkcaldy, loaded on truck
Kirkcaldy United Kingdom, KY1 3LX Kirkcaldy
22/11/2019 13:05
31 Bids
20,000€
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CINCINNATI 3-500 TWIN GRIP Centreless Cylindrical Grinding Line Centreless Grinding Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 13200 x 2400 x 2500 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 22000 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Mandern, loaded on truck
Mandern Germany, 54429 Mandern
21/11/2019 10:09
30 Bids
10,600€
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21
HAINBUCH TOP 100 Lot of Clamping Heads
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HAINBUCH TOP 100 Lot of Clamping Heads Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1000 x 400 x 1000 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 60 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Drolshagen-Germinghausen, loaded on truck
Drolshagen-Ger… Germany, 57489 Drolshagen-Germinghausen
20/11/2019 10:46
30 Bids
2,700€
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20
DAIKIN ECO RICH Hydraulic aggregate
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DAIKIN ECO RICH Hydraulic aggregate Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 500 x 300 x 500 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 50 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Drolshagen-Germinghausen, loaded on truck
Drolshagen-Ger… Germany, 57489 Drolshagen-Germinghausen
20/11/2019 10:26
29 Bids
400€
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1000x 800 x 1400 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 150 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Mandern, loaded on truck
Mandern Germany, 54429 Mandern
21/11/2019 10:50
28 Bids
6,250€
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21
MITUTOYO PJ300 Profile Projector
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MITUTOYO PJ300 Profile Projector Measuring & Testing Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 500 x 700 x 1000 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 200 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Drolshagen-Germinghausen, loaded on truck
Drolshagen-Ger… Germany, 57489 Drolshagen-Germinghausen
20/11/2019 11:14
28 Bids
1,500€
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CINCINNATI 3-500 TWIN GRIP Centreless Cylindrical Grinding Line Centreless Grinding Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 13200 x 2400 x 2500 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 22000 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Mandern, loaded on truck
Mandern Germany, 54429 Mandern
21/11/2019 10:08
25 Bids
8,250€
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21
Lot of Tool Holders and Collet Chuck Holders
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Lot of Tool Holders and Collet Chuck Holders Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1200 x 800 x 600 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 250 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Drolshagen-Germinghausen, loaded on truck
Drolshagen-Ger… Germany, 57489 Drolshagen-Germinghausen
20/11/2019 10:27
23 Bids
400€
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ACIERA 6 T Bench Drill Drilling Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 550 x 310 x 540 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 80 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Le Locle, loaded on truck
Le Locle Switzerland, 2400 Le Locle
27/11/2019 09:56
22 Bids
310€
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27
BAUER GU 500 Chip Trolley
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BAUER GU 500 Chip Trolley Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1400 x 800 x 900 mm
Year of manufacture: 2013
Weight approx.: 130 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Drolshagen-Germinghausen, loaded on truck
Drolshagen-Ger… Germany, 57489 Drolshagen-Germinghausen
20/11/2019 10:02
22 Bids
200€
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Lathe Support
Lathe Support Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 450 x 350 x 250 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 20 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Le Locle, loaded on truck
Le Locle Switzerland, 2400 Le Locle
27/11/2019 11:10
21 Bids
390€
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27
ACIERA KF 1 Precision Milling Machine Milling Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1400 x 700 x 1400 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 180 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Le Locle, loaded on truck
Le Locle Switzerland, 2400 Le Locle
27/11/2019 10:33
21 Bids
1,400€
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27
Hydraulic Machine Vice
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Hydraulic Machine Vice Machine Vices
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 430 x 150 x 110 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 40 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Remscheid, loaded on truck
Remscheid Germany, 42855 Remscheid
20/11/2019 14:49
21 Bids
320€
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ERLO TC-32 Column drill Pillar or Column Drills
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1100 x 550 x 2250 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 450 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Torelló, loaded on truck
Torelló Spain, 08570 Torelló
26/11/2019 12:06
20 Bids
730€
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26
DONAU DR 23 Pillar or Column Drill Pillar or Column Drills
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1250 x 1800 x 2100 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 1500 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Renningen, free on truck
Renningen Germany, 71272 Renningen
27/11/2019 11:23
20 Bids
2,034€
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27
PEMSERTER SERIES 4 Punching Machine Punching Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1200 x 700 x 1650 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 300 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Kirkcaldy, loaded on truck
Kirkcaldy United Kingdom, KY1 3LX Kirkcaldy
22/11/2019 13:21
20 Bids
1,100€
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22
HYPERTHERM POWERMAX 105 Cutting plasma Flame Cutting Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 700 x 500 x 700 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 60 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Aljafarin, loaded on truck
Aljafarin Spain, 500172 Aljafarin
04/12/2019 11:53
19 Bids
750€
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Lot of Hydraulic Expansion Tool Holders SK 40
Lot of Hydraulic Expansion Tool Holders SK 40 Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 500 x 500 x 500 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 20 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Ebenweiler, loaded on truck
Ebenweiler Germany, 88370 Ebenweiler
05/12/2019 13:57
19 Bids
270€
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HILTI Core Hole Drilling Machine Drilling Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1250 x 1000 x 800 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 500 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Ostfildern, loaded on truck
Ostfildern Germany, 73760 Ostfildern
28/11/2019 14:18
19 Bids
750€
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28
AGIE IMPACT 2 Die Sinking EDM Machine Die Sinking EDM Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 2800 x 1900 x 2650 mm
Year of manufacture: 2001
Weight approx.: 3300 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Weilheim Teck, loaded on truck
Weilheim Teck Germany, 73235 Weilheim Teck
28/11/2019 10:29
19 Bids
11,000€
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28
Lot of Tool Grinding Machines
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Lot of Tool Grinding Machines Tool Grinding Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 500 x 300 x 400 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 20 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Rheinberg, loaded on truck
Rheinberg Germany, 47495 Rheinberg
20/11/2019 10:30
19 Bids
241€
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WEILER Primus Centre Lathe Centre Lathes
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1170 x 700 x 1350 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 700 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Renningen, free on truck
Renningen Germany, 71272 Renningen
27/11/2019 11:20
18 Bids
3,400€
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Hydraulic Vice
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Hydraulic Vice Machine Vices
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 500 x 150 x 120 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 25 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Remscheid, loaded on truck
Remscheid Germany, 42855 Remscheid
20/11/2019 15:47
18 Bids
300€
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NILCO Cleaning Machine
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NILCO Cleaning Machine Cleaning Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 850 x 1400 x 1050 mm
Year of manufacture: 2006
Weight approx.: 80 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Remscheid, loaded on truck
Remscheid Germany, 42855 Remscheid
20/11/2019 14:11
18 Bids
300€
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Lot of Guide Rails
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Lot of Guide Rails Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1400 x 200 x 350 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 100 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Drolshagen-Germinghausen, loaded on truck
Drolshagen-Ger… Germany, 57489 Drolshagen-Germinghausen
20/11/2019 10:25
18 Bids
150€
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Lot of Steady Rests
Lot of Steady Rests Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1000 x 950 x 1050 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 100 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Ostfildern, loaded on truck
Ostfildern Germany, 73760 Ostfildern
28/11/2019 14:40
17 Bids
280€
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HAINBUCH TOP 65 Lot of Clamping Heads
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HAINBUCH TOP 65 Lot of Clamping Heads Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1000 x 300 x 500 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 35 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Drolshagen-Germinghausen, loaded on truck
Drolshagen-Ger… Germany, 57489 Drolshagen-Germinghausen
20/11/2019 10:44
17 Bids
1,110€
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BAUER GU 500 Chip Trolley
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BAUER GU 500 Chip Trolley Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1400 x 800 x 900 mm
Year of manufacture: 2012
Weight approx.: 130 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Drolshagen-Germinghausen, loaded on truck
Drolshagen-Ger… Germany, 57489 Drolshagen-Germinghausen
20/11/2019 10:16
17 Bids
140€
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SCHAUBLIN 70 CNC Precision Lathe CNC Lathes
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1000 x 900 x 700 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 80 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Le Locle, loaded on truck
Le Locle Switzerland, 2400 Le Locle
27/11/2019 10:16
16 Bids
1,200€
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27
FEHLMANN P 10 Precision Bench Drill Drilling Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 700 x 430 x 900 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 150 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Le Locle, loaded on truck
Le Locle Switzerland, 2400 Le Locle
27/11/2019 09:58
16 Bids
390€
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WEILER PRIMUS Centre Lathe Centre Lathes
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1170 x 700 x 1350 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 700 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Renningen, free on truck
Renningen Germany, 71272 Renningen
27/11/2019 11:21
16 Bids
2,000€
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Lot of SK 40 Tool Holders
Lot of SK 40 Tool Holders Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 600 x 600 x 600 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 45 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Ebenweiler, loaded on truck
Ebenweiler Germany, 88370 Ebenweiler
05/12/2019 14:00
15 Bids
170€
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Lot of Milling Cutters and Thrust Rings
Lot of Milling Cutters and Thrust Rings Milling Machine Parts & Accessories
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 600 x 600 x 600 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 50 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Mönchengladbach, loaded on truck
Mönchengladbach Germany, 41066 Mönchengladbach
25/11/2019 14:04
15 Bids
300€
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25
WILSON WOLPERT Hardness Measuring Unit Measuring & Testing Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 600 x 600 x 1000 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 250 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Mandern, loaded on truck
Mandern Germany, 54429 Mandern
21/11/2019 10:49
15 Bids
240€
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RAUSCH RS3/800 Broaching Machine Broaching Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 600 x 500 x 1100 mm
Year of manufacture: 1969
Weight approx.: 500 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Ostfildern, loaded on truck
Ostfildern Germany, 73760 Ostfildern
28/11/2019 14:50
15 Bids
5,250€
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28
ELHA LH 35 VA Pillar Drill
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ELHA LH 35 VA Pillar Drill Pillar or Column Drills
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1100 x 700 x 2150 mm
Year of manufacture: 1979
Weight approx.: 1700 kg
Machine available from: immediately, latest until 11/12/2019
Delivery terms: FCA Plettenberg, loaded on truck
Plettenberg Germany, 58840 Plettenberg
20/11/2019 09:15
15 Bids
800€
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OKUMA MA-40 HA Horizontal Machining Centre
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OKUMA MA-40 HA Horizontal Machining Centre Horizontal Machining Centres
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 2490 x 3990 x 2730 mm
Year of manufacture: 2002
Weight approx.: 10000 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Remscheid, loaded on truck
Remscheid Germany, 42855 Remscheid
20/11/2019 15:39
15 Bids
11,500€
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ITW GEMA Manual Mobile Powder Coating Stand Surface Treatment Machinery
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 2100 x 2400 x 2900 mm
Year of manufacture: 2007
Weight approx.: 800 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Kirkcaldy, loaded on truck
Kirkcaldy United Kingdom, KY1 3LX Kirkcaldy
22/11/2019 13:50
15 Bids
2,700€
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Drawer Content
Drawer Content Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 500 x 400 x 400 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 15 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Ebenweiler, loaded on truck
Ebenweiler Germany, 88370 Ebenweiler
05/12/2019 13:47
14 Bids
120€
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SCHAUBLIN 70-CF Precision Lathe Lathes
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1000 x 700 x 650 mm
Year of manufacture: 2001
Weight approx.: 50 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Le Locle, loaded on truck
Le Locle Switzerland, 2400 Le Locle
27/11/2019 10:26
14 Bids
1,900€
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27
ROEMHELD Hydraulic Press Hydraulic Presses
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1400 x 600 x 2400 mm
Year of manufacture: 2009
Weight approx.: 600 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Mandern, loaded on truck
Mandern Germany, 54429 Mandern
21/11/2019 10:47
14 Bids
385€
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Dividing Attachment
Dividing Attachment Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 500 x 400 x 400 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 70 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Ostfildern, loaded on truck
Ostfildern Germany, 73760 Ostfildern
28/11/2019 14:58
14 Bids
180€
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RÖHM Lot of Jaw Chucks Machine Tool Accessories & Parts
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 1200 x 800 x 500 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 250 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Ostfildern, loaded on truck
Ostfildern Germany, 73760 Ostfildern
28/11/2019 14:39
14 Bids
350€
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TAURING Ring Bending Machine Sheet Metal Processing
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 900 x 1000 x 1300 mm
Year of manufacture: Please request information
Weight approx.: 600 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Kirkcaldy, loaded on truck
Kirkcaldy United Kingdom, KY1 3LX Kirkcaldy
22/11/2019 13:27
14 Bids
900€
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TRUMPF TRUMATIC 500 CNC Punching Machine Punching Machines
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Dimensions (l x w x h) approx.: 7000 x 6000 x 2200 mm
Year of manufacture: 1996
Weight approx.: 13000 kg
Machine available from: immediately
Delivery terms: FCA Kirkcaldy, loaded on truck
Kirkcaldy United Kingdom, KY1 3LX Kirkcaldy
22/11/2019 13:02
14 Bids
8,000€
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4.3
(33 votes)

Used metalworking machines for industrial use

  1. Index
  2. Metals for modern products
  3. Metal industry sectors and machinery types
    1. Prototype-forming by casting and pressure casting
    2. Shaping of metals
    3. Separating processes
    4. Cutting metals without tools
    5. Metal joining
    6. Metal surface treatment
    7. Precision checks by measuring and testing machines
  4. What do I need to know when buying metalworking equipment?
    1. Lifespan of metalworking machinery
    2. Buying second-hand
    3. Inspecting metalwork machinery
    4. Maintaining and repairing metal-working machines
  5. Well-known manufacturers of metalwork machines

Metals for modern products

The processing of metals is one of the most important achievement of the human race. Metal’s diverse features make its possible uses almost limitless – there is hardly a product on the market that can be made without the use of metallic components. Getting the metal into the desired shape requires specialist machinery, of which there is a wide selection. Once mined from the earth, the metal can be melted and reshaped as many times as is needed to create new products.

Metal industry sectors and machinery types

Prototype-forming by casting and pressure casting

Metal is extracted from ore in the smelter and cast into slabs in the smelting plant. This area of metal processing is called prototyping and it involves shaping the metal without the use of machining techniques. This process is primarily of interest to the semi-finished product industry. Pressure die casting machines and cast iron plants, on the other hand, directly process the metals from the smelting plant into the final products. Foundry machines include furnaces, pans, continuous casting machines and extrusion machines, using which profiles and semi-finished products are manufactured.

Shaping of metals

After creating a metal prototype, the metal is rolled and processed into blocks, slabs or strips. These are the first steps in the shaping process. The metal is then transformed from one shape to other by pressing, rolling, bending, folding or forging, using a machine designed for each step.

  • Rollers are used in steelworks and sheet metal processing operations to straighten and assemble thin sheets
  • Presses can form a wide variety of final products from the metal blanks provided
  • Folding presses fold metal sheets into the desired angle
  • Forging presses are used for especially large-scale, solid workpieces. They are often used to prepare components that will be subjected to large forces/strain

Forging produces especially hard and resilient products. In order to forge more complex workpieces, such as crankshafts, it is often the case that several forging tools are used one after the other. These then shape the workpiece to the desired form through incremental steps.

These shaping processes, however, do not alter the mass of the metal, but this is not the case in most metalworking procedures. Press brakes, shearing machines and general presses are known as sheet metal processing machines.

Separating processes

Separating processes include the machining of workpieces using the following machines:

The simplest ‘dividing machines’ in the metal industry are sheet metal cutters and shearing machines, which cut the sheet metal provided in one linear direction.

Punching and notching machines can then be used to punch out predefined sections of the blank.

When it comes to fine machining, CNC milling machines are the number one choice. They can machine metal blocks in any way needed and can manufacture highly complex contours.

Lathes, on the other hand, are used for producing rotationally-symmetric turned parts. Mills and lathes belong to the field of machining.

The highest-quality CNC mills are machining centres. They can perform both manufacturing processes with excellent repeat accuracy and consistent quality. CNC machining centres are some of the most complex, state-of-the-art and expensive machines in the metal industry, which still applies when buying second-hand.

A special type of milling/grinding machine is the gear cutting machine, which is used to created gears and other toothed wheels. Gears and the like need to feature consistent precision, even in serial production, which means the machines must be extremely high quality. The gear cutting machine is similar to conventional machining centres, but it features a few special functions specially tailored to their task. A gear cutting machine (also including rolling machines and gear grinding machines) is usually downstream of a hardening facility, which makes metallic gears highly resilient.

Another widespread yet simple piece of machining equipment is the drilling machine. It is used for setting blind- and through-holes as well as cutting threads. Nowadays, drilling machines are frequently integrated into CNC machining centres.

Finishing and surface processing are then performed by grinding, polishing and lapping machines. They ensure that the abrasion process only removes a hundredth or thousandth of a millimetre for extremely precise results. In addition to achieving the desired tolerances, grinding, polishing and lapping machines also serve to prepare metals for galvanising. Applying chrome finishes to metallic products also requires thorough polishing treatment.

A special type of division and abrasion machinery is the eroding machine. These “reverse welding machines” operate using an electric current and can create highly precise cavities in metal blocks. Eroding machines are often used in tool-building and produce resilient highly precise tools for presses, punching machines, and pressure/injection casting machines.

Cutting metals without tools

In addition to mechanic division processes, such as sawing, milling and grinding, there are also some ways of cutting metals which do not require any tools.

The simplest and cheapest way of cutting metal into pieces is flame cutting. This involves a flame consuming fuel gas and oxygen at high temperatures being guided through a piece of metal. It can be a fairly rough method and produces imprecise gaps of several millimetres even when operated using CNC equipment. Flame cutting also creates a zone of several millimetres along the burning edges in which the metal hardens to a great extent. If this is not desired for the end product, this “heat-affected zone” must then be milled.

Plasma cutting is similar to flame cutting but it is more precise and less prone to creating heat-affected zones. Using CNC guidance and a firing table, plasma cutting can produce highly precise contours even on thick material. Flame- and plasma-cutting machines require a starting material that is at least a few millimetres thick. Plasma- and flame-cutting can also be used on materials up to several centimetres thick.

When it comes to thin sheets, laser cutting is the ideal choice. It produces extremely fine, precise results without resulting in any significant cutting loss. In contrast to flame cutting, laser cutting is not possible using a hand-held device. Laser cutting machines are generally stationary work tables with computer numerical control (CNC).

In cases where cold cutting processes are preferred, water jet cutting is the path to take. This established method involves a very strong and piercing jet of water and an abrasive medium cutting through metallic sheet material. Also known as “aqua cut”, this procedure produces no heat-affected zones whatsoever and can achieve very high levels of precision.

Metal joining

The most widely used process to join metals is welding. The simplest form of welding is friction welding, but it is rarely used. Electric- and gas-shielded arc welding are far more widespread. Submerged arc welding (SAW) is the ideal choice for very thick sheet metal.

Electric- and gas-shielded arc welding devices are available as hand-held tools through to large-scale stationary welding machines. Friction and SAW welding devices are only used for processing large parts.

Other methods of metal-joining include riveting and gluing.

Metal surface treatment

Alongside grinding and polishing are a number of other surface treatment machines designed for use on metals, which can be sub-divided into “coating machines” and “treatment machines”.

Coating machines

The coating machines used in the metal industry are primarily galvanic coating systems. They cover the finished metal product with a thin layer made from zinc, copper, gold or chrome. The simplest galvanic coating systems are known as hot-dip galvanising plants. They are mostly used on steel products to provide permanent protection against corrosion. Chromium plating systems are also widely used. These are complex and use a multi-stage dipping procedure where the metal products are coated in a thin layer of shiny chrome.

In addition to galvanising, there are also powder-coating procedures that can be used on metal products. This involves subjecting the finished products to an electrical current which then causes them to attract a powder coating that is sprayed in their direction. Once coated in plastic-based powder, the products are taken to a furnace where the plastics melt and form a seamless surface that protects the metal from corrosion over its lifespan and gives to the product the desired colour.

Metals can also be coated using any number of painting and adhesion procedures.

Treatment machines

The main types of metal treatment machines are hardening/tempering plants using heat. These consist of an annealing furnace and a bath of oil and work by heating and rapidly cooling the workpiece to create a resilient, tempered surface zone. Hardened metallic products are often used where abrasion processes are expected: gear wheels, bearing shells, shafts and grinding paths are often given a hardened surface in order to increase the lifespan of the final product.

Precision checks by measuring and testing machines

A final product is only as good as its worst component. This is why a range of measuring and testing machines have been developed to ensure each single part of a construction possesses exactly the right properties and dimensions. Material testing is a very special component of metal processing. It can be roughly sub-divided into “destructive” and “non-destructive” testing methods.

Destructive metal-testing procedures

The classic machine used for destructive testing is the universal tensile testing machine, which works by clamping a metal sample in a tension device and pulling it until it falls apart. This helps precisely define the elastic and deforming zones of a material.

Notched impact hammers are also a widely used method that investigate the resilience of a material. They involve a rotating hammer that strikes a metal sample widthways to determine the force required to break it.

Hardness testing machines also require a defined, pre-treated sample, which they penetrate at a defined force using a needle to measure how deep the needle passes into the material. In recent years, widespread use of manual hardness testing machines is starting to give way to automated systems.

To obtain a comprehensive overview of a metal product’s composition, the machine to use is the spectrometer which closely examines the metal’s structure and any alloys present.

Non-destructive metal-testing procedures

Testing methods that do not destroy the sample include visual, tactile and more penetrative approaches.

Visual metal-testing processes include all testing steps that can be performed by the naked eye: from the ruler, measuring tape, measuring slider, test screw, magnifying glass or microscope – industry offers a huge selection of different testing tools for visual inspection. Today, these are often supported by highly precise laser measuring devices.

Tactile measuring methods may involve, for example, 3D coordinate-measuring systems that work by leading a highly sensitive probe or scanning head over a metallic product to measure its dimensional accuracy at a selection of pre-defined points. This approach is frequently used for checking welded constructions.

Two main approaches are used to glimpse inside the metal without destroying it: x-ray and ultrasound. X-ray is very precise and reliable but is dangerous due to the radiation produced, which becomes especially troublesome since some tests may take several hours (depending on material thickness). Ultrasound procedures, by contrast, are far quicker, less dangerous and can be performed using hand-held or stationary devices.

What do I need to know when buying metalworking equipment?

Lifespan of metalworking machinery

Even the very best lathe (or any type of machine for that matter) becomes as worthless as scrap metal at some point in time. In contrast to woodworking machines, those for metal are always limited when it comes to service life: the forces involved are simply too great and even the most robust designs will wear out over time.

However, another aspect to consider when it comes to metal working tools is the pressure to innovate and create new machines, which is far more considerable than in the woodworking field: the tolerances become ever more precise and narrow, the complexity of contours required continually increases and productivity, of course, simply must be enhanced. This then leads to older but still serviceable machines becoming obsolete and replaced by more modern, high-performance machinery.

Buying second-hand

As such, it is important that prospective purchasers of used metalworking machinery carefully consider what tolerances, complexity and productivity they hope to achieve with their second-hand metal work tools. For each type of machine there are different technical specifications that can assist the buyer:

  • Number of firing cycles for pressure casting machines
  • Pressing forces and cycle rate for punches and presses
  • Feed rates for mills and lathes

etc. Once it is known what the minimal expectations of the used metal-working machines are, the hunt for a suitable machine can begin.

Inspecting metalwork machinery

Once found, the task is to closely inspect the metal machinery. Operating hours, signs of wear, and general condition can provide key insights into the metal work equipment. In an ideal scenario, a test should be performed under real conditions by producing a defined sample piece using the machine and then carefully measuring it to determine dimensional accuracy. This also allows the potential buyer to determine the machine’s production speed (nothing is worse than finding out too late that the machine cannot produce the number of units needed in the desired time). It is wiser to make a compromise in terms of achieving a particular tolerance than by settling for substandard productivity.

Maintaining and repairing metal-working machines

The task of maintaining and repairing metal working machines is solely intended for trained experts and specialist companies, but there are now many to choose from in the field. Some specialists are also capable of more than simply restoring a used machine’s original functions: the machine’s capabilities can even be increased to give the machine a new lease of life for future years. Some specialists are capable of enhancing the productivity, precision, rigidity and functionality of a used metal-working machine to such an extent that it can compete on an (almost) playing field level with a brand-new machine.

That said, every metalworking machine has its own use-by date, after which overhauling is not economically viable, but ongoing repairs, maintenance and expertise can keep pushing it back.

Well-known manufacturers of metalwork machines

The number of companies that produce metalworking machines is just as extensive as the variety of approaches to processing metals. As with the woodworking machine sector, there are producers offering a wide selection of machines and devices as well as manufacturers with a very specific machine portfolio.

As for the second-hand market, there are also many companies that play a key role in ensuring used machines produced by companies no longer in existence can continue to be used for a variety of applications and attain the best results, thereby helping operators to fully benefit from the price advantages of buying second-hand

The following overview presents the best-known manufacturers and the machines available from them.

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