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Ranking of the World’s CNC Machine Brands from Different Perspectives

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CNC machines

In our article “What is CNC Machining,” we mentioned that CNC machines are automated machine tools equipped with a programmable control system. They can automatically fabricate parts according to the shape and size specified by input instructions.

Before delving into our recommended top 10 CNC machine manufacturing brands, let’s familiarize ourselves with the various types of CNC machines to gain a comprehensive understanding of the major brands.

Types of CNC Machines

There are several ways to classify CNC machines, such as by their application process, motion control method, and servo control technique. Typically, people categorize them by their application process. The common types of CNC include:

Pictures of different types and brands of CNC Machines
Pictures of different types and brands of CNC Machines

CNC Machining Centers:

These are numerical control machine tools with an automatic tool changer. They combine the functions of CNC milling machines, boring machines, and drilling machines. After the one-time clamping of parts, most of the machining surfaces can be milled. CNC machining centers, offering comprehensive functionalities, are becoming increasingly popular among businesses.

CNC Milling Machines / CNC Mills

Also equipped with a numerical control operating system, they have three feed axes and one rotating spindle. Their processing modes are nearly identical to those of machining centers, and they essentially offer the same processing capabilities.

The main difference between CNC machining centers and CNC mills lies in whether the equipment has a tool changer. A machining center is essentially a milling machine equipped with a tool changer. It can complete multiple processing operations after one clamping, including milling, drilling, and tapping. This is because it can automatically change tools and does not require manual intervention during continuous processing, as long as the program is well prepared, and the tools and parameters are properly set.

On the other hand, CNC milling machines can also process multiple operations after one clamping. However, manual tool changes are necessary during the transition between operations, making the process discontinuous. This results in slightly inferior quality and efficiency compared to machining centers. Of course, their prices also differ.

CNC Turning Machines / CNC Lathes

Also known as CNC turning centers, these have similarities with CNC mills; they feature chucks and spindles and rely on CNC technology. However, their operation is fundamentally different.

On CNC lathes, the chuck and spindle secure the workpiece against a stationary cutting tool, causing it to spin.
These machines typically feature a 3-axis configuration and are capable of achieving tolerances as strict as ±4μm. This precision makes them ideal for machining complex cylindrical shapes.

If your machining projects require high-quality turning processes, including taper turning, knurling, drilling, cutting, and slotting, then CNC lathes are the go-to equipment. You can also use these machines for reaming, boring, and thread-cutting operations. However, keep in mind that the accuracy of CNC lathes decreases with thicker workpieces.

CNC Grinding Machines / CNC Grinders:

CNC grinders (or grinding machines) are equipped with rotating wheels that cut material from workpieces to produce products that meet your specifications. These machines also have intelligent thermal control systems that monitor the temperature of the grinding wheel and compensate for changes that might affect the precision of the machined parts.

All these advantages make CNC grinders ideal for high-precision manufacturing applications. For example, you can use CNC grinders to create high-quality metal workpieces for drive shafts, camshafts, and other complex parts requiring precise surface smoothness.

CNC Drilling Machines / CNC Drills

CNC drilling machines are very similar to traditional drills; they use rotating cutting tools to machine holes in stationary workpieces. However, because CNC drilling machines rely on CNC technology, they are more precise and versatile than traditional drills.

For instance, CNC drilling machines can create holes while achieving tolerances as precise as ±0.001 millimeters. They are also compatible with a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, and wood. Moreover, the latest CNC drilling machine technology features a turret that can hold multiple drill bits, allowing you to quickly switch between drill bits during the manufacturing process.

If you aim to manufacture hubs, gear blanks, and machined shafts, you should opt for CNC drilling machines.

CNC Laser Cutting Machines / CNC Laser Cutters

CNC laser cutters are similar to milling machines in the types of shapes or features they can process. However, they differ from their milling counterparts by using a laser beam to perform cutting operations.

The laser beam is a column of high-intensity light. When focused on the workpiece, it melts the material until a cut is formed. CNC technology controls the movement of the laser cutting head (and the laser beam) until the desired custom parts are manufactured.

CNC laser cutting machines offer a high level of cutting precision and are ideal for cutting a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and hardwood. Moreover, their extreme precision makes them perfectly suited for processing your brand name and logo into CNC-milled or turned parts.

CNC Plasma Cutting Machines:

Like laser cutters, CNC plasma cutting machines also offer high levels of cutting precision and a wide range of material compatibility. The only difference between them and laser cutters is that plasma cutters use a plasma torch to perform cutting operations.

The plasma torch generates high-powered plasma (or ionized gas), with temperatures reaching up to 50,000°F. As long as any material is conductive, this immense thermal energy can seamlessly cut through it.

CNC Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM):

EDM uses electrical sparks generated by a metal tool to cut workpieces into desired shapes. Like plasma cutters, EDM machines require the workpiece to be conductive. This strict requirement exists because the metal tool acts as an electrode and can only decompose conductive materials.

EDM machines are particularly suited for machining micro-slots, holes, and angular features on hard-to-machine metals such as high-carbon steel and hardened steel.

CNC Waterjet Cutting Machines:

As the name suggests, CNC waterjet cutting machines use high-pressure water jets (or a mixture of water and abrasive material) to cut materials. Computer CNC technology controls the movement of the water jet to create the desired finished parts.

CNC waterjet cutting machines are very similar to CNC plasma and laser cutters because they do not require machine tools. However, unlike CNC plasma and laser cutters, CNC waterjet cutters are especially suited for processing materials with low thermal resistance, such as aluminum and plastics. “Low thermal resistance” means the material easily melts when exposed to high temperatures.

CNC Machine Brands Ranking

Why do we need to understand the different types of CNC machines first? It’s because CNC manufacturers around the world produce various types of CNC machines, each with its own status in the market. Let’s start by exploring the widely recognized top ten CNC brands worldwide, based on company market value and reputation:

Top 10 CNC Machine Brands Based On Market Value And Reputation

1. MAZAK from Japan

A globally-renowned machine tool manufacturer, MAZAK consistently leads the market. Founded in 1919, its products include CNC lathes, multi-tasking milling centers, vertical and horizontal centers, CNC laser systems, FMS flexible production systems, CAD/CAM systems, CNC devices, and production support software. Known for high speed and precision, its products serve industries such as automotive, machinery, electronics, energy, and medical. With manufacturing and technology advancements, MAZAK has expanded its presence globally.

Japan Mazak MAZAK Dual Spindle Dual Turret CNC Lathe HQR100MSY HQR150MSY
Japan Mazak MAZAK Dual Spindle Dual Turret CNC Lathe HQR100MSY HQR150MSY

MAZAK operates ten manufacturing companies worldwide, including five in Japan: the Oguchi Plant, Minokamo Plant, Minokamo Plant #2, Precision Plant, and Optonics Factory, and others in the USA, UK, Singapore, and China. Additionally, it has established 30 Technology Centers in over 60 locations worldwide, totaling over 80 customer support bases globally.

The Oguchi Plant, established in 1961 as MAZAK’s first factory, is designed for high-precision assembly with strict temperature, humidity, and vibration controls. Its underground construction provides a stable environment ideal for high-precision tasks.

Every piece of equipment at the Oguchi Plant is networked, collecting 12.3 million pieces of data daily. The plant features extensive machine monitoring, displaying key parameters like feed rate in various colors to indicate different equipment statuses. This allows for detailed management of each machine, with alerts sent via PDA and alarms.

MAZAK introduced the INTEGREX i-500, a new generation of multi-tasking machines combining turning, milling, 5-axis capabilities, gear machining, hobbing, and long-drill machining. This machine can process from raw material to finished product in one setup, significantly boosting production efficiency.

Mazak Hybrid composite processor INTEGREX i-630V
Mazak Hybrid composite processor INTEGREX i-630V

2. TRUMPF from Germany

A leading global manufacturing technology company, TRUMPF is also a pioneer in Germany’s Industry 4.0 movement. With a rich history since 1923, its headquarters in Ditzingen, near Stuttgart, Germany, leads in industrial laser and laser system technology.

trumatic 1000 fiber - trumpf
Trumatic 1000 fiber – trumpf

Founded by Christian Trumpf in Stuttgart in 1923 as a flexible shaft company, TRUMPF ventured into lasers in the 1960s, producing leading laser technology by the 1980s. Its investment in R&D reached 296.2 million euros, up 11.7%, to maintain technological leadership. TRUMPF is the global leader in laser processing and the third largest machine tool manufacturer worldwide.

TRUMPF invests 9.5% of its turnover in R&D, with 2,100 people working on new product development. Its contributions are significant in the semiconductor industry, notably in the ASML EUV lithography machines from the Netherlands. As semiconductor structures approach atomic sizes, TRUMPF’s collaboration with ASML and lens manufacturer Zeiss has led to a unique CO2 laser system processing over 100 wafers per second. TRUMPF’s high-power laser amplifiers are crucial in generating light plasma for EUV exposure, thus playing a key role in semiconductor lithography processes.

03. DMG MORI from Germany:

A joint venture between Germany’s DMG and Japan’s MORI SEIKI, DMG MORI combines 65 years of MORI SEIKI and 143 years of DMG expertise. Highly recognized in China and globally, it’s a key equipment manufacturer for high-end manufacturing. DMG MORI produces vertical, horizontal, three-axis, four-axis, five-axis, turn-mill centers, and ultrasonic/laser processing centers, representing the industry’s direction and highest technological level. It has become Europe’s largest machine tool group, especially after the integration of DMG from Germany and MORI SEIKI from Japan, creating a new global leader in CNC machine tools.

DMF Series - 5 Axis Milling - DMG MORI
DMF Series – 5 Axis Milling – DMG MORI

DMG MORI, one of Europe’s largest machine tool manufacturers, is also a leader in innovation, constantly developing trend-setting products. It brings innovative technologies to aerospace, automotive, additive manufacturing, and other fields, showcasing a wealth of digital solutions from task planning and preparation to production and monitoring.

Some DMG MORI machines stand out for their three-year warranty, unusual in the industry, reflecting the company’s confidence. Additionally, it allows users to create their apps for improved production efficiency. Some machines feature touchscreen interfaces resistant to oil and glove-friendly, highlighting DMG MORI’s focus on user-friendly human-machine collaboration.

DMG MORI has claimed to possess all production technologies for the aerospace sector, suggesting that without its machining of parts, planes might not fly. Indeed, DMG MORI offers numerous high-tech, high-performance machines for aerospace, developing pioneering production processes and turnkey solutions with clients. As a comprehensive supplier, its complete machine tool lineup meets the aerospace industry’s advanced and complex machining needs, such as landing gears, engines, disks, and blades made from titanium or high-temperature alloys, requiring high torque and power.

DMG MORI’s philosophy of technology integration and dedicated customer service is the cornerstone of its enduring global success.

DMU 75 MONOBLOCK
DMU 75 MONOBLOCK

04. MAG from the USA

Based in Michigan, MAG is a multinational machine tool manufacturing conglomerate comprising world-class machine tool and control system companies. With a production value reaching $1.5 billion, MAG ranked sixth globally. As a machine tool and automation system company, MAG provides tailored machining solutions, primarily serving the durable goods industry.

MAG SPECHT 700 AB 5-axis machining center
MAG SPECHT 700 AB 5-axis machining center

MAG includes well-known brands like Berlinger, Cincinnati, Cross Hüller, Ex-Cell-O, Fadal, Giddings & Lewis, Honsberg, Hüller Hille, and Witzig & Frank. Known for its excellent craftsmanship and customized production solutions, MAG serves industries like aerospace, automotive, heavy machinery, oil fields, rail transport, solar and wind power production, and general processing.

MAG’s reputation as an outstanding supplier stems from its impeccable craftsmanship and customized production solutions. It serves a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, heavy machinery, oil fields, rail transport, solar and wind power production, and general processing.

05. Amada from Japan

A world-class brand in the sheet metal industry, Amada enjoys high recognition in developed countries like Japan, the USA, and Europe. Recent statistics show it leading the global market share in its category, nearing 70%.

Fiber CO2 Laser Cutting Machines AMADA
Fiber CO2 Laser Cutting Machines AMADA

Founded in 1946 by Isamu Amada, the company initially focused on sheet metal machinery and cutting products. In 1955, it developed the contour band saw, starting sales in 1956. By acquiring the Torc-Pac brand from the USA and the Promecam brand from France in 1965 and selling under the Amada name, the company entered a rapid growth phase, becoming a global brand in the sheet metal industry.

Amada AE-255 NT
Amada AE-255 NT

06. Okuma from Japan

Okuma Corporation, one of Japan’s CNC machine tool manufacturers, has over 100 years of history. It produces various CNC lathes, turning centers, vertical, horizontal, and gantry (five-faced) machining centers, and CNC grinders, with an annual output exceeding 7,000 units ($1.7 billion in sales or about $1.5 billion USD, with about 50% for export). Okuma is renowned worldwide for its rigidity, cutting efficiency, precision, longevity, and ease of operation.

Okuma horizontal cnc lathe
Okuma horizontal cnc lathe

In 1937, Okuma’s machine tool production ranked first in Japan. In 1963, it developed its unique absolute position detection CNC system (OSP), becoming Japan’s only comprehensive enterprise manufacturing both machine tools and CNC systems. It started producing the LA-N type CNC lathe and MDB type gantry machining center in 1966. In 1987, Okuma established its machine tool company in the USA, changing its name to Okuma Corporation in 1991. In 1995, it established Okuma America Corporation.

07. Makino from Japan

A renowned manufacturer of milling machines and EDM machine tools, Makino acquired a majority stake in the American LeBLond machine tool company. To reflect Makino’s involvement, the company was renamed LeBLond Makino Asia Limited. With new business expansions, it officially became Makino Asia Limited on June 16, 1992.

MAKINO EDNC 8 High Performance CNC Sinker Type EDM
MAKINO EDNC 8 High-Performance CNC Sinker Type EDM

Founded by Tsunezo Makino in 1937, the company specialized in Type 1 vertical milling machines. In 1958, Makino developed Japan’s first CNC milling machine, followed by the first machining center in 1966. Makino’s International R&D Center in Singapore, with a $75 million investment, focuses on developing and enhancing human resources and knowledge capital, not just for Makino but for the entire Singapore. Recruiting talents from various industries globally, it has become a breeding ground for new concepts, technologies, products, and valuable intellectual property.

In 1996, Makino successfully developed the V55 vertical machining center, the U32K and U35K high-speed wire EDM machines, the EDNCS series high-speed polishing machines, and the 3D mold CAD/CAM UNIGRAPHICS/EYE. The U32 and U35 high-speed wire EDM machines won the 26th Industrial Machinery Design Award.

The A55 horizontal machining center model D received the 31st Japan Society for the Promotion of Machine Industry Award. The HYPER5 micromachining machine won the 16th Precision Engineering Society Technology Award. In 1999, the development of V33/SG2.3 set a new standard for high-speed machining. In 2001, the Hyper 2 ultra-precision machining center was launched, along with the MAG4 5-axis linear guide aerospace industry high-speed machining center.

During 2003, the world’s first 0.02mm automatic threading ultra-precision wire EDM machine was developed.

08. Grob from Germany

Headquartered in Mindelheim, Germany, GROB is a globally renowned manufacturer of machine tools and production lines. From standard machine tools to complex production systems, cutting lines, assembly units, and fully automatic assembly lines, GROB’s technology and processes are always at the global forefront.

GROB G550
GROB G550

Grob China established its R&D center in 2017, laying a solid foundation for deeper product and technology innovations. With this commitment, it has been recognized as a “National High-Tech Enterprise.”

Grob (China) holds about 75% market share in China’s automotive powertrain, serving well-known joint ventures like Beijing Benz, Brilliance BMW, SAIC General Motors, Volkswagen, Changan Ford, and national brands like Geely, Zotye, Haima, and Chery. Beyond the automotive industry, Grob China’s independently produced GA series five-axis universal machining centers GA350 and GA550, known for their quality, precision, and after-sales service, are increasingly favored in aerospace, tooling, machinery manufacturing, and other fields.

09. HAAS from the USA

Haas Automation is a CNC machine tool manufacturer based in Oxnard, California, with a factory area exceeding 100,000 square meters. Its CNC machine tools’ annual production reached over 12,500 units in 2006.

Haas VF-6SS Vertical CNC Machining Center
Haas VF-6SS Vertical CNC Machining Center

Since its establishment, Haas has used the most modern production processes to ensure its machine tools’ cost-effectiveness. This approach has led to steady growth and continuous expansion of its production line. Haas regularly introduces innovative new machine tools to improve its existing line. In 2003, Haas set up its Asian headquarters in Shanghai, mainly supporting local HFO (Haas Factory Outlet) services for customers. The HFO network provides rapid local service and quick repair support when needed, keeping nearly 10,000 Haas machines across the country in good operating condition. Each HFO is equipped with a complete showroom, Haas-trained and certified service personnel, extensive spare parts inventory, and service vehicles on standby.

When Gene Haas first introduced the Haas VF-1 vertical machining center, it established the standard for high-quality, high-value CNC craftsmanship. The Haas machine tool series ranges from small office mills to the large VS-3, with about 60 models to choose from.

10. EMAG from Germany

Headquartered in Salach, near Stuttgart, Germany, the EMAG Group is a “hidden champion” of the German machine tool industry. Founded in 1867, the company has extensive experience in machine tool manufacturing. EMAG’s business mainly covers the automotive manufacturing and supply industry, machinery manufacturing, aerospace, renewable energy, electricity, and oil industries. EMAG is a significant manufacturer of CNC inverted lathes.

Vertical Turning Center from EMAG Scherer
Vertical Turning Center from EMAG Scherer

EMAG’s origins trace back to 1867, initially as a cast iron and machine tool factory in Bautzen, Saxony. After reconstruction in 1952, the company moved close to its current location in Salach. The reconstruction marked the beginning of lathe manufacturing.

In the 1980s, EMAG made significant achievements in manufacturing highly automated CNC lathe units. In 1992, EMAG introduced the world’s first inverted lathe. Its spindle performs loading/unloading, and the spindle moves while the tool station remains stationary, revolutionizing traditional lathe concepts.

After 30 years of development, EMAG has evolved from simple lathes to complex machine tools capable of turning, drilling, boring, milling, grinding, gear rolling, and laser processing. Its advantages include automatic workpiece loading/unloading, short machining and cycle times, high workpiece quality, short process chains, reliable processes, and low cost per piece. As series production demands continue to raise the bar for production hardware and technology, both assemblers and parts suppliers recognize the trend towards multi-functional integrated production machining centers. Currently, EMAG Group products can process two-thirds of the circular and non-circular parts in automotive components.

EMAG Group has become the global market leader in the field of inverted automatic loading and unloading turning machines, leading the industry trend. Besides its three production bases in Germany, EMAG has 29 brand subsidiaries worldwide. Exports account for almost 69% of the company’s total sales.

Top 4 Tiers Of CNC Machine Brands Based On Machining Precision And Level

While the ranking above is relatively authoritative, based on company market value and brand recognition, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the machining precision and level of CNC machines accurately. FirstMold, drawing from years of experience with CNC machines, has outlined the top four tiers based on machining accuracy and capability. Each tier includes several brands, as follows:

1. Tier One

The brands in this tier feature ultra-premium brands in the machining center domain, including Swiss Mikron, Swiss Baum, Swiss Starrag, Swiss Liechti, Swiss Willemin Macodel, German Hermle, German Oerlikon, and German GROB, among others. These brands are almost flawless, whether it’s in terms of exterior, design, innovation, machining capabilities, or precision. These brands boast extremely high machining precision but have very low production volumes. CNC machining factories choose them only when absolutely necessary, due to their prohibitively high prices and operating costs.

These top-tier brands are esteemed yet seldom applied in the market due to the high purchase and operating costs. Although they command high prices, profits aren’t necessarily high; despite excellent quality, business success isn’t guaranteed. For instance, Swiss Mikron has been acquired by the Swiss Archimedes Group, and Swiss Baum by Swiss Starrag… It brings to mind the world’s top supercar, Bugatti Veyron, which despite its prominence, has changed hands four times.

The quality of a machine tool is ensured through the material used, machining level, component quality, assembly quality, and production control. Machine tool assembly quality relies on manual labor, unlike automobiles or home appliances which can be assembled automatically. Given the varying skills of assembly technicians and strict delivery deadlines, it’s challenging for mass-produced machine tools to maintain a high level of quality. This is why some of the world’s top-selling machine tool manufacturers can’t make it into the first tier.

2. Tier Two

Brands in this tier include renowned names like Germany’s DMG, Spinner, Starrag, Japan’s Mori Seiki, Okuma, Mazak, Makino, Toyoda, America’s MAG, Hardinge, Italy’s Fidia, and Spain’s Danobat, among others. These brands are the backbone of world-class machinery production enterprises and consistently rank at the top of global sales. Generally produced in medium to small batches with controlled quality, these brands are used to manufacture high-profit products and are more affordably priced compared to tier one.

This tier’s brands are widely promoted and hold a high market share in CNC factories, specializing in solving complex machining problems. Their fame often surpasses that of the first tier. For substantial machining enterprises, lacking a few second-tier brands would make it hard to claim their products as top-notch.

3. Tier Three

Tier Three includes brands like the Sino-Japanese joint venture Big Daishowa, Mazak, America’s Hardinge, Haas, South Korea’s Doosan, Hyundai, Samsung, Taiwan’s YCM, Eastar, Leadwell, Quick-Tech, and Topper, among others. These are the primary machine tool brands used by many Asian manufacturing enterprises, with moderate prices.

In reality, although many enterprises producing top-tier products use first and second-tier brand machine tools, the high purchase costs mean they primarily utilize third-tier machines for mass production. These machines are durable, reliable, and crucial for ensuring product quality and production efficiency.

3. Tier Four

Brands in tier four comprise several local brands from various countries, not listed individually here. Naturally, these brands also vary in quality, often offering more affordable options and occupying a portion of the domestic market. They continuously strive to improve the machining accuracy and level of their equipment.

End words

The rankings above come from comprehensive considerations. Given the wide variety of CNC machines, each type has its own moments to shine. For manufacturers, aside from considering precision, it’s also essential to select machines based on their specific processing needs and budget. If you have different opinions on the rankings mentioned, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

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