There was a recent YouTube mini-documentary about why McDonalds’ ice cream machines are “always broken.”
If you don’t want to watch the full 30-minute video… basically, this YouTuber combs through piles of data, user manuals, and service manuals to discover what he believes is a business that is intentionally making repairs more difficult on McDonald's ice cream machines. Which leads to upset customers and franchise owners, but lots of service calls for the certified technicians.
Similarly, most machine tools and easy support are not necessarily terms that have gone hand-in-hand. Businesses in the industrial and manufacturing spaces are not typically well-known for their customer service and many require that you go through an authorized service center or other third party for technical help, rather than doing the work yourself or going directly through the OEM.
That’s why Tormach has always made an effort to hire machinists who have a passion for making chips as our technical support team.
The Advantage of Self-Servicing
One of the biggest challenges to providing OEM-based technical support is having boots on the ground. Tormach headquarters, and most of our tech support staff, are based in southern Wisconsin, which makes it a challenge to provide on-site product support.
Similar to the way McDonald's works with their franchise owners, almost all large machine tool manufacturers require that you call a certified professional to service a machine, and if you do it yourself, warranties quickly get voided. That’s an expensive bet to take if you try to repair a machine yourself.
All Tormach machines are designed with self-servicing in mind. That means you can adjust, maintain, and fix most elements on your machine without voiding the warranty.
Often when those certified professionals come out to fix or maintain larger machine tools, they aren’t free (hourly rate + travel expenses) and they have to be scheduled. Many entrepreneurial machinists don’t realize until years after their purchase that the true cost of ownership is much higher with these professional services.
Since our machines are self-serviceable, we have built out a growing library of technical support videos and documentation, so you can look into working on your machine without reaching out to technical support directly.
If you need help with something that can’t be found on the blog or the Technical Support YouTube channel, Tormach’s support team is available to answer your technical and maintenance questions during regular business hours Monday through Friday - for free. As long as you own a Tormach machine, our technical support staff is happy to help you.
Finding Parts for Your Machine
Another challenge to having a machine that must be serviced by a certified professional is the cost of replacement parts. Most larger machine tool companies don’t give you the chance to purchase specific components of your machine - instead, you have to purchase through a reseller or the company servicing your machine.
Tormach parts are always available on our website. In fact, a new element on the Support side of our website allows you to buy maintenance components that are specific to your machine and not available anywhere else.
For instance, if you have a 770MX, there is a parts button in the menu that leads to replacements and consumables that are only for the 770MX. This streamlines your search for specific components and makes it easy to stock up on consumables so you don’t suffer downtime due to worn-out parts.
Machine Delivery and Install
Taking delivery and installing a new machine tool doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. This process with a larger machine tool company often requires riggers and certified installers - sometimes even plumbers and electricians - to get everything into place and running properly. These are all extra expenses before you can even get the spindle turning.
Because Tormach machines are user-serviceable, they are user-installable as well. While it requires a bit more work on the front end, it can save you thousands before your machine is even running. We provide a number of resources to help make the installation process as simple as possible, and our tech support team is available if you run into challenges.
If spending a few extra bucks isn’t a concern, Tormach does offer Assembly Services and On-Site Installation for an extra fee.
While some machine tool companies require that you hire certified professionals and block consumer access to purchasing machine components, Tormach wants to make things as accessible as possible. You do have the Right-to-Repair it. That’s why we’ve added a more refined parts section on our website that caters to each machine specifically, provided video resources to help you get through common challenges, and our U.S.-based technical support is happy to answer questions beyond the norm. We work to make our machines accessible and just want to help you make things.