What is CNC Retrofitting?

CNC retrofitting refers to the process of adding or replacing an existing CNC machine with more advanced control technology and electronics. Work performed during the retrofit can include the replacement of obsolete parts, upgrading systems and an entire rewire, to name just a few examples. The purpose of this is to enhance the machine’s performance, productivity and capacity without having to completely replace machine tools.

Standing for Computer Numerical Controlled, CNC machines are innovative metalworking manufacturing tools designed to control complex machinery like lathes, laser cutters, milling machines and other types of industrial tools. Utilising pre-programmed software that dictates its movement, these machines perform tasks – such as cutting, drilling and rotating – according to code.

See more: What are CNC Machines and What Advantages do they Provide?

Retrofitting Vs Rebuilding Vs Remanufacturing

CNC retrofitting is slightly different to rebuilding or remanufacturing the machine.

  • Retrofitting – Involves adding, replacing or upgrading certain parts of machines.
  • Rebuilding – machines are restored to their original condition by either repairing or replacing worn components.
  • Remanufacturing – machines are disassembled completely down to the basic frame and are remanufactured to current standards. New, modern features/technology that weren’t included in the machine are now incorporated.

Benefits of Retrofitting Your CNC Machine

There are many benefits to retrofitting a CNC machine.

Increased Performance

Retrofitted CNC machines use cutting-edge technology and electronics, thus enabling you to increase your performance output.

Access to New Markets

By retrofitting your CNC machine, you’ll have a better performing machine, thus enabling you to broaden your reach and increase your potential to sell your services to more clients/customers.

Extend the Machine’s Lifecycle

By using new technology and modern electronics, the life of the CNC machine is extended, saving you future repair costs.

Quicker Lead Times

It largely depends on the nature of the retrofit, but typically it only takes a few days for CNC retrofits to be completed. This is significantly faster than purchasing a new machine from scratch, meaning you can get back to production sooner.


CNC machines can become obsolete and outdated. However, retrofits ensure your machine is up to date, modern and reliable.

Mechanical Improvements

Another benefit of retrofitting your CNC machine is that it will profit from mechanical improvements. For example, an additional spindle or a new filtration system can be added, helping to improve efficiency and productivity.

Cost-Effective & Reliable Solution

Arranging for a CNC machine retrofit is considerably cheaper than buying a brand new one. This is because purchasing a new machine doesn’t just encompass production costs, but also fees for transportation, installation, training for operators and so on.

In addition, retrofitted CNC machines are much more reliable than non-retrofitted machines, so maintenance costs will also be reduced. The updated machine will feature more reliable components and usually comes with extended warranty.

What CNC Machines can be Retrofitted?

A wide range of CNC machines can benefit from a CNC retrofit. This includes, but isn’t limited to, CNC mills, laser cutters, lathes, press brakes, grinders, knee mills and back gauges. All retrofits are tailored to suit each machine’s specific requirements.

How Long do CNC Machine Retrofits take?

Many factors impact how long each CNC machine retrofit takes; each retrofit is different and has different circumstances. The complexity of the machine, the scope of supply and other influences all play a role in determining the length of time needed to retrofit a CNC machine.

Timescales can range, but generally most retrofits are completed within a week.

CNC Retrofit Cost

The cost of a CNC retrofit will also depend on a variety of factors. The more complex machines will inevitably be more expensive, whereas those with relatively minor upgrades and additions will be less so. Most companies who offer CNC machine retrofits will be happy to discuss your requirements and expectations before providing you with a free, no obligation quote.

CNC Machine Retrofitting with Mastrini Manufacturing Services

We hope this short guide has provided you with some useful information when it comes to CNC machine retrofitting.

If you are looking to retrofit your CNC machine(s), be sure to get in touch with our team here at Mastrini Manufacturing Services. We specialise in providing high-quality project management and consultancy services for CNC machine tools, and have the knowledge, experience and market awareness to effectively project manage your CNC retrofit. Whatever your needs are, we can help.

Contact Mastrini Manufacturing Services today

See more: Everything You Need to Know About CNC Machining

See more: A Guide to the Different Types of Metalworking Services


Discuss your CNC machine tool requirements with Mastrini MS Ltd.

We have the extensive experience and industry knowledge to provide tailored advice and find the ideal solution for your application.