A CNC machine is an invaluable asset to modern innovators and manufacturers for precision and quality production. Every firm knows how important it is for clients to have their orders made and shipped in time. An unprecedented breakdown of your CNC machine will lead to a shortfall in your productivity and significant financial losses that may take long to recoup.
While breakdowns are unavoidable, routine maintenance will allow you to troubleshoot small issues before they get out of control and help you save money spent repairing massive damage. Understanding the components of your machine is vital as you make plans to schedule your routine maintenance. Various components of a CNC machine include:
- Hydraulic components-oil is the working medium
- Electrical components-allow electric current to flow
- Mechanical components-move to allow the machine to work
- Pneumatic components-work with air as the medium
Planning for Maintenance
Renown CNC experts, Inventables, recommend routine maintenance to keep your CNC machine in optimum condition An effective schedule should incorporate both short term and long term plans. These plans are as highlighted below:
Short Term Plans
Short term plans are responsible for preventing any eventualities in the near future and include daily weekly and monthly plans. Your short-term checklist should incorporate these steps:
- Checking fluid levels- The mechanical parts of your CNC machines use various fluids for smooth running, including lubricants and hydraulic fluid. The hydraulic fluid must be maintained at the recommended level to keep the chuck and hydraulic pressures at an optimum level. As you get used to your CNC machine, it becomes easier to establish how often to refill the fluids.
- Cleaning the surface- Surface grime and tiny shavings can pile up quickly and find their way to your machine’s inner parts. Use rags, brushes, dusters, water and regular detergents to keep the exterior clean after use.
- Applying Grease- To delay premature wear and tear, apply grease on your machine’s movable parts. A generous application could last two days, although the best practice is to check areas that need greasing daily.
- Cleaning the filter- The air filter in your machine takes care of unpleasant gases and odors from the manufacturing process. Ensure your filter is clean and free from grime to maintain efficiency and protect the health of workers.
- Greasing the conveyor chain-This will prevent friction and allow your machine to operate smoothly.
Long Term Plans
These plans are scheduled after several months or annually, depending on the intensity of production. Lon term maintenance entails:
- Checking for damaged parts and replacing them
- Servicing the radiator-The radiator fins should remain straight for efficiency
- Draining and replacement of hydraulic oil-Old, dirty oil reduces the efficiency of machines
- Replacement of filters-Filters need to be replaced regularly
- Checks by specialists-Qualified technicians are invited to check for anomalies that could lead to breakdowns or reduce efficiency.
Benefits of Routine Maintenance
Observing routine maintenance is rewarding and offers a myriad of benefits, including:
- Consistent production and less downtime
- Extends machine life
- Ensures safety at the workplace
- Keeps the company in good terms with safety officials
- Lowers the cost of energy