How to Lengthen the Service Life of a CNC Machine

For many manufacturers, the productivity or efficiency of CNC machines might be measured through the grinding or cutting cycle times and intervals between tool changes.

The spindle performance, which is the CNC machine’s workhorse, greatly impacts this productivity. When problems, like excessive chatter or vibration, hinders machining efficiency, productivity will be crippled until you replace the spindle.

Achieving extended life and higher performance from CNC machines need a combination of practices to avoid spindle failure. So if you want to achieve this, the following are tips to help you:

1.     Train the Staff

You must train your employers on how to maintain as well as use CNC machines. Look for a good trainer to train all your staff members to apply different elements, such as operations, maintenance, and lubrication.

Training the staff is an investment, which can help ascertain that your CNC machines are in pristine condition.

If you upgrade to Easel software, ensure you train your workers to use it on your machines. Workers should report to you immediately when they notice problems with your machines.

2.     Take Maintenance Seriously

Every machine comes with its own needs and a suggested plan for maintenance. If you choose to maintain your machine daily, ensure the checklists include checking the hydraulic fluid and pressure levels, cleaning your equipment after and before the operation, lubricating parts, and looking at the cooling systems. Your checklist needs to as well ensure spindles and tools are well tested for safety mechanisms and alignment.

For weekly maintenance, consider checking the hoses and pipes, doing an extensive cleaning around the buttons, and cleaning the control cabinet filter.

But if you want to carry out maintenance every three or six months, make sure the checklist involves cleaning coolant tank filters, greasing main parts, changing lubricants, refiling and draining coolant systems, and replacing hydraulic oil.

In all these maintenance schedules, be sure to keep records. A logbook for every machine needs to record regular breakdowns and maintenance. This will help predict the end life of tools and provide a reference for future issues.

3.     Don’t Overlook Vibration

Your CNC machine operator must react immediately after observing the first signs of abnormal vibration. This abnormal vibration serves as a tell-tale sign that the spindle has an issue.

If any of the technicians notice this or your CNC machine readings keep on showing that the vibration level is not normal, you might want to stop using the equipment and call a qualified technician to handle the problem.

Working with an independent spindle repair company with professionalism in vibration analysis can be another perfect way to make sure you use this metric to the fullest.

In a Nutshell!

CNC machines are a great investment, and the machine buyer will be right to expect long service for their investment.

But the responsibility for this long life doesn’t depend on maintenance alone. You will also have to train your staff and deal with operation problems, like abnormal vibrations upon observation.

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