Like every other machine in your shop, your CNC machines require regular maintenance to remain in top shape. Without maintenance, you’ll incur thousands in repair and replacement costs and software upgrades.
Breakdowns also mean that most of your processes stall for a while wasting your time, and eating into your profits. Therefore, instead of waiting for one machine to breakdown, you need to stay prepared.
Below, we look at the essential maintenance tips you need to complete regularly. But first:
How often should you complete Maintenance?
With so many parts moving in a CNC machine, there’s always something that could go wrong at any time. Therefore, you need to be aware of the situation of each machine daily. At the end or the beginning of the production day, you need to do minor maintenance to ensure that the machines don’t breakdown mid-production.
Besides the daily maintenance checks, you should also have a six-month maintenance routine and a yearly routine. These long-term maintenances are best done by an expert who can conduct more sophisticated tests to determine the state of your system.
The yearly maintenance can also help you determine the parts that need to be replaced and those that require massive repairs.
With this in mind, here are some of the maintenance tips you shouldn’t ignore.
Check Machine fluids and pressure levels
This is one of the daily maintenance tips you should complete before starting new machining. Since most CNC machines use hydraulic fluids and pressure systems, you need to ensure that they are at optimum levels.
Too much or too little of the fluids and pressure could indicate a severe problem in one of the CNC machine parts. Don’t forget to check and replenish the lube levels regularly as well.
Grease those moving parts
Your machine’s moving parts are the engines that keep your production going. And so, if you want it to remain that way, you’ll have to regularly grease these moving parts eliminating the dry spots.
Without grease, your machine becomes susceptible to wear and tear and will quickly break down. So, check-up on-chip conveyor and the chains regularly, and grease them when need arises.
Although some shops do their greasing weekly, checking on your greasing daily will save you off some hefty repair costs.
Clean your tanks and hydraulic tank
After operating for a while, you need to clean up your tanks, radiators ad your lubrication units. Drain the hydraulic tank and clean it, then replace the oil with fresh hydraulic oil. You should also clean the filters and change them if possible.
For the coolant tank, clean out the chips, oils and sludge, and refill it. Check also your radiator and ensure that it’s clean, and the radiator fins straightened.
You can do this bi-annually to ensure the longevity of your machines.
Invest in worker training
Part of the maintenance of your CNC machines is having workers who know how to use them appropriately. If most of your workers don’t understand how to use the machines, all your maintenance efforts will go to waste.
Therefore, you should train them not only on how to use the machines but also how to do the basic maintenance steps. With more knowledge, the workers will also alert you earlier when a machine starts to misbehave.
The earlier you can detect a fault in the machines, the easier and cheaper it’ll become to fix it.
Keep your spare parts at hand
Preparing for the inevitable is also a critical step in your maintenance routine. This is because, even with regular maintenance, you’re bound to experience one or two machine parts breakdowns.
But you can’t let these disruptions interfere with your daily production goals. So, you need to have some spare parts in your warehouse, ensuring that replacing faulty CNC parts is fast and flexible.
Maintaining your CNC machines is the only way you can comfortably run your production. Regular maintenance keeps you one step ahead of any competitor, ensuring you always meet your production demand – even when everything is going haywire.