CNC means computer numeric control. It is a computerized system in the manufacturing industry to bring precision, speed, accuracy, and profitability. All machines require maintenance to last longer and remain efficient. The primary safety practice is following the user guideline. The manufacturer fully understands the custom machine design.
Because of the substantial capital investment in CNC systems, a breakdown has a huge economic impact. Therefore, you need the following practices to save repair costs and increase your profitability.
Grease the points of friction to avoid wear and tear. Friction leads to overheating which can cause breakdown of the CNC machine. Most custom machine manufacturers specify the type of lubricant to use to keep the machine in top performance. Using the wrong grease can affect the functionality of the CNC machine, consequently, affecting your productivity. Oiling also prevents rusting and decay of metallic parts.
You should also drain and clean the lubrication system and replace the lube. This should be done every six months, preferably when changing the hydraulic fluid.
b) Regular cleaning
Kerosene is the best cleaning agent to keep off dust and rust. Wipe the machine using a rag soaked in kerosene focusing on shiny parts. Avoid pressure cleaning because it can lodge dust particles into the belts. Remove all the metal shavings which may be stuck in damage-prone areas like the seals.
c) Drain the hydraulic fluid after 1000 hours
The hydraulic fluid should be topped up regularly to ensure it is at the specified level. After several top-ups, the fluid is contaminated and requires replacement. You should also change the line and suction filters to ensure you get the most out of the new oil. Ensure that the power is off and no pressure is exerted on the line for your safety.
d) Check various fluid levels before starting
There are some daily practices which ensure your CNC machine is in good condition. Check the hydraulic pressure and ensure it is 4.5Mpa. Ensure that the chuck pressure is in the right operation level. Top up the hydraulic and lube level in case they are below the recommended mark.
e) Regular machine audit
Instead of waiting for major damages or a breakdown, it is advisable to have professional checkups regularly. The expert will identify any problems and advice accordingly. It will be easier to identify the probable breakdown in time and make the necessary remedies. It will also save you from losses of downtime in case of unexpected failure.
f) Train your staff
Having the basic maintenance and operation skills will go a long way in keeping your CNC machine intact. Train those involved in machine operations to avoid mishandling which can lead to a breakdown or physical injury. It is essential that those not involved or trained in CNC machine operation should keep away.
Most of these maintenance practices will not cost you a penny. However, the repercussions of lodged dirt particles, contaminated fluid, worn out seals, or untrained staff are dire.
Ensure your machine is always cleaned, all fluids are topped up, and the machine is audited regularly.