Machinery is integral in ensuring smooth and steady operations in manufacturing. They are crucial for organizations and shops to accomplish their production programs and deliver components and parts that draw income to their business.
Any disruptions in the performance of this machinery can significantly affect your operations and may lead to a decrease in overall output. Individual shops and organizations that use customized manufacturing systems and devices may have to prevent damages as replacement and repair of custom-developed systems are more expensive. With costly equipment, a plant may likely have only a single model or limited spare parts, which can bog down the operations.
To avoid these issues from developing, preventive maintenance is a must to keep your equipment in good working condition. And by reducing the risk of damages and employing preventive measures, businesses can put back around twelve to eighteen percent on maintenance costs back to their pockets.
Here are five steps for maintaining Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines and how you can apply them in your plant or shop.
Devote particular days to conducting regular maintenance and follow the schedule. This is important in ensuring that maintenance checks take place ahead of potential problems. Make sure it doesn’t interrupt your production flow and schedule it around the times of use of the equipment.
You don’t use some equipment as frequently as others, so they don’t require regular maintenance. But for machines that you use for ninety percent of the time for the majority of your production, put them under consistent maintenance and schedule it ahead of time. Usually, manufacturers specify a schedule of when, what, and how to keep your equipment in good condition. If needed, train your staff to include machine maintenance as part of their duties and responsibilities, not an option.
Work closely with your maintenance staff, especially if you have an in-house maintenance team. If you’re working with third-party engineers, see to it that you plot the schedule according to their availability.
Here are the basic steps in maintaining your CNC machine:
For huge plants, leaving it all up to plant managers to keep track of machinery conditions and determine potential issues can be unrealistic. Instances like this are why automated tools were designed: to alert concerned parties when something comes up that needs immediate action.
But some employees handling certain equipment are highly knowledgeable of the performance and conditions of the equipment under their control. In such case, a system should be in place by which staff can turn to certain managers and highlight appropriate maintenance steps to undertake.
For instance, a system may not be performing better than expected. The employee must be directed to the right channel through which he can share the information so that scheduled maintenance can be done.
CNC machines can be demanding, with individual parts that are prone to malfunction, experience hiccups, or break down. Coolant systems, nozzles, chip conveyors, and fixtures can all be prone to break down. These components and others have very specific designs, so it’s crucial to have a stash of replacement parts ready in anticipation of emergencies. You want to avoid high replacement and shipping costs. Round up a list of critical spare parts and, if you haven’t already, start acquiring them now.
Make sure these parts are readily available (ideally within your location). If you use uniquely-designed circular knives, you may need spare replacements for when you need to have it swapped right away once the blades get dull.
In essence, readily available spare supplies can help minimize the likelihood of extended failure that may happen when waiting for replacement parts to be delivered to the plant that needs them. After all, one important measure in preventive maintenance is to make sure equipment is in top shape, and this requires component swaps that may arise unexpectedly.
Maintain proper documentation each time a piece of equipment gets serviced, inspected, or replaced. If possible, make it a habit among your team of engineers and technicians to document the details of their findings and solutions they recommend.
Proper documentation gives your team a solid reference once they conduct service checks. It helps them anticipate what malfunctions may happen and identify ways to keep them from happening. Also, documentations double as a checklist your manufacturer can refer to in the future. They can be a reliable basis for developing plans on how to improve their equipment further.
In addition, documentation helps you assess the value of your equipment. If equipment is always failing despite consistent maintenance, it may be time to replace it or find a new system.
You might figure out that all attempts at taking good care of your equipment don’t hold water. No matter how religiously you observe preventive measures, there’s no concealing the truth that it’s about time to phase out old systems and equipment.
Plants and manufacturing facilities need to change their systems from time to time, including their old equipment and make way for new hardware. This is necessary to ensure seamless operations and maximum productivity.
It is every analyst’s responsibility to continuously assess the condition and performance of existing equipment and call the shots for the need to swap out old systems.
The time you spend dealing with maintenance issues can affect your efficiency and overall performance. Which is why it’s vital to perform preventive maintenance and draft a plan to incorporate it into your daily operations.
Whatever type of CNC machine you need for your business, you want to source it from a credible seller to make sure the unit is of high quality. This lessens the chances of the machine breaking down, which can derail your production. Operating a business in a competitive environment means choosing the best machinery for your workshop.
For high-quality and efficient CNC equipment in Toronto, call AMT Machine Tools Ltd. now at (416) 675-7760 to place your orders. You can also fill out our contact form to send your queries.