Computer numerical control—or CNC—machines have revolutionized the world of manufacturing technology. By programming drives in a closed-loop system, manufacturers can create parts with a great deal of precision, both quickly and efficiently.
However, even the best equipment eventually runs down. And it’s up to manufacturers to take steps to protect their machinery. Knowing how to prolong the lifespan of CNC machines is the first step toward doing so.
Require Regular Inspections
You cannot remedy a problem you don’t know is there, and a small problem unchecked will inevitably become a bigger problem. That’s why encouraging regular inspections of machinery is the first step in protecting and maintaining the lifespan of CNC machinery.
A few things to monitor during these inspections include:
- Surface finish
- Noise level
- Unusual vibration levels
- Feedback from sensors
- Temperature fluctuations
Additionally, whenever there is a failure in the machinery, even if it is small, those present should log it immediately. Simply being aware of when machinery had problems and what was done to remedy it will help reduce the amount of time it takes to diagnose future problems.
Use the Right Machines for the Right Applications
One of the quickest ways to wear out any type of machinery is to use the wrong machinery for the wrong thing, and the same is true for CNC machines. Even though this machinery is incredibly versatile, there are still types of machinery better suited for certain functions.
For instance, in most cases, using a machine with an analog servo drive will serve you best. However, for more complicated functions, you may need to decide if using a machine with an analog or digital servo is better for your purposes.
Manage Speed of Production
CNC machines work very quickly, but it’s always tempting to push the boundaries of production speed, especially when demand is high. However, moving too quickly will also wear out your machinery more quickly, reducing its lifespan.
If you find that your machinery is wearing out more quickly than you would like it to, take the time to assess your current methods of productions. If it’s possible, see if you can reduce the speed to keep your machinery in top condition for longer.