[Reload] Our Most Popular Blog Post…EVER!
[Our “Reload” blog series spotlights some of the all-time most popular posts on the Okuma America website, and back in 2013 Robbie Williams really hit it out of the park with this one. It has the most views, generates the most comments, and continues to grab people’s attention. Take a look and see if you agree that the info here is helpful.]
When you hear the phrase “preventive maintenance” what comes to mind? Do you cringe at the thought of taking your CNC machine out of production, losing precious time and money? Or are you meticulous about taking care of your investment so it will last a very long time? Here are some preventive maintenance (PM) tips to help keep your CNC lathe running at peak performance while avoiding unplanned downtime.
Daily Care and Feeding of Your CNC Machine
- Check the hydraulic pressure to make sure it’s at 4.5 MPa
- Check the hydraulic fluids to make sure they’re at the right operating level
- Check to make sure the chuck pressure is at the right operating pressure
- Make sure the way lube level is at the right operating level, and replenish if needed
- If your CNC machine has a cooling system, make sure the cooling unit level is at the right operating level
- Clean the chips out of the chip pan, and grease any part that may need to be greased
- Clean off the window of the door and the light so you can see inside your machine
- Wipe down any stainless steel way covers and lubricate them with hydraulic oil so they move smoothly
On a weekly basis, or every 40 hours, take the filter off the CNC control cabinet and clean it so air will be able to flow through for cooling.
Every Three Months or 500 Hours
- Check and grease the chain on the chip conveyor
- Check and clean the filters on the coolant tank
Every Six Months or 1000 Hours
Contact your local distributor to have the following preventive maintenance performed by a certified Okuma Engineer:
- Have the coolant tank cleaned of sludge, chips, and oil
- Have the chuck and jaws taken off the machine and cleaned
- Have the hydraulic tank drained and replace the hydraulic oil with fresh hydraulic oil – also have the line filter and suction filter changed
- Have the radiator cleaned and make sure the radiator fins are straight
- Have the lubrication unit drained and cleaned out – then add fresh way lube
- If your machine is equipped with a cooling unit, have the unit drained and refilled
- Have the leveling of your machine checked and adjust if necessary
- Have all way wipers inspected for any damage – clean and replace any wipers that are damaged
Once a Year or Every 2000 Hours
Contact your local distributor and have the following inspected:
- Have the headstock checked for taper
- Have the spindle checked for radial and end play
- Have the chuck cylinder checked for run out
- Have the tailstock checked for taper
- Have the turret parallelism and inclination checked
- Have your distributor run a backlash program to check the backlash in X and Z axis and adjust if necessary
- Have your distributor check the X and Z axis gibs and adjust if necessary
Of course, no one wants to have their CNC machine down without a reason because if your machine is not making parts you’re losing time and money. But if you have a preventive maintenance program in place this allows you to manage your schedule rather than getting caught with untimely surprises. I hope you find this checklist useful for ensuring your machine’s everyday productivity and longevity. Your CNC machine is just like anything else – if you take care of it, it will take care of you.
Robbie Williams is Junior Applications Engineer, Okuma America Corporation.
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