Your computer numerical control or CNC machine should be inspected on a regularly scheduled basis. This inspection process helps you identify any undetected wear and tear on the machine’s working parts, allowing you to make necessary repairs. The frequency in which you should have your CNC machine inspected should conform with the frequency in which the machine is used. This would mean that for most CNC machine owners, an informal daily inspection and maintenance should take place (at the end of the machine’s use) and a more thorough semi-annual inspection.
The daily inspection should include a check of cooling system in the machine, making sure that it is functioning properly. The inspection should also include a check of the hydraulic pressures and the machine’s chuck, as well as a look for any dry parts that require lube. This type of inspection, especially at the end of the day, helps prepare the machine for future use and reduces downtime.
The daily inspection of your CNC machine should be followed up ever six months with a more through semi-annual inspection. The semi-annual inspection will involve draining and replacing the hydraulic oil in the machine. Any oil, chips, and/or sludge that may have collected in the machine’s cooling tank should be removed. The suction filters should be replaced and the radiator fins should be aligned. You should also take time during the inspection to clean the radiator thoroughly.
The semi-annual inspection of your CNC machine is the minimum amount of time you should invest making sure that your expensive piece of equipment is in its peak condition. The age of your CNC machine will dictate the frequency in which you perform inspections, but a daily “once over” inspection and a twice a year more thorough look at the inner workings of your machine are more than sufficient to keep the machine doing what it is designed to do: make your life easier and machine those parts you need to keep your customers happy and your business thriving.