Performing preventive maintenance on a CNC lathe can save the machine shop from problems associated with the machinery. If this maintenance is not carried out, it is possible that the CNC lathe stops working from one day to the next and, consequently, the production of parts will stop immediately.
Background of preventative maintenance CNC lathe
Long before preventive maintenance emerged , and even before CNC computerized numerical control was introduced in the metalworking industry, factories and workshops already performed a type of maintenance on machine tools. During the First Industrial Revolution (18th and 19th centuries), maintenance was of a corrective type, that is, the errors that the machine presented were corrected and the work continued. If the damage could not be repaired, the machine was replaced with a new one.
During this period of time, factories began to implement rudimentary automated systems and to realize that it was preferable to avoid failures and problems that stopped the production line. In other words, prevent problems before they occur.
It was not until the third and fourth industrial revolutions that the concept of preventive maintenance began to have real importance. The reason? The implementation of sophisticated technologies such as computerized numerical control; because computers need regular maintenance to be able to perform optimally, and the fact is that a large number of machines today include computers that facilitate work, reduce production costs and shorten delivery times.
How many types of industrial maintenance are there?
Today there are three types of maintenance in the metalworking industry:
- Corrective : whose main objective is to amend, repair or correct, as well as replace defective elements and tools of a machine. This type of maintenance is performed once the machine has an error or failure.
- Preventive: designed to reduce the presence and impact of failures or errors that the machine may have. The main objective of this type of maintenance is to avoid cuts in the production lines and enhance their performance. This type of maintenance is periodic and varies depending on the machine.
- Predictive: it consists, as its name indicates, in predicting the possible errors that a machine can present. For this, exhaustive analyzes are carried out on the electrical and mechanical components of the machines.
Importance of preventive maintenance on a CNC lathe
To understand the importance of preventive maintenance on a CNC lathe , we can take automobiles as an example. When you have a vehicle, it must undergo routine checks such as: oil change or tire condition, among others. In this way, problems are avoided that, in the long run, can be serious and expensive to solve. The same happens with machine tools, in this case, with the CNC lathe.
This type of maintenance is carried out periodically to reduce possible failures in a piece of equipment. Preventive maintenance on a CNC lathe is performed when the machine is in good working order and well before a system error occurs that causes production to stop.
Thanks to this type of maintenance, it is possible to identify the signs of defects that could appear in the machines and reduce the risk of their occurrence. This largely avoids carrying out corrective maintenance on the machine. And what kind of actions can be carried out to prevent machine failure?
We are talking about basic tasks such as: a correct installation of the equipment ; proper operation, following the manufacturer’s instructions; cleaning or replacement of worn parts , etc. Preventive CNC lathe maintenance is important, not only to prevent production lines from stopping unexpectedly, but also to prevent corrective maintenance from being carried out in the workshop that can be more expensive.
Maintenance must be carried out whenever the machine is not working, that is, outside production hours. It also depends on the type of CNC lathe that you want to inspect, so the programming of this maintenance can be weekly, monthly, half-yearly, yearly, etc. When deciding when to schedule these checks, it is important to consider the use and frequency of operation of the machine.
How to do preventive maintenance on a CNC lathe?
Different revisions can be applied to the CNC lathe to prevent errors in the equipment. The level of the lubricant in the tracks or the coolant should be checked daily ; Chips that appear during machining must also be removed from the surface of the machine. Once a week it is recommended to check that the drainage that regulates the filter works properly, as well as the pressure gauge that controls the air. Superficial cleaning should also be done , using suitable products. Never solvents because they can cause damage to the machine.
On the other hand, it is advisable to schedule semi-annual and annual reviews for a more thorough inspection of the components of the lathe; this includes, of course, the machine’s computer.