Picture this, you’re day is moving along nicely, when all of the sudden the CNC machines in your shop start to produce components that don’t meet the necessary specifications. What’s wrong?
CNC machines are the dominant method of machining materials today because of their high precision, production capabilities and efficiency. Why wouldn’t they work correctly all the time? Computer-controlled operations allow for reduced supervision and continuous use. However, CNC machining isn’t infallible; this technology can develop issues just like any other machine or tool. Any number of CNC machining problems likely stem from one of the following common root issues.
CNC machines must be regularly cleaned and lubricated. Without this regular maintenance, dirt and debris build up over time, affecting the machine’s output. Dirt buildup and improper lubrication can prevent parts from moving and operating smoothly. This negatively affects overall precision and accuracy in the manufacturing process, and the product suffers. Additionally, blockages prevent air circulation, cause overheating and ultimately damage to the machinery, leading to delays and costly repairs.
If small burn marks appear at the edges and corners of materials, there could be a problem with the tools and setting of the CNC machine. For example, a tool could be blunt or working at the wrong speed. This means that the material is exposed to the cutting edge for too long, resulting in the burn marks. Alternatively, cutting coolant or lubricant could be failing to work correctly, meaning the temperature is increasing unchecked. To avoid these problems, operators may need to adjust the settings or replace the tool or coolant.
Perhaps the most common cause of CNC machining problems is poor programming. The programming of the computer software directly controls the machine and impacts the outcome. Therefore, incorrect programming leads to product errors. These issues can be difficult to diagnose, particularly for inexperienced operators. To avoid such problems, be sure to have an experienced programmer oversee operations and comprehensively train new employees.
When operating appropriately, CNC machines offer many advantages by eliminating inefficiencies, reducing costs and increasing consistency and productivity. If you experience issues with your CNC machining processes, establish a troubleshooting process, taking into consideration these common causes and establish a routine maintenance regimen to prevent problems before they happen. Review your program after the first run of a new part to correct any setting or programming errors or add improvements not previously considered.
Mainstay Manufacturing boasts a wide range of CNC machining capabilities, including punching, forming, turning and milling. For more information about our specific equipment and software, click here. We have the capability, capacity, efficiency and expertise to meet high demands. Contact us today concerning your CNC machining needs.