In the manufacturing industry machines cost a lot of money, but repairs can cost even more if they are not done properly. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean they will last forever. However being aware of these concerns and taking proactive steps to avoid problems can help you to make sure your machine lasts as long as possible and costs you as little as possible.
1. Accuracy Issues: There are a few things this could mean. The machines geometries can be off, it could have alignment issues most likely from constant wear or loss of lubrication, or collision from wear over time. The best ways to fix these issues is by leveling the machine, checking the (gib) slide way for wear, or scraping. The best way to ensure the accuracy is perfect is by hand scraping. This lost art may be a tedious task but it is the only way to ensure that the machine is back to factory standards.
Pictured above: Reason for service call was a failed lubrication system. Cannot down the machine due to time constraints. The table was pulled apart and the ways were power scraped flat and parallel. All metal surfaces were flaked to allow proper oil pockets. Changed out all lubrication lines and installed a new pump.
2. Preventative Maintenance: One of the most common ways to damage your machine is by neglecting to perform preventative maintenance. This can include changing all fluids (such as oils and coolants), visual inspection of the machine, and adjusting machine comps. Over time machines wear down from a number of different factors. The first of these being normal wear. This occurs when machines are being used consistently and get dirty or develop other minor issues. The next factor is premature wear from a lack of maintenance. This is the most preventable issue for machines, if you make sure to perform maintenance regularly. We suggest getting your machine inspected every year, however your maintenance book will suggest how often you should get an inspection based on how many hours the machine is run each year. The final factor is premature wear from not taking care of the machine. This can end up being the most costly because it can cause issues that need to be repaired regularly. All of these issues can be completely avoided by performing regular preventative maintenance.
Pictured above: Adjusting the comp values on a lathe
3. Human Error: Unfortunately no one is perfect and accidents happen in the machine tool business which sometimes go unreported. That being said, machines can crash due to operator errors and will need to be recalibrated by professionals. This is a very common issue with many industrial machines and is easy to fix if you contact the right people for the job. By having your machine regularly inspected, you may also be able to catch human errors that you were unaware of, which in turn can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Pictured above: A crashed machine due to human error
Remember, even the most reliable machines wear down. When that happens it is time to call Precision Service MTR at 1-800-4-REBUILD and request a free quote!