5 proactive CNC maintenance tips for holiday weekends

Avoid costly CNC equipment repairs. Perform these five simple, proactive maintenance steps during the holiday shutdown, advises Mitsubishi Electric Automation.

06/20/2013


Avoid costly CNC equipment repairs with five simple, proactive maintenance steps during the holiday shutdown, advises Mitsubishi Electric Automation. Courtesy: Mitsubishi Electric AutomationCompanies should take advantage of scheduled factory shutdowns during the upcoming July 4th weekend to perform proactive maintenance on computer numerical control (CNC) equipment, advises Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc. Preventive maintenance can increase equipment uptime and productivity, improve machine performance, and save on costly repairs.

“Preventing failures should always be a priority. One of the best times to be proactive is prior to an extended shutdown,” said Russell Pobutkiewicz, technical service and support project manager, Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc.

Minimally, he recommends checking all batteries, inspecting cooling fans and heat sinks, and performing a full memory backup. 

“Weak batteries could mean lost data or machine positioning,” Pobutkiewicz warned. “Non-functioning fans or dirty heat sinks raise the control temperature, thus increasing the risk of component failure.”

5 tips for CNC maintenance

1. Use scheduled downtime for proactive CNC maintenance to increase equipment uptime and productivity, improve machine performance and save on costly repairs

2. Check all batteries, since weak batteries can result in lost data or lost machine positioning

3. Inspect cooling fans and heat sinks to ensure proper operating temperatures and decrease the risk of component failure

4. Perform a full memory backup

5. Seek advice via email or phone to perform proactive maintenance checks or schedule on-site maintenance, if needed.

Beyond preventive or proactive maintenance, predictive maintenance is possible with advanced CNC controls that use sensor input and usage information to advise when maintenance is needed, further reducing staff time and unscheduled downtime risk.

How to get help

CNC suppliers can help plant managers perform proactive maintenance checks on their own via phone or email support, in some cases free of charge, and process orders for replacement parts, if necessary.  For more hands-on support, a CNC company can schedule an on-site service call to perform maintenance. In this case, regular service rates are likely to apply. With a field service call, the CNC vendor can back up data on its network and provides the factory with 24/7 secure data access. Mitsubishi Electric Automation provides free CNC maintenance phone and email support and can schedule on-site maintenance and data-backup

About Mitsubishi Electric Automation

Headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill., Mitsubishi Electric Automation, a U.S. affiliate company of Mitsubishi Electric Corp., offers products, solutions, training, and support services for the industrial and commercial sectors, such as programmable automation controllers (PAC), programmable logic controllers (PLC), human machine interfaces (HMI), variable frequency drives (VFD), servo amplifiers and motors, motion controllers, control software, computerized numerical control (CNC), circuit breakers, and robots.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, and Plant Engineering, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

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