Cleaning CNC Machine
Everyone wants a sparkling-clean workshop, but no-one wants to actually clean it.
It’s understandable: drudgery is tedious. But when a CNC machine breaks down because a build-up of swarf is preventing the table from moving, that’s when the fingers start pointing.
On a modern CNC machine tool there is no substitute for cleanliness. Up to 90% of breakdown issues with a CNC machine are due to cleanliness. So why don’t we pay more attention to cleaning our machines?
Apart from the chore of actually cleaning off oil, swarf, and dirt, it also costs production time to stop the machine to clean it. How many times have you heard: “We’re too busy to stop now, we’ll clean it next month!”? But when the next month rolls around and your crucial piece of machinery is idle because it’s broken, you will be wishing you’d done the deed sooner.
In light of this, what needs to be done to keep a machine clean?
First you need to corral an apprentice or two…and then you need to draw up a plan for on-going, consistent cleaning. As any parent will attest, it is easier to clean up small messes as you go, rather than large ones all at once. One option is to place workshop staff on a rotational cleaning roster for each machine, or to put in place a ‘You Mess, You Clean’ policy.
The next step is to look to the internal components of the machine: the ballscrews, the linears, the drive belts, and all other fiddly components that oil and swarf wiggle their way into. Anything that doesn’t belong needs to be removed.
The filters that feeds into the electronics are next to be scrubbed. Air filters block easily, slowing the airflow to crucial components, which increases the temperature and shortens the life of electronics.
Finally, check the oil/coolant tanks. If they are excessively dirty, break out the rubber gloves and get stuck into it.
The iCNC service team specialises in machine maintenance. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, or simply don’t have time, give us a buzz and we’ll do it for you.
Eliminate breakdowns in the future by scheduling maintenance downtime with us today. Call 0800 85 87 84.

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