CNC maintenance

      How can a small shop deal with CNC equipment breakdown, maintenance and repair? January 31, 2001

How many of you in smaller shops are dealing with machinery maintenance on your CNC equipment? I am not particularly mechanical and our shop cannot afford a full-time maintenance mechanic, so we depend on the machinery distributor for mechanical breakdowns. They are sometimes backed up for weeks, so we are down for substantial amounts of time. What do you do to get through these times?

Forum Responses
Here are three options:

1) Learn this stuff yourself. It's a long learning curve, but with some help, you can get through it.

2) Use the techs from whoever you buy your equipment. This can get very expensive, with plane tickets, rental cars, hotels, and the hourly wage.

3) Find an independent tech in your area to do the work. I have a guy about two hours away that works on my bander.

You should be able to handle most of the preventive maintenance yourself, as that is just a matter of getting your hands a little greasy.

Brian Personett, forum technical advisor

Choose the most mechanically inclined person in your shop who is also detail-oriented and give him or her the tools to do periodic maintenance. Those tools include the maintenance manual and the phone number to the techs. This investment will allow you to deal with most minor issues in house.

Preventive maintenance is probably the most important, after a competent operator. Let the spindles warm up, keep the machine clean, check the lube, and use sharp tools.

I run a 40-man operation. One of my employees expressed an interest in learning CNC maintenance, so I sent him to get certified as a factory-trained CNC technician for our machine. This was the best money I have ever spent. The two or three thousand dollars it cost me to do this has saved me many thousands over the last year in repairs and maintenance. Check with your machine manufacturer and see if they offer a similar course. Make sure the employee you send will be around for awhile.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization: CNC Machinery and Techniques

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: Setup and Maintenance

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article