Troubleshooting CNC Breakdowns

Courtesy of Doug Walker, Fictiv Digital Marketing Specialist.

When it comes to CNC machines, avoiding breakdowns is critical for a shop’s efficiency, cost, and overall production value. CNC machines are powerhouses that work at incredibly high speeds with tight tolerances while performing multiple tasks simultaneously and pumping out hundreds to thousands of perfect computer-generated parts. The process must be flawless from start to finish, and everywhere in between if the production run is to be usable – let alone perfect. If one fraction of an inch is miscalculated or a timing error somehow gets introduced, entire batches might become unusable in an instant.

Common breakdown causes. It’s essential for companies that provide CNC machine services to take a step back once in a while and inspect the actual machine to make sure things are well-oiled and operating well. As important as G-code and CAD programming are to the finished product, machine upkeep is just as critical. Here are several common breakdowns and, more important, ways to avoid them from occurring altogether.

Machine tool failures. CNC machines rely heavily on the tools they deploy to mill, cut, lathe, grind, and various other functions. These tools are critical to the success of every prototype and production run. In normal usage, tools accumulate dirt, dust, oil, and other debris. Eventually, this build-up can cause inaccuracies to occur in the production process, and if not taken addressed could lead to tool failures.

Machine tool failure is one of the easiest and simplest problems to address, but it can also…

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