The old adage of “time is money” keeps coming up in the world of machining.
CNC machining is highly competitive, and with new machinery and methods released it is incredibly fast moving. It is important to optimize machine efficiency regularly in order to “keep up” and ensure that parts are still produced quickly and economically.
See our tips below on how to maintain and improve CNC machines to keep them running efficiently:
Running like a workhorse
Newer CNC machines are designed for high performance and are meant to be run almost non-stop at maximum capacity; so as long as they are maintained correctly, they are already designed to be efficient.
The simplest way to keep this machine efficiency high is by actually using them to their full potential. If a machine is operational; then use it! A machine which is idle isn’t generating sales and getting stock made for the customer.
Keep tooling up to date
Upgrading the equipment and tooling to keep up to date is vital in keeping in line with technological advancements. Compared to old machinery which has lost efficiency over time; new tooling and equipment is a lot more powerful so can be used at quicker speeds and last longer.
This can often be a difficult decision, as new tooling and new machinery (if required) can be very costly; and implementing new machinery with supporting training can take a long time. Depending on your order book and production plan, sometimes it is worth speculating to accumulate in order to improve your output.
Keeping in line with power regulations
Large scale machinery, and fabrication equipment such as that required for welding, consume power; which in itself can be costly with recent hikes in energy bills. Making sure the correct power requirements are followed ensures that there aren’t any issues which could lead to downtime.
Any new machinery needs to be assessed so that the overall power supply to the building can still handle the extra demand. Keeping all machines up and running increases the number of components going out of the door to the customer.
Automation – Moving operators elsewhere
Newer CNC equipment, with sensors and automatic material feeders, are quite autonomous and, cone setup, can continue running with little to no human interaction.
This not only makes the machines themselves more efficient, but it means the workforce can be freed up to spend time elsewhere, so should also improve the output of your operating staff.
Pro-active Analysis – Saving time in the long run
Conducting real-time monitoring of your machine throughputs and outputs, with analysis of machine setups and cycle times, you can more accurately plan for future work.
A higher level of accuracy and confidence in the production planning stage allows for more efficient management of production; and it allows you to give customers accurate lead times.
An efficient set of machines; alongside a pro-active workforce, can improve your output and ensure you customer is always kept happy with quality products, delivered on-time.