CNC machines need proper care to optimize their performance and avoid frustrating failures with the stress of daily operations. Nothing is more disruptive or expensive than having CNC equipment break down, idling workers and causing lost output and costly onsite emergency repairs. As Marshall Institute, an asset consultancy company, explains, unplanned downtime typically costs a business three times as much as proper preventive maintenance.
But, despite the advantages of preventative maintenance, many companies take a reactive approach because it’s difficult to schedule services during busy runtimes and/or find skilled technicians who can perform the work. However, diligent and competent preventative maintenance services are critical to maintaining the reliability and functionality of CNC machinery so that you meet production deadlines and stringent customer commitments.
Why Outsourcing Preventative Maintenance Services Makes Sense
Regularly performing vital tasks such as cleaning the machine daily, replacing essential parts before they fail, and responsible operations can extend the life and durability of CNC machines. Some routine maintenance activities can be completed in-house by trained CNC machine operators. However, more complex services should be performed by certified experts.
To keep your CNC equipment in excellent condition, consider preventative maintenance services by an experienced, factory-trained professional. Outsourcing CNC machinery maintenance to such a professional can be a practical, cost-effective way to assure quality results and control expenses. Services such as on-site repairs, annual equipment health reviews, and CNC machine diagnostics performed by experienced, factory-trained professionals can pay for themselves in improved reliability and smoother operations. An annual service review between the customer and service provider can yield a preventative maintenance plan that meets the customer’s needs/budget and complies with the CNC manufacturer’s guidelines.
Five Reasons Why Preventative Maintenance Matters
The advantage of using CNC machines is consistently producing high-quality, extremely precise parts in a shorter timeframe. But performance problems and faulty equipment can hamper the machine’s ability to deliver as promised. Outsourcing preventative maintenance services to an experienced, factory-trained professional can protect this critical equipment, delivering the following benefits.
- Cut unplanned downtime and avoid production disruptions – An effective preventative maintenance program reduces machine failures and extends equipment life. Qualified technicians can identify and address potential problems before the situation becomes catastrophic. Services can enhance CNC machinery’s performance and deliver measurable results, including longer mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) and higher equipment throughput. Accurately diagnosing problems and performing needed repairs can avoid damage to the equipment and minimize the chance of it breaking down completely.
- Prompt servicing by trained experts protects expensive CNC machinery – Problems with CNC machines must be repaired immediately by a certified factory-trained professional who can quickly analyze and fix what’s wrong. These specialists have the knowledge, experience, and manufacturers’ technical support resources to help them accurately resolve even complicated machine problems. They also know the typical service life of various machine parts or potential weak spots in machine design. Hence, they know which components must be closely monitored and how often to schedule maintenance services to prevent costly downtime.
- Well-maintained machines operate more efficiently – CNC machines operating below their optimum capacity tend to consume more power and may not produce parts at optimum precision levels. Even if there are no signs of trouble, completing scheduled maintenance services help you avoid wear and tear issues and ensures the CNC equipment is operating efficiently at full capacity. This can result in lower electricity bills and higher productivity.
- On-hand spare parts speed machine repairs – Fixing CNC machines when they break down can take longer if replacement parts are required and need to be ordered. The repair delay can affect production capacity. Most preventative service providers assist customers in identifying and stocking the correct parts, so they’re available when needed.
- Help Desk services help in-house operators better manage CNC equipment – Many third-party service providers, including CNC equipment manufacturers, provide customers with diagnostic help desk support. Qualified technical support reps can answer questions for CNC operators, provide guidance on machine operations, and even diagnose problems remotely and schedule needed repairs for faster service and less downtime. Also, trained CNC machinists are less likely to make mistakes or take shortcuts when operating equipment or performing routine maintenance duties.
A well-designed preventative maintenance plan can help your CNC machine run for many years, protecting your investment in machinery that will serve your business now and in the future.
Hardinge – Your Productivity is our Focus
As a leading international provider of advanced metal-cutting solutions, Hardinge understands the importance of machine up-time and fast response time to service requests. We offer various support contracts and programs delivered by factory-trained technicians, including preventative and proactive maintenance, onsite repairs, help desk support, and machine performance assurance activities. These services help minimize downtime, protect your investment, and enhance high precision equipment’s performance and productivity.