3 Things Which Shorten CNC Machine Life

Did you know that you could be unwittingly shortening the service life of your CNC machining tool? Read on and discover some of the practices which affect the longevity of CNC machines.

Using the Incorrect Speed

Most CNC (computer numeric control) machines have the capacity to determine the speed at which the machine should operate once you input some parameters, such as the type of material and its thickness, into the control software of that machine. However, some machinists prefer to select the speed at which the machine should operate. Using the machine at a very slow speed for a given task can cause the cutting edge to wobble over the material. Surface finishes are also poor when the selected RPM is too slow. Very high speeds can result in sudden tool failure. Avoid these two extremes by using the auto function in the CNC cutter.

Wrong Tool Coating

CNC machining tools have consumable parts, such as drill bits which are used to make holes in different materials. Special care should be devoted to selecting the tools with the right coatings for each application. This is because neglecting this step can cause your equipment to age at a faster rate. For example, using a cutter with aluminium titanium nitride to cut aluminium parts can shorten the life of the cutter because that coating attracts aluminium to it. A better alternative would be to change out the tool and use one which has a coating made from titanium diboride. Always select the tool which has the most appropriate coating for the material which you will be machining.

Improper Tool Holding

Some models of CNC machining tools give the machinist an opportunity to select how various tools should be held within the machine. For example, you can choose to hold the tool using mechanical force or you can turn on the hydraulic tool holding function of the machine. Mechanical tool holding often leaves room for the tool to loosen since the high RPM of the machine exerts stresses which gradually weaken the hold of the mechanical holding system. Hydraulic tool holding maintains the same grip throughout the machine cycle. Avoid premature tool wear by using the most superior tool holding mechanism available instead of opting for mechanical tool holding.

Always read the user manual of every CNC machining tool you buy. Implement all the information on how to get long life from that equipment. Consult the manufacturer in case your machining tools keep wearing out prematurely.