Machine tools have been a longstanding part of our manufacturing processes for quite some time. In fact, these tools can be traced back to ancient times, and some versions of ancient tools still exist and are being used to this day. Lathes, for example, are really nothing new; however, as they still work as effectively as they did when they first gained popularity centuries ago, machinists continue to use them. With that being said, it’s not enough to assume that because a lathe and other machine tools are reliable, they don’t need to be carefully maintained. In fact, machine tools need to be maintained more carefully than a number of comparable products, precisely because they need to be consistent. If a machine tool produces variable or inconsistent results, those resulting products may be subpar. Depending on what the tools are being used to create, this could result not only low-quality products, but potentially dangerous ones as well.
With that being said, read more about some of the warning signs deteriorating machine tools may exhibit, as well as what must be done to maintain these machine tools and keep them as productive and consistent as possible.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Issues In Machine Tools?
There are definitely warning signs that can alert you to issues arising in your machine tools. Some of these may vary from tool to tool, but others are fairly prevalent in general. Of course, one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong with a machining tool is odd sounds made during the machining process. These may not be immediately noticeable, but if you pay attention while machining you should catch them. Any sort of stuttering sound or sensation should call for the immediate halt of all processes. You can also test out the tool f you’re worried about any issues, and examine the resulting product. The machining process involves taking material away, and essentially shape another product. If there are odd ridges in the product, or a strange unevenness, there is probably something wrong with the machine tool. When the machine processes are disrupted, a test product will immediately show the resulting irregularities. Furthermore, testing the tool out on a specific product rather than risking irregularities in those you create regularly will mean less risk and wasted time in the long term.
How Can I Prevent Issues With My Machine Tools?
Fortunately, you can work to prevent problems with your machine tools. This can sometimes involve a little more effort than you’re used to putting into the maintenance of your tools, but ultimately will yield longer-lasting tools, and less money spent on repairs and replacements. For example, a lathe drive belt must be checked regularly for tension and consistency if the lathe itself is to work as it should. Machinists should also adjust gibs on a regular basis, avoiding unnecessary friction. Not all tool maintenance requires much effort, however. A lot of tools can be maintained simply through regular cleaning and oiling. However, if you neglect this maintenance, you may very well end up needing machine shop services.
Why Should I Visit A Machine Shop?
While you could attempt to mend your tools on your own, it’s typically not recommended to do so. Rather, you should consider visiting a repair shop, and asking the professionals to handle these kinds of fixes for you. Yes, you may initially be reluctant to spend money on these types of repairs. If you don’t, however, you could create more of a problem than what you were already dealing with. Professionals at a repair shop will clearly turn around your tools, making them seem as if they’re brand new. This makes an appointment at a repair shop very much worth it.
We’re all protective of our tools, and it may seem difficult to offer up a tool to a machine repair shop. However, doing so will result in higher quality repairs and therefore stronger results overall.