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How to Clean a CNC Machine

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Like any high-performance machinery, your computer numerical control (CNC) machine requires regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure it lasts longer and maintains its performance. The type of maintenance to conduct on these machines can be broken down into daily, monthly, and annual tasks. Here, we’ll go over the various cleaning and maintenance activities for CNC machines and when to perform them.

CNC Machine Maintenance: Daily Activities

CNC machines will last longer and function better by taking proper care of them. This means performing daily maintenance checks and cleaning tasks. A CNC machine operator’s daily maintenance activities should include:

  1. Ensure the CNC machine has the proper lube and hydraulic oil level. You can determine the proper level by checking the manufacturer’s recommendations to maintain optimal performance.
    You may need to perform maintenance on your CNC machine if it begins consuming more lube or oil than it should.
  2. Check that the hydraulic fluid pressure is at the proper level. We recommend a hydraulic pressure level of 4.5 megapascals (MPa) for CNC machines.
  3. Clean the machine by wiping all surfaces using rags, brushes, rubbing alcohol, and metal polish. Using these materials, you should remove any metal chips and shop grime that accumulate
    due to cutting.
  4. Clean all of the electronic components, including keypads and dials on the equipment’s control panel. However, you should avoid using a degreaser on the panel and instead use a small amount of cleaner on a cloth and use short strokes when wiping.
  5. Look for any dry areas on mechanical components and grease them to minimize friction.
  6. Remove metal chips from the pan that result from cutting operations.
  7. Use cleaner and a cloth to wipe the machine’s doors and windows.
  8. Clean the machine’s stainless steel covers and use hydraulic oil to lubricate them to ensure smooth operation.

CNC Machine Maintenance: Monthly Activities

In addition to daily maintenance and cleaning tasks, you should perform the following monthly activities:

  1. Clean the machine’s air and coolant filters, and replace them if necessary.
  2. Clean electronic components using an aerosol/flux spray, which can eliminate any debris or dust from narrow crevices in all electronic components and other areas.
  3. Ensure the machine isn’t consuming more oil than necessary by looking over your oil fill checklist.
  4. Remove the jaws and chuck and clean them thoroughly.
  5. Check conveyors and chains for dry areas and grease or adjust them as needed.
  6. Check filters and belts for wear, replacing them if necessary to prevent potential breakdown-causing issues.
  7. Make sure the chip conveyor’s chain has a sufficient amount of grease for smooth operation.
  8. Check the filters on the coolant tank, and clean or replace them to prevent future issues.

CNC Machine Maintenance: Annual Activities

To ensure equipment longevity and performance, it’s important to conduct the following annual maintenance and cleaning tasks:

  1. Thoroughly clean the entire CNC machine, which will entail cleaning the jaws and chuck, removing oil and debris from the coolant tank, draining the hydraulic tank, changing filters, and replacing the hydraulic oil.
  2. Check your machine’s oil and other levels and make any necessary adjustments.
  3. Inspect, clean, or replace wipers if you notice any wear and tear.
  4. Complete a wash-down of the machine’s electronics, but only do so after removing electrical hazards and sealing all sensitive parts that could experience corrosion.
  5. Conduct preventative maintenance on all electronics to minimize the risk of issues with power supplies. Specific preventative maintenance tasks should entail cleaning or replacing fans, checking cold solder joints, removing dust and other debris from heat sinks, replacing the machine’s pin connections, and identifying other areas experiencing wear.
  6. Look for other issues such as radial or end play on spindles, headstock, and tailstock tapering, and the wrong placement of X and Y axis gibs.

CNC Machine Part Cleaning and Repairs from Rubin Engineering & Sales

With a better idea of how to clean and maintain a CNC machine, you can go through the proper steps to ensure your equipment continues to work the way it should. You may also want to get help from professionals for cleaning, repairs, or replacements, in which case you can turn to the experts at Rubin Engineering & Sales. With over 30 years of experience, we have the expertise and capabilities to repair and service CNC machines, both old and new.

For more details about how Rubin Engineering & Sales can help keep your CNC machine running properly, request a quote for our services today.

Spindle Repair vs. Spindle Replacement

If your spindle is damaged, you may wonder whether you should repair or replace it. There are several factors to consider when making this decision, including the extent of the damage, the cost of the repairs, and the expected lifetime of the repaired spindle. In many cases, repairing a spindle is preferable to replacing it, particularly in light of the present supply chain problems. Let us explore the comparison between spindle repair and replacement to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Spindle Repair

Spindles are essential to CNC machines and must be in good working order, as damaged spindles can lead to poor machine tool health and decreased product quality. Although spindle replacement can sometimes be unavoidable, repair services can help return the spindle to service in a quick, reliable, and cost-effective manner.

Key benefits of spindle repair include:

  • Faster lead time. Waiting for the delivery of a new spindle can take months, bringing your production to a standstill. Repairing your machine tool spindle can often be completed in a matter of days to ensure minimal downtime.
  • Lower costs. New spindles can cost up to three times the cost of a repaired spindle. With spindle repair, you only need to pay for the components that need replacing, allowing you to avoid higher costs associated with spindle replacement. In many cases, spindle repair is between 30%-45% of the cost of a new spindle.
  • Remanufacture capabilities. The repair option is often preferred because it allows you to remanufacture your spindle several times without adverse consequences.
  • Reliability. Working with an experienced spindle repair partner ensures your spindle is rebuilt in the most reliable manner possible. Spindle repair technicians are highly trained to inspect, repair, balance, assemble, and test spindles to restore them to their full operation.

Spindle Replacement

Spindle replacement involves removing the damaged spindle and replacing it with an entirely new one. While spindle replacement typically comes with higher prices and lead times, it is sometimes unavoidable if the spindle is damaged beyond repair.

Completely replacing your spindle is an expensive endeavor that typically costs anywhere between $14,000 and $24,000 with lead times of up to 32 weeks. To avoid the extra expense and operational downtime, it’s important to regularly monitor the health of your spindle and have it repaired when necessary. By holding off on repairing your spindle, you can cause more damage to it and its components, further increasing the cost of replacement.

Reliable Spindle Repair Services From Rubin Engineering & Sales

Choosing between spindle repair and replacement can be challenging. Ultimately, factors such as production schedules, budget, and delivery times will help you determine the correct course of action.

If you’re having trouble determining what is right for your needs, the experts at Rubin Engineering & Sales are here to help. For over 30 years, we’ve been offering reputable spindle repair services as an alternative to replacement. We understand the current supply chain issues and their impact on obtaining new machine parts. Rather than waiting months for a new spindle, Rubin has the necessary knowledge and resources to repair your spindle with much faster lead times and lower costs.

For more information about our CNC spindle repair capabilities, contact us or request a quote today.

Choosing the Right Chip Conveyor Repair Service – All You Need to Know

In industrial environments, manufacturing and machining operations often produce waste in the form of scraps, shavings, and chips. A chip conveyor moves this dry or wet material away from production, keeping the workspace clean, workers safe, and drains or piping from clogging.

When your production line is down due to a chip conveyor issue, it can cost your company dearly in terms of lost production time and revenue. Choosing the right repair service is vital for getting your conveyor running again as quickly as possible.

Types of Chip Conveyors

There are many chip conveyor varieties, and the ideal service provider will have extensive experience working with multiple types. Common conveyors include:

Hinge Belt Chip Conveyor

Prized for their versatility and dependability, these affordable chip conveyors are the most common variety. They’re ideal for turning machines and aluminum, ferrous, or mixed stringy and coarse materials, as well as plastic production if there aren’t any fine chips.

Magnetic Chip Conveyor

Magnetic conveyors work well in industries like cast iron machining that regularly handle broken pieces of iron. The magnets hold ferrous material on the conveyor track, enabling a flow of cutting fluids from the baffle pool underneath.

Filtering Chip Conveyor

These conveyors filter coolant and recycle it into the machine tool. Available in multiple subcategories, their designs may only handle fine chips or coarse and stringy waste as well.

Scraper Conveyor

The scraper conveyor is aptly named, with a belt that scrapes and draws swarf and fine chips up the inclined conveyor and carries them to the discharge end.


This portable conveyor facilitates chip lifting into barrels and hopper-high vessels in an ergonomic manner, reducing cleaning operations and worker back strain either for multiple machines or one producing large chip amounts.

Auger System

Installable on a machine tool or its foundation, this system is appropriate for applications with space restrictions.

Push-Pull Bar System

This system mounts either below or overtop the floor and is useful in moving enormous amounts of swarf.

Criteria to Consider in Chip Conveyors

To get the most out of your equipment, some of the key considerations when selecting a chip conveyor include:

  • What are your customization needs for the conveyor and its installation?
  • Will the conveyor be transporting mixed materials or one type only?
  • Will the chips be coarse, fine, stringy, or a mix?
  • What will the actual material dimensions and configurations be?
  • Are there any special requirements for the machine tool associated with the conveyor?

Benefits of a Reliable Chip Conveyor

A dependable chip conveyor can be a key part of your operation because of its versatility. There are conveyor types designed to work in diverse industries, with the capability to handle materials of different sizes, weights, and types. You can set them up in virtually any setting given their small size. Also, these conveyors are well suited to automation, and their capacity for customization ensures they’ll fulfill the specific needs of your operation.

What to Consider When Choosing a Chip Conveyor Repair Service

Even the most dependable chip conveyors will experience varied wear and tear based on their application and the type and size of material they transport. A reputable repair service provider will offer you:

  • Range of conveyor expertise. Given the varying kinds of chip conveyors, find a service provider that’s experienced in working on a wide array of conveying systems.
  • Customization capabilities. It’s helpful to partner with a company that has customization know-how in case you decide to make any alterations to your chip conveyor equipment or interface.
  • Support services. Make sure that the company’s service offerings fit your needs. In addition to customization, you might consider if they offer emergency services, a full inventory including obsolete parts for older equipment, reverse engineering capabilities, etc.

Chip Conveyor Repair Services by Rubin Engineering

When a chip conveyor breaks down, production stops until you can schedule a repair company to fix the issue. You can limit downtime, saving on both emergency repair costs and lost revenue, by proactively refurbishing chip conveyors with Rubin Engineering & Sales LLC. Our preventative maintenance and repair solutions are a fraction of the price of a new conveyor. We offer:

  • Expert repairs and refurbishments with onsite service and no-charge evaluations
  • Reverse engineering
  • An extensive inventory of replacement chip conveyor parts, including obsolete and out-of-production components
  • Emergency repairs and part shipping
  • Short lead times

With Rubin Engineering & Sales, you can circumvent supply chain issues as we make quick turnaround times a priority, work under the most stringent deadlines, and use all OEM components.

Keep Your Conveyors Running With Rubin Engineering & Sales

Over the past 30 years, Rubin Engineering & Sales has built a reputation for rapid turn times on even the most difficult machine tool repairs. We have the experience to fix and service virtually any machine tool, regardless of the chip conveyor manufacturer, age, or design. Contact us today for more information about our comprehensive maintenance and repair services, or request a quote to get started.

How Do CNC Machines Work?

Computer numerical control (CNC) machines use software code to control production equipment and automate machining processes. Removing material through subtractive manufacturing, CNC machining generates components in an extremely accurate, efficient, and replicable way. But how does a CNC machine work? Learn more about the CNC machining process, the equipment involved, and its proper maintenance.

What Is CNC Machining?

Precision is vital in metal fabrication processes to ensure that even in large production runs, the end products are uniform and repeatable, fully match the intended design, and hold tight tolerances. Manufacturers can best achieve this by using computer software to automate and control production equipment. CNC machining cuts operation time and reduces errors while boosting output, revenue, and efficiency. It also decreases the amount of manual labor necessary to manage equipment, which equates to cost savings.

Using computer-aided design (CAD) software, manufacturers develop a 3D model of a part, including its required properties and dimensions. Running the model through computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software will evaluate the computerized design for errors. Once the model is ready, the software generates a CNC program of coordinates, operation parameters, material nesting, and other details of the component that the CNC equipment can then interpret and act on to machine parts. The written code is capable of controlling component movement, like adjustments to the cutting head or workpiece, as well as voltage and processing speed, including the equipment’s RPMs and the spindle speed.

Types of CNC Machines

So, what is a CNC machine and what can a CNC machine do? Manufacturers rely on numerous pieces of CNC equipment to automate a variety of fabrication processes. CNC machine process equipment includes:

  • Milling and turning machines
  • Electrical discharge machining (EDM) equipment
  • Laser, waterjet, plasma, and flame cutters
  • Press brakes

This machinery can swiftly carry out processes such as grinding, cutting, drilling, slotting, routing, milling, turning, and much more.

Benefits of CNC Machining

CNC machining is prized for its accuracy and speed. Decreasing the human labor factor in fabrication generates replicable parts faster and in greater quantities. Also, subtractive manufacturing processes like CNC machining are much more cost-effective for high-volume production runs of mechanical components than additive methods like 3D printing. Additive manufacturing typically utilizes plastics, and versatile CNC machining is applicable for manufacturing parts from a variety of heat- and stress-tolerant materials. CNC machines can even manage finishing and post-processing treatments to provide more comprehensive capabilities.

Preventive Maintenance Tips for CNC Machines

While CNC machines typically need less human involvement, they do require meticulous maintenance for optimal functionality over time. You can accomplish this by following basic and proactive maintenance checklists throughout the year.

Daily Maintenance

To properly maintain your CNC machine, you should check the following each day:

  • Hydraulic fluids and pressure: Maintain 4.5 MPA
  • Grease and chuck pressure
  • Lubrication levels
  • Door windows: Clean, as needed
  • Stainless steel covers: Clean off and lubricate with hydraulic oil
  • Chips: Clean out

Quarterly Maintenance

For every three months of operation, or 500 hours (whichever comes first), inspect:

  • Coolant tank filters: Clean or replace, as needed
  • Chip conveyor chain: Apply grease

Biannual Maintenance

At six months or 1,000 hours, examine the following for optimal preventative maintenance:

  • Hydraulic tank and cooling and lubrication units: Drain, clean, and refill each with the appropriate oil, lubricant, etc.
  • Coolant tank, radiator, and wipers: Clean all components, straighten the radiator fins, and replace the wipers if needed
  • Equipment leveling: Make adjustments as necessary
  • Line and suction filters: Replace at this time
  • Jaws and chuck: Thoroughly clean

Yearly Maintenance

Barring any incidents, you will likely only need to check the following once each year, or approximately every 2,000 hours:

  • Headstock and tailstock: Examine for taper
  • Spindle:Look for end and radial play
  • Turret: Check its inclination and parallelism
  • Chuck cylinder: Inspect for run-out
  • X- and Z-axis: Run a backlash program
  • X- and Z-axis gibs: Adjust, as needed

Taking these steps proactively rather than waiting for something to go wrong will help your CNC machines work as intended for full operational functionality and efficiency.

Choose Rubin Engineering & Sales for CNC Machine Services

Working with a reputable service company will allow you to focus on your business while dedicated experts assist with CNC machinery maintenance and repairs. Rubin Engineering & Sales LLC has three decades of experience servicing, repairing, and rebuilding machine tools of virtually all brands, types, and models. We specialize in breakdown service, emergency repairs, and obsolete or one-of-a-kind tooling, with capabilities for remanufacturing or refurbishing CNC machine components to OEM standards. We offer affordable, timely on-site service to companies large and small, as well as expedited domestic and international shipments for your convenience.

Contact us for more information on our maintenance and repair services for CNC machines, or request a quote today.

CNC Machine Maintenance Tips

Computer numerical control (CNC) machines have revolutionized modern manufacturing. They provide a high level of efficiency, accuracy, and consistency in manufacturing precision parts. Examples of CNC machines include lathes, grinders, and routers.

Like other machines, CNC machines require regular maintenance to maintain efficiency and reliability. However, maintenance can be a complicated task that requires specialized knowledge. Rubin Engineering & Sales is a premier maintenance and repair provider for all kinds of machine tool components, current and out-of-production. Here’s what you need to know about CNC machine maintenance.

Importance of CNC Machine Maintenance

Because CNC machines are such an important part of any manufacturing operation, unscheduled downtime can be costly for a company’s current and future business relationships. In fact, CNC machine failure can cost thousands of dollars in unfulfilled shipping deadlines and hours of operation. Therefore, consistent CNC machine maintenance is necessary to ensure that the equipment functions when and as it should.

Here is a breakdown of the different types of CNC machine maintenance tasks you can perform on your own and with the help of a maintenance specialist.

Daily Maintenance

CNC Machine Maintenance Tips
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At the end of every day, you can perform these simple maintenance duties to ensure your machine’s optimal performance:

  • Test that hydraulic fluids are at the correct level
  • Check that hydraulic pressure is 4.5 MPa
  • Check and replenish the lube levels if necessary
  • Check the cooling system (if applicable)
  • Remove chips from the chip pan
  • Grease stainless steel covers that seem dry
  • Clean surfaces like windows and lights

You should maintain a preventive maintenance checklist for your CNC machines to ensure that these tasks are performed thoroughly every day.

Monthly Maintenance

A monthly CNC machine maintenance schedule contains slightly more extensive tests and checks than a daily schedule. Perform the following activities for monthly maintenance:

  • Clean the coolant tank, getting rid of any chips, oil, or sludge
  • Remove and clean the jaws and chuck
  • Clean the radiators, straightening the radiator fins
  • Keep the machine level
  • Dispose of and replace the hydraulic oil
  • Drain and refill the coolant
  • Inspect wipers and replace those that are damaged
  • Replace suction and line filters

Yearly Maintenance

Yearly CNC maintenance is quite detailed and requires a specialist’s inspection. When you make an annual appointment with a maintenance and repair specialist, they will perform the following activities:

  • Check whether the headstock or tailstock has tapered
  • Inspect the spindle for end or radial play
  • Check for runouts in the chuck cylinder
  • Check for turret inclination and parallelism
  • Run a backlash program on the X and Z axis to determine whether it needs adjustments

Maintain Your CNC Machine with Rubin Engineering & Sales

A well-maintained CNC machine produces reliable and precise components. Hiring a specialist to take care of maintenance tasks ensures your CNC machine can consistently produce these results. Rubin Engineering & Sales offers the most comprehensive CNC maintenance and replacement services for all kinds of CNC machines. Contact us today to find out how we can help keep your production running as smoothly as possible.

Choosing the Right Ball Screw

At Rubin Engineering & Sales, we service and repair modern and vintage machine tools. Our primary focus is out-of-production or obsolete components that are difficult to find or repair, including drives, electric controls, chip conveyors, way covers, spindles, and ball screws. Our refurbished components from top manufacturers meet or surpass OEM standards.

Many machines rely on ball screws to convert the motor’s rotations to linear motion. The ball screw improves machinery by delivering smoother motion and load transfer. Below we’ll provide an overview of ball screws to help you understand how they work.

What is a Ball Screw?

Choosing the Right Screw Ball
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A ball screw is an actuator that converts rotational movement into linear motion. The components of a ball screw include a screw shaft with helical grooves and a ball nut. The screw shaft and the nut—which contains the balls—glide along a helical path as the parts rotate. The ball nut transmits forces to a dynamic or stationary load and produces high repeatability, precision, and accuracy.

Ball screws are ideal for applications requiring linear load transfer at prolonged high speeds, with better accuracy, efficiency, and smoothness. These mechanical devices provide the following advantages:

  • Low torque and high efficiency from a smaller motor
  • Increased positional accuracy with higher accuracy grades
  • Cooler operational temperatures and low friction
  • Enables adjustment to increase or decrease preload

How Does a Ball Screw Work?

The ball screw nut and screw have matching grooves in a helical pattern. The balls roll between these grooves, and this is the only contact point between these components. The nut features a ball return system that recycles the deflected balls as the screw or nut rotates. The return system provides a continuous path for the balls to return to the opposite end of the nut. As balls exit the return path, they realign in the nut thread raceway of the ball screw, where they recirculate again in a circuit.

Rubin Engineering & Sales for Ball Screw Service and Repair

Ball screws are vital to providing smooth and continuous linear motion to CNC machines and other equipment. They convert the rotational motion of a motor to linear motion that can carry the load along the helical grooves of the screw shaft using precisely fit balls. Ball screws provide low-friction, accurate, efficient, and versatile operation.

At Rubin Engineering & Sales, we are experts in the repair, service, and procurement of obsolete and out-of-production parts. Our services have a proven track record for the last 30 years, and we work with some of the most well-known companies in the industry. Our quick turnaround times and extensive catalog of high-quality CNC machine parts ensure that you can find what you need and receive it on time. Request a quote today to learn more about our products and capabilities.