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.

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