Hibernating Your CNC System During Lockdown.Coplan Ltd get on the case with a New Tekcel EXR 2m x 3m
Hopefully you’re keeping safe and well during these challenging times and hope you’ve had the opportunity to ensure that your employees, customers and colleagues are all safe from COVID-19 in accordance with government directives. With this in mind, now would be a really good time to consider the potential impact on your CNC equipment and make sure it’s fully ready to get straight back to work for you, when we all return.
Good quality CNC routing systems, such as Tekcel CNC Routers, are designed for sustained, heavy-duty use. Many of our customers rely & run their systems not just nine to five but 24/7, running shift work day and night. Good CNC manufacturers, like Tekcel, bear that in mind when designing various elements of the machine, such as rigidity, electrical components, drive systems, bearings, spindles & servo motors, which are all intended to work & perform very hard, during their lifetime. However, this means that when CNC systems are left idle or not turned on and moved for lengthy periods, for example during a shutdown, they could suffer damage. This could result in costly repairs but can be easily avoided with some simple steps. Here’s a checklist of what we recommend for all Tekcel CNC systems.
1. Make sure your CNC machine is fully cleaned and vacuumed on the table surface and all around the critical areas of the machine, leaving it free from swarf, dust and debris.
2. Spray all Linear Guide Rails & Linear Guide Rails Bearings on the X, Y & Z axis with PTFE-400 silicon free lubricant spray and then manually move the machine around on all axis for a few minutes. Once you have done this, clean and wipe off the excess spray, along with any debris created on the rails or around the bearing blocks. Find silicon free lubricant spray here.
3. Using the specified Grease and Grease Gun, apply 2 pumps of grease ONLY to the Linear guide rail bearing blocks on the X, Y & Z axis and wipe off the excess grease from the grease nipples. Once you have greased all the linear guide rail bearing blocks, slowly move the machine around on all axis to start with, for a couple of minutes, so as the grease is evenly dispersed along the rails. If clumps of grease appear, then just smear the grease evenly along the rails https://www.completecnc.co.uk/cnc-router-tooling/router-accessories/grease-gun-and-refill
4. Spray all Ball Screw & Ball Nut Bearings on the X, Y & Z axis with PTFE-400 silicon free lubricant spray and then manually move the machine around on all axis for a few minutes. Once you have done this, clean and wipe off the excess spray, along with any debris created on the Ball Screw or around the Ball Nut bearing. Find silicon free lubricant spray it here.
5. Using the specified Grease and Grease Gun, apply 2 pumps of grease ONLY to the Ball Nut Bearings on the X, Y & Z axis and wipe off the excess grease from the grease nipples. Once you have greased all the Ball Nut Bearings, slowly move the machine around on all axis to start with, for a couple of minutes, so as the grease is evenly dispersed along the Ball Screws. If clumps of grease appear, then just smear the grease evenly along the Ball Screws. Find grease and grease gun here.
6. Check and replace your Vacuum Pump filters with new ones from Complete CNC. Make sure you clean the filter housing and refit the new filter correctly. Replacing a filter will always give you much better hold down through your vacuum table, as long as your table surface is in good condition, free from debris and no blocked holes. It’s also a good Idea to skim your sacrificial surface when you return, so as you start with a fresh, flat surface.
7. Your Spindle Motor is one of the most important parts of your machine and it’s well worth looking after. Make sure there are NO tool holders left in the spindle when not in use. We recommend a quick spray of PTFE-400 up inside the spindle taper and a wipe around to keep this lubricated. It’s a good idea, once you have done this, to pick up and drop off a couple of tool holders to disperse the spray inside the spindle gripper. Wipe away any excess spray. Find silicon free lubricant spray here.
8. Tool Holders, Tooling & Collets are all very important too, so we recommend you remove all tool holders from the ATC Tool Rack. Fully disassemble the Tool Holder, by undoing the collet nut and removing the tool and collet. Spray the tool holder and collet nut with PTFE-400 spray and clean thoroughly. Now would be a really good time to replace all old and worn collets and don’t forget to stock up on new, fresh tooling too. Check your black Tool Holder Grippers for wear and please replace these accordingly as loose & worn Tool Holder Grippers can damage your spindle over time, so should be regularly replaced. Tooling available here.
9. Make sure your Dust Extraction System is emptied and that all the filters are thoroughly cleaned. Check the functionality of the system and replace any parts as you see fit. Check all hoses for any blockages or trapped debris and replace any broken hoses
10. Top up your metal cutting mist coolant system with fresh mist coolant fluid if applicable. Find mist coolant here.
11. Finally, once you have fully completed these tasks, turn your machine off and unplug / isolate the power supply. It’s also a good idea to throw a cover over the whole machine, if possible, so as it’s kept free from dust and debris during this break.
Remember, all being well, you’ll be back working again soon, so if you can, take care of all those small maintenance jobs, repairs, cleaning and tidying. Prepare your equipment and workplace now to hit the ground running at the end of the lockdown. Remember, we’re here to help you, so just contact us and above all, stay safe & well.
Tel: 01934 742186 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julian Sage, Managing Director, Complete CNC Solutions Ltd