A machine that creates perfection also needs to be maintained to perfection. The prep work is half the work itself and to avoid breakage, dysfunctionality, and bad quality work, it’s a must to inspect CNC tools. Everyone has their own method, but in this blog we will be discussing what we believe at Epic Tool is the best method to ensure success and longevity.
Eyes, Ears, and Touch
First things first, you want to take a look and see if there’s anything that appears to be abnormal to you. If it looks odd, it’s almost a guarantee that it’s faulty. This is also true with auditory indicators. When a CNC machine is running properly, it has a persistent humming sound to it. If the sound fluctuates in rhythm or volume, that can be a clear indication of trouble. Finally, with your hands you want to make sure everything is aligned and properly balanced. The vibratory echo can easily be felt if there’s some sort of misalignment.
Tighten Things Up
Tool manufacturers provide specifications for the equipment they supply and that dimensional data can be important to proper tool inspection. A lot of CNC operators carry a digital micrometer with them to measure and check tool dimensions and accuracy. When in doubt, check the instruction manual for proper tool dimensions and sizes, particularly when it comes to the tool mounting points. Improper fit on a tool spindle can cause a lot of problems downstream. Tolerances are so tight on some tools that it takes a microscope to determine the tool’s condition.
Timing is Key
CNC Machines work very hard, anywhere from just a few hours a day to nonstop 24/7. The usage of each tool depends on the wear and tear that the tool experiences during its working life. Calibrating tools to perform accurately can become a full-time job especially in high-production environments. Understanding the construction behind a tool, as well as the application and expected longevity of it, really helps prevent breakdowns. This also allows for a better routine which is important when staying organized. Tool inspection before, during, and after each use is a critical part of proper CNC machine management. Keeping track of installation dates, maintenance points, and disposal of old or broken equipment is helpful in determining whether or not performance is at peak productivity.
Be the Tool
To truly inspect the tool correctly, it needs to be done as if you were the machine, which means regularly, thoroughly, and without passion or emotion. Wanting your parts to come out perfect is one thing, but actually putting in the time and effort to ensure so is another thing. Tool inspection requires a keen eye, a clear understanding of what is and what is not within specification, and a desire to accomplish the task as perfectly as possible every time. Here at Epic Tool, our team of experts are committed to making sure nothing ever slips through the cracks. With proper preparation, we avoid mistakes instead of having to solve them.