Productivity, CNC Machines

7 Ways to Reduce CNC Machine Service Costs

March 21, 2013

Reduce CNC Machine Service CostThe true cost of servicing a CNC machine tool, including downtime, can get very expensive. However there are a number of common sense ways you can reduce the number of service calls you make each year. Here are 7:

  1. Buy the right equipment to begin with. No question that buying a CNC machine is a major investment. Unfortunately some companies, hoping to save on the initial cost, purchase a machine tool that doesn’t adequately meet their manufacturing process demands. This means the machine is constantly pushed beyond its capabilities, and that leads to excessive wear and service costs. Worse, the machine is likely losing accuracy over time so part quality slips so scrap and rework escalate. Over time it is far most cost-effective to invest in a machine that fits your needs, even if the purchase price is a bit more. You’ll quickly make up the difference in reduced service costs and consistent part quality.
  2. Keep key replacement parts on hand. Every machine has some parts that must be replaced over time due to normal wear. By anticipating this need and maintaining a manageable inventory of perishable components, you can save considerable downtime, emergency repairs and the cost of expediting parts shipments.
  3. Invest in planned maintenance. One of the easiest ways to reduce service costs is to properly train your staff to perform routine preventative maintenance. Just as your car or truck requires regular care, so do your machine tools. And the frequency of this service depends on the amount of use and severity of conditions. Therefore you need to put a daily, monthly and quarterly maintenance program into place. Gosiger can provide training for your internal maintenance staff and design a Planned Preventative Maintenance program for your specific requirements.
  4. Train machine operators and programmers. Most machine mishaps, including serious crashes, happen because someone isn’t as familiar with the equipment as he or she should be. Gosiger provides in-depth programming and operating training that teaches CNC machine operators how to avoid costly malfunctions. And because new programs, technologies and apps are constantly emerging, even the most experienced operators can use a refresher course from time-to-time.
  5. Document problems. If you encounter intermittent machine problems, be sure to document the incidents thoroughly. Record machine conditions at the time of the problem, any alarms or indicators, and precisely at which point in the process the problem occurred. The more information you can provide, the better able the service person will be to diagnose and fix the problem, thus saving you time and money.
  6. Let idle machines rest. Most newer CNC machines include power saving features, such as sleep modes. You may also be able to turn off hydraulics and other functions.
  7. Keep machine documentation handy. User manuals and other information about the machine tool should be readily available so that operators can refer to it and possibly head off the need for a service call. The more familiar your people are with these documents, the better able they will be to handle minor adjustments and operate the equipment safely and efficiently.

When you do require service, Gosiger offers a wide range of customer support, technical services and preventative maintenance plans for the equipment it sells. Contact Gosiger for more information.