Maintenance Tips, Heat and Humidity
June 13, 2014
Because the computers and electronics that enable us to program and control CNC machine tools are typically housed in a protective cabinet, we sometimes forget that they are still subject to damage if heat builds up or debris finds its way into the enclosure. In fact, a widely accepted rule of thumb is that the rate of failure for electronic devices is cut in half for every 50º F (10º C) decrease in temperature.
Such problems include switch contacts that become oxidized and begin arcing, capacitors, transistors and other components that experience current leakage, and decreased insulation resistance that leads to shorts, overall loss of conductivity, and changes in resistance.
That’s why there are cooling fans within the cabinets and exhaust ports that allow heat to escape, and intake fans that have filters designed to keep contaminants out. If these filters become clogged, heat builds up within the cabinet. Plus, when the filters become saturated with airborne coolant spray, the oil begins to collect inside of the cabinet, potentially dripping onto and damaging electrical components. Gosiger service technicians have observed many of these situations, in some cases finding a quart or more of oil in the bottom of a cabinet.
To prevent damage from oil residue, airborne debris and heat build-up, it is vitally important that the control cabinet filters are checked and replaced regularly. How often they need cleaning or replacing depends on the amount of contaminants in the factory or machine shop atmosphere.
Oil mist collectors can greatly reduce the amount of coolant in the air. This not only helps extend control cabinet filter life and prevents costly repairs, it also vastly improves air quality for machine operators and others in the facility, and eliminates oily residue from collecting on the floor and other surfaces. Many shops have found that their workers are safer and healthier, have fewer sick days and are more productive when oil mist is removed from the air.
Similarly, when operators unload parts from a machine tool, they typically use compressed air to blow off oil, dust, chips and other debris. These contaminants become airborne and can clog control cabinet filters and, again, adversely impact air quality. A good solution is a compact spray enclosure that can be rolled around the shop and uses a highly effective air filtration system to remove 99% of contaminants.
These are a few ways you can protect the valuable components within CNC control cabinets that will save you downtime and repair costs. For more ways preventative maintenance can save you time and money, talk to the technical service experts at Gosiger.