Common Problems With CNC Machine Tools & Their Solutions

CNC machining as a process produces complex machined parts with ease. The whole process requires the machine tools to work together effectively. When the production is high, there is a possibility of the machine tools faltering.

CNC Machine Tools Problems and Solutions

CNC Machine Tools Problems and Solutions

Some of the problems are minimal but some of them need proper attention and guidance. This article focuses on the problems and challenges faced by machine shop owners.

#1. Working with the wrong tools

Using the wrong cutting tools results in the poor quality of the machined part. Many machine shops make the mistake of using the wrong cutting tools; the poor result is visible by rough edges or burns spots.

Solution: To fix this problem, you’ll need to select the right tool and setting for the build quality and material. You’ll need to consult proper instruction manuals that detail the parameters for the various tools and the quality of the materials used.

#2. Programming errors

Poor programming is another common problem that affects product creation. All CNC equipment is controlled by CNC computers and incorrect programming leads to downgrading the quality of the machined part. It could be due to improper understanding of G and M codes implemented by the controller.

Solution: New operators must be properly trained in all methods of programming CNC machines. Machine shops must provide the controller with all the details about the machine operations, equipment manuals.

#3. Improper maintenance of CNC machine tool

CNC machines work continuously for long periods, it’s possible if all the machine parts are working properly.

Irregular maintenance of CNC machine tools can impact the overall operation. The machine parts require lubrication from time to time and clean of any debris/dirt.

Solution: Ensure that routine maintenance is scheduled every month. To ensure that the machine continues to run smoothly, you should check the coolant or airflow levels, such as air filters, regularly.

#4. Problems with power supply

Power supply issues are the most basic ones that a manufacturer often experiences. CNC machines are complex and require an adequate power supply.

Failure in power supply results in inaccurate results and CNC machines are not able to operate.

Solution: Keep in mind to use the correct power and voltage supply for the input side. You can also call a specialist to perform the check. Therefore, stable power is necessary for CNC machining to work.

#5. CNC machine tool overheating

CNC machining is a non-stop process and due to high orders machines are working continuously. It results in overheating of the machine tools.

During the prolonged working of the CNC machine, the temperature reaches over 150 degrees. It impacts the CNC machine life, the tool used and the quality of the parts produced.

Solution: Care of the CNC machines is the right way to do it. Clean all the areas of the machine and don’t let liquids and metal shavings get accumulated. Try to use a spindle with air-oil lubrication for the CNC machine helping with no issues operating for long hours.

#6. Issues with automatic tool changer

Faults with automatic tool changers are common in CNC machine tools. It could lead to problems during the manufacturing process of machined parts.

Therefore, the machine shop owners tend to take the automatic tool changer problem seriously.

Solution: As a machine shop expert you need to check the tool holder, support arm, the base must work properly. Check the mechanical arm to see the proper action and it’s working well.

#7. Machine chatter/vibration problem

We all know that CNC machines are complex and require working continuously to produce high-quality machined parts.

During the process, it’s natural for the machine tool to vibrate. A machinist can notice the issue when the noise increases; when it gets louder and louder then it means there is a problem.

Solution: You need to first know the problem in your work piece chatter. Look to adjust the RPM of your machining process so the frequencies of the machining process will not resonate with material frequency.

#8. Problems with chucks and fixtures

Chucks and fixtures get loose with time resulting in these fixtures not clutched firmly by the spindle. It can lead to vibration of the machine tool during the machining process.

Clamping/unclamping of the chucks and fixtures can lead to the poor design of the machined part and injury to the operator in the worst-case scenario.

Solution: One needs to ensure that the part is correctly positioned ensuring proper clamping. Check if the chuck is working on the MDI M-code command.

#9.  Insufficient worker skill and training

CNC machining is evolving and the skill set your workers have might be outdated. They need to have proper management and technical skills as well which includes programming skills and without these skills, workers are unable to bring the much-needed precision in the machined parts.

Solution: It can be solved by hiring the right machine operators that have up-to-date programming skills and can visualize the machining process.

#10. Working with an inexperienced CNC machine tool partner

Finally, you need to choose the right CNC machine partner to overcome the common problems of the machine tool.

Machine tool errors can be frustrating for the machine shop and can slow down the overall progress of the production of machined parts.

Solution: To ensure that the CNC machine tool problems are at a minimum, you need to work with experienced CNC machine tool companies that keep in mind the necessary things to look for with CNC machine tools.

Summing it up

CNC machine tool failures can prove to be costly and problematic for your machine shop in the long run. The CNC machine tools are durable but are prone to give problems if they are not maintained properly. To ensure your CNC machine tools work during high production, you need to be aware of the common problems and then implement the solutions.

Author: Norm

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