Milling Machine Maintenance
Metal work is almost impossible without the kind of milling machines and equipment you keep on hand in your fabrication shop. The machines often represent a significant investment and having broken machines around only interferes with work and drains your wallet depending on what must be fixed. Good maintenance can eliminate much downtime, so take these pointers seriously.
Your own experience in the industry probably means you can operate any of the machines on the shop floor. However, it's still smart to look through equipment manuals. You could be a bit rusty about some issues, and the manuals can recommend specific oils, bits and details that aid good maintenance. They can also suggest certain replacement parts so you don't make purchase mistakes which could affect the functionality of a milling machines.
Whenever you bring on new team members, you might believe you vetted them properly during the interviewing and hiring process. You might feel good about their milling machine skills. However, to ensure that they are using the machines as intended, have brief training sessions and watch their work during a probationary period. Their previous employers may have taught or permitted bad habits which could affect the longevity of your machines. Correcting those habits and ensuring they work well with floor machines is important.
Cleanliness could be less important to you and everyone else in the shop than working with machines and completing customer orders. However, cleanliness ought to be prioritized. When the machine surfaces are wiped down or brushed out regularly, it's easier to become alerted to possible mechanical issues which could require repair. In addition, dust and oil left on machines can, over time, interfere with their work and wear them down. Daily cleanups are essential. A cleaner shop will also provide more safety for everyone there.
Lubricants cool down all of your milling and boring machines. Extra lubricant should be somewhere in the shop at all times so that machines aren't overheating and start breaking down. You may want to implement periodic lubricant checks.
Schedule Filter and Oil Changes
Instead of ignoring them until there's an emergent situation, you should be scheduling and following through with general maintenance like replacing machine filters and changing out machine oil even if you don't see any signals or alerts that problems are brewing.
Milling machines need attention. This information should protect all your shop's equipment; ask machine repair technicians for more ideas.