Machine Center

Making The Most Out Of Your Machine Center

A machine center is a CNC machine that either mills or drills and has a tool changer. Units will also consist of a table that allows you to hold your work stationary. In this situation the material does not rotate but the tool does. There is also a 5-axis machine center that moves both the part and the tool. It was once thought that horizontal machine centers increase production and vertical machine centers increase precision but these machines have evolved and that is no longer the case. They can both be utilized and run neck and neck really not creating a competition against one another.

There are many new CNC programmers and operators out there searching for an opportunity in the manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, there are very few experienced CNC machinists or programmers looking. It is unknown why they are so hard to find. Training these new employees to make the most out of the equipment is pivotal to increased production and reduced repairs.

Machine Center and CNC Programs

Employees should check the equipment and perform all routine preventative maintenance prior to use. Many shops have a full-time equipment maintenance employee. Inform all new employees that having a maintenance employee does alleviate them from the task of equipment preventative maintenance. It is recommended that you ask the manufacturer of your machine center to provide you with daily, weekly, monthly, and periodical checklists for the maintenance if they are not in the owner’s manual. Inspect what you expect and do periodic checks of records to ensure the equipment is being maintained properly.

Cleanliness is extremely important in a work area and can help to eliminate clutter and dust that can affect the machine center. Use the methods of 5 S or Kaizen to make sure the work center and surrounding area stay free of debris. This will not only increase production but give the employee a sense of responsibility for the conditions of the work area.

Utilizing the proper safety equipment is a must. Depending on your environment protective equipment requirements can change. Make sure that you are utilizing all proper safety equipment prior to use. If the machine station you are using has a door make sure that the door is closed when the machine center is in operation.

Many industries have been touched by the use of CNC machine centers. Oil and gas, automotive, aerospace, and fabrication shops across America are using CNC machine centers to replace outdated manual equipment. CNC machine centers can be a large expense for a small company which is why the proper care of the machine is so important. By training your staff properly when they first arrive you will ensure that they understand the importance of the equipment and expectations of use.

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