Poor tool performance is almost always prematurely blamed on an individual tool's quality before all the variables that can contribute to a performance issue are inspected and assessed. This is often the case with businesses that have installed their first machine, and it is our job as tooling manufactures to educate machine operators on best practice for tool maintenance and help implement a robust process not only for the purpose of improving performance and optimization of an expensive asset, but to minimize the spending of money on needless replacement items and potentially expensive repairs, and machine downtime in the future.
Below is a starter checklist that our sales technicians have used for over fifteen years to narrow down on an issue and find a solution. This process has never failed our team in identifying an issue and pointing to the right solution. I hope you find value in it.
General checks relating to the tool, clamping unit and tool performance:
- Check the RPM and Feed Rate is the correct for the tool in use. Change accordingly.
- Ensure the dust in the tool path of cut panels is not compacted in and blows out easily. Check extraction system for any air leaks.
- If vibration is occurring with poor edge quality check the tool path is correct (climb cut vs conventional cut) Note: if the tool is climb cutting the tool will also be louder. Make sure you are using the conventional method as often as possible for longer tool life.
- Remove the tool and check cutting edges for wear and chips. Replace as necessary.
- Check for excessive build up on the tool or evidence of extreme heat – burning or discolouration. If burnt, the tool will need servicing or replacing.
- Check the tool shank for score marks, wear or build up. Clean or replace, as necessary and replace the collet as this is a sign of overuse and may cause vibration, poor cutting and potentially lead to premature tool breakage.
- Check the collet is free of build up in the slots. Clean or replace as necessary.
- Check the threads on chuck body and nut are free from build up and clean as necessary. Replace any damaged part.
- If using a bearing nut check for free movement. Clean or replace as necessary.
- Check the spindle taper for any build up of dust etc and clean as necessary
- Check the chuck tapers for damage and clean as necessary.
For Part 2, I'll be sharing some hints and tips together with our checklist relating to the material being cut, and what you can do to ensure you are minimizing the risk of panel movement and increasing productivity. If you haven't signed up to our newsletter yet, you can do that here.