Machine shops are facilities where companies carry out machining activities. These activities are part of subtractive manufacturing, equipment repair, and replacement part fabrication. Machine services shops provide various machine shop and engineering services. The services offered include drilling, grinding, finishing, shaping, cutting, electroplating, heat treating, and many more. Standard tools used in these shops include drill presses, milling machines, metal lathes, hoists, and other equipment. Some of these machines get manned through computer numerical control systems (CNCs).
Machinists use these tools to fabricate machine and tool parts from different materials, which include metal, wood, glass, and plastic. A machine shop can be part of a large production facility such as a factory or a small job shop, or part of a tool room. The parts made in these shops get used in factories for end-product manufacturing processes or as replacement parts for other equipment in the machine, auto, or equipment industries.
Providers of machine shop and engineering services need to take good care of their equipment and tools to prolong their lifespan and return on investment. If you’re a tool owner too, you need to maintain your heavy machinery and other equipment to avoid seeking for costly repairs and parts whenever your machines and tools get damaged.
Whether you’re in the material, mining, farming, construction or landscaping industry, you’ll at one time need the machine shop and engineering services. But before that, here are tips that can help you in maintaining your tools and equipment, and avoid costly repairs.
1. Train your machine operators well
Tools and equipment often malfunction because of improper use and lack of regular maintenance and timely repairs. Providing proper training to your machine and equipment operators, which includes proper use details, maintenance, storage, and general equipment care insights, can go a long way in ensuring that your equipment lasts. It’s also recommendable to oversee all machine use and inspect tools and equipment after use to ensure that they’re well stored. All new machine operators should get proper training and regular skill tests in their use of machines because their skills may get rusty after some time.
2. Test oil levels and ensure they’re always at the proper levels and quality
Lubrication reduces equipment parts to wear and tear by reducing friction. A regular schedule of oil refills and emptying of the used-up oil can prolong the lifespan of your equipment. Regular inspections of oil seals and checking for leaks, grease build-up, and excess oil can help you in correcting any lubrication problems, which may lead to equipment damage. The easiest way to handle lubrication processes is by following the part manufacturer’s recommendation.
3. Check for early indications of wear and tear.
High temperatures from long-term use, shock, vibration, and contaminated lubricants with sand and other debris can cause fast wear and tear of equipment parts in heavy machinery. Checking used oil for contaminants can help in determining the kind of pollutants causing accelerated wear and tear of machine parts. It is advisable to do immediate part replacements, and repairs if there is extensive wear on the components inspected.
4. Clean and store equipment in the right place and keep a clean working environment.
You should clean the many filters and seals in your heavy machinery components to reduce clogging and oil contamination. Both seals and filters need regular inspection and changes. Cleaning your filters avoids clogging, which creates vacuums, which can suck in contaminants that increase friction and wear. It’s advisable to cover machines to prevent exposure to water, wind, and dust. Periodic running of machines can also improve their condition and avoid rust.
5. Create a regular inspection, maintenance, cleaning, and repair regimen
Without a clear schedule of these activities, you’re likely to forget one or more of them and your equipment and tools can get damaged if unchecked in time.
Following these five insightful tips can help in reducing machine repairs and part replacements. The lifespan of equipment can be prolonged by asking providers of machine shop and engineering services to perform regular inspections and maintenance on work equipment.