Machine Maintenance Basics: Simple tips that help avoid breakdowns

Machine Maintenance Basics: Simple tips that help avoid breakdowns
Machine Maintenance Basics: Simple tips that help avoid breakdowns

Maintenance series:

Did you know that unexpected CNC machine breakdowns typically cost 12 to 18% more than preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is nothing but taking care of a machine to avoid breakdown versus investing in repairs post breakdown.

In this series, we will discuss how caring for your machine tool is simple and how it can increase your machine’s life.

A machine tool’s productivity and life in a shop floor depend on many factors. Over a period of time a machine experiences wear and tear and coupled with neglect, a machine’s performance can be further decreased. Ultimately, the machine wear will begin to seriously affect not only efficiency but also product quality.

Ideal Machine set up and environment

Machine environment

The area around the machine environment should be free from dust, moisture, standing water, liquid, and rain, etc.

Maintaining a clean, dust free and dry environment is crucial in ensuring no rusting of parts and easy usability.

Magnetic sources

The machine should not be placed near any vibrating sources like punch press & magnetic/ electric sources etc.

Since the machine is made of magnetic and electrical elements any strong magnetic fields around the machine

Exposure to sunlight

The machine and CNC should not be exposed to direct sunlight or any other heat sources. This may add to the overheating of moving parts.

Machine foundation as per recommendation

A good foundation for a machine avoids a vibration free machine, lower rejection of components and reduction of tool life. With this step we can expect better accuracies in machined parts. Increase in tool life and reliability of the machine

Autonomous maintenance:

As the name suggests it is self-sufficient maintenance that can be taken care of by the operators themselves so that trained maintenance personals can focus on more technical repairs.

These are preventive maintenance steps that help ensure regular upkeep of machines.

Keeping the machine environment clean and safe is very important. Regular check-ups increase uptime, improve profit margins and increase output efficiencies. Here are a few tips that operators or maintenance personnel should follow before machine switch on:

Daily maintenance tips:

Swarf-Ensure no swarf & Dirt has collected on

  • The floor,
  • The machine bed,
  • Between x axis stainless steel guard and turret body,
  • Z axis stainless steel guard & Tailstock,
  • Back area of spindle,
  • The top of hydraulic tank,
  • Coolant tray


  • Working condition of Coolant fans
  • For any abnormal sounds in all the motors
  • For any abnormal noise from the power pack and breather cap in the closed condition
  • The working condition and cleanliness of radiator cooling fan.
  • Oil level in the hydraulic tank- should always be above low level in the indicator.
  • If the Labyrinth hole is clean

Following these steps daily ensures a trouble free start and general hygiene of the machine for better performance