What to Know about Cleaning a CNC Machine

What to Know about Cleaning a CNC Machine

What to Know about Cleaning a CNC Machine

No one enjoys cleaning up after the process is over.  This is especially true for CNC machinists that are working in mass production of small CNC machined parts.  These automatic precision machines make a mess like no other.  In fact, you will find cuttings, dirt, dust, emulsions, lubricants, and pretty much any other form of grit will be embedded into the nooks and crannies of the CNC machine.  You need to keep these machines running in top condition to maintain accurate and swift output.  In order to keep CNC machines clean, you need to follow a strict cleaning regimen.

No Two Clean Ups Are the Same

While the functionality may be similar between CNC machines, cleaning them up has no similarities whatsoever. As a matter of fact, there is no commonality between machining center machines and lathes.  They require different cleaning methods, including degreasers, high-pressure washers, scrub brushes, and many other chemicals. They require specific products for removing grit, dust, grime, shavings, and chemicals while not ruining the machine itself.  CNC manufacturers all provide instructions on the clearing and cleaning process of the CNC Swiss machining tools, surfaces, and machinery. It is important that these instructions are followed so no warranties are voided, and you can avoid any expensive breakdowns.

Follow the Instructions Clearly

Make sure when it comes to the cleaning of the machinery, you are doing it all the way and all the time. You need to have regular cleaning schedules to ensure that the machines will run smoothly and accurately.  While some steps seem like they are unnecessary and irrelevant, they are in fact relevant. Even if the purpose for the steps is not clear, they are there for a reason.  Protocol is best left unviolated.  A checklist will help operators, engineers, and maintenance clean the machines accurately and correctly the first time.  It will also help establish a schedule for cleaning on each shift.

Take Your Time

This is not one of the jobs you can rush. Humans tend to rush and hurry This usually results in sloppy work, and unfinished jobs. When you are cleaning delicate equipment, doing it sloppily or not finishing the job can cause several issues over the course of time. So, make sure you slow down and take your time.  Follow each step, do not overlook any item on your checklist.

Keep Some Tools on Hand

Every CNC machinist should keep these tools on hand when they are cleaning their machines.

  • Goo Remover
  • Industrial Cleaner/Degreaser
  • Shop Towels
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Scrubbing Pads
  • Buffing Wheel
  • WD-40
  • Touchup Paint
  • Level
  • Metal Polish
  • Wire Brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Pressure Washer

These tools will not all be on a checklist created by the factory, or manufacturer. They are useful to have in your cleaning endeavors and may come in handing in a pinch. Some of these tools will help save you time without harming your performance or cleaning results.  

These are just some of the things you need to know about cleaning CNC machines when you work with CNC machined parts.  At Limea Precision, we take extra care of our machines to ensure they are working efficiently to create production parts.  Contact us to hear more about our CNC machining capabilities today.

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