Maintenance

Tools, actions and systems used to retain and upkeep, repair, overhaul and restore any mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and pneumatic machinery or other devices to a state in which they can perform their required routine functions to a desired specification without becoming out of order, breaking down or failing.  

The Art of the Machine Tool Rebuild

An advanced CNC retrofit package gives a new lease of life to hob sharpeners by doubling accuracy and immensely increases machine productivity.
Experts
Compressed Air

The Cost, Common Culprits, Detection and Repair of Compressed Air System Leaks

In the highly competitive environment of manufacturing, a clean, dry, reliable compressed air supply feeding into the shop is critical to maintaining efficient and cost effective production.
An ongoing leak detection audit and repair program will quickly pay for itself through energy savings (and may even be subsidized by local utility incentive programs). Equally important, you will likely see benefits from reduced downtime and better running production equipment. All of these contribute to a stronger bottom line.
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems

The Maintenance Platform of the Future

Here is an iPad Vibration Analyzer being used in a shop in Honduras. Tablet devices and smartphones are clearly marked to be a maintenance platform of the future.
For shops that have operated the same way for 50 years and don't really know where to start a predictive maintenance program or where to focus PDM for competitive advantages in the future, Tom Hoenig of GTI Spindle Technology shares some critical insights into starting up and sustaining an effective system using the latest technology and devices.
Filters

Clean Grinding Oils Increase Quality, Decrease Cost

A roof or sidewall mounted condenser with selectable heat dissipation.
This modular micro-filtration system with Vomat FA-series high-performance filter technology is a critical part of any metal processing operation.
Hand Tools

The Whos, Whens, Whys and Hows of Preventive Robitic MIG Gun Maintenance

Visually inspect consumables on a regular basis for signs of spatter, replacing them as needed. Also, consider adding a nozzle cleaning station (also called a reamer or spatter cleaner) to the weld cell. Like its name implies, a nozzle cleaning station removes spatter (and other debris) that builds up in the nozzle and diffuser. Using this equipment in conjunction with a sprayer that applies an anti-spatter compound can further protect against spatter accumulation.(Click on photo to enlarge it)
The robotic MIG gun and its consumables are frequently overlooked components in the system, but this maintenance primer from Tregaskiss shows that they are relatively easy to maintain and, by doing so, can positively contribute to the efficiency of the entire welding operation.
Indoor Air Quality

Breakthrough in Industrial Air Recyling

DuroPure is the world’s first indoor air filtration system that completely recycles air without the need to exhaust contaminants to the outside environment.
Do you work with oversized work pieces? Space limitations? Material handling issues? Intermittent needs? Mobility? DuroPure from Duroair Technologies is an innovative, compliant solution to purify the shop air surrounding your employees.
Industrial Cleaning/Waste Removal

PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE

Edward Zitney, Jr.SKF Machine Tool Services “A typical vertical machining center features a main housing to fit the spindle cartridge. This housing should be scrutinized regularly for signs of trouble. The inner diameter should be clean without signs of scoring or serious wear and the faces should not exhibit damage, nicks, or dings. Also, the main housing to the machine should always be properly aligned; otherwise, spindle problems attributed to misalignment could develop.”
Even though a machine tool spindle is a high-precision machine component, more often than not it is handled carelessly, forced to perform well beyond design limitations, or otherwise abused to the breaking point. Ed Zitney of SKF Machine Tool Services shows how proper care and maintenance can make all the difference in both its operation and longevity in service.
Lubricants, Coolants, Metalworking Fluids

Why Aren’t More Manufacturers Using Minimum Quantity Lubrication?

Metal chips produced during MQL machining are nearly dry and much cleaner than conventional approaches.  Near-dry chips are easier to recycle and more valuable as a recycled material.
While the idea of sustainability is becoming better defined and understood, many manufacturers are still not taking the necessary steps to implement newer proven technologies that foster sustainability. Why?
Machine Tool Repair and Rebuilds

Machine Tool Rebuilding Takes Center Stage

A technician shoots for alignment precision on a table-design portal milling machine from the 1970s that is being dramatically modernized by Schiess.
Since retrofits, rebuilds or remanufactures typically cost between one-third to two-thirds the price of a new machine, many shops are choosing this route to improve their uptime and availability. Here are some re-cent examples.
Software

Next Generation OEE: Better Information = Better Shop Floor Control

The Overall Employee Effectiveness metric focuses on the employee as the central asset of measurement as opposed to the machine. This measure is very good in operations that have labor content as a significant factor in the successful value-add processes on the production floor. By improving factory floor operator activity, the production facility can create an improvement in the value stream.
Too often management invests in wiring machines to a central server for uptime and downtime reporting on the machines. These systems are relatively inexpensive and produce colorful dash boards, but may not reveal the reason for the downtime. Knowing the “who, what, why” is more important than just the “where and when.”  
Spindle Repair and Rebuilds

Ball Screw Repair and Rebuild for Machine Tools

SKF services for the repair and rebuilding of ball screw assemblies include free inspection and analysis, comprehensive failure analysis and reporting, reverse engineering, replacement parts, plating, end journal repair, and shaft machining, among others.  Emergency service is available with expedited turnaround and on-site field service can be arranged when requested. 
SKF introduces repair and rebuild capabilities for ball screws with dedicated service channel and full technical support.
Maintenance: Products

How to Cut Your Energy Consumption in Half

GA Variable Speed Drive+ technology closely follows the air demand by automatically adjusting the motor speed to match the compressed air supply to the air demand. Combined with the iPM (Permanent Magnet) motor, this cuts the lifecycle cost of the compressor by an average of 37 percent. A more efficient fan motor saves specific energy requirements of up to 7 percent of the compressor power.
The compressor realizes a Free Air Delivery increase of up to 12 percent. 
This innovative compressed air system is a game changer that reduces energy consumption by a staggering 50 percent on average, compared to idling compressors. The GA 7-37 VSD+ compressor from Atlas Copco reduces energy consumption by a staggering 50 percent on average, compared to idling compressors.

Servo Gearheads for Demanding Automation Applications

The PLFN high precision planetary with EN ISO 9409 output is compact with high stiffness and comes in 5 sizes, 13 ratios, with torques up to 1800 Nm.
Planetary gearboxes and matching stepper motors from Neugart are ideal for automated machine tool systems and controlled-motion applications. 

Automation Optimizes Machining Time

The Sytronix FcP frequency controlled pump drive is an energy-efficient, variable-speed pump drive used in constant pressure systems on machine tools to offer energy savings from 40 percent to 70 percent and reduce average noise emission by up to 20 dB (A).
Bosch Rexroth offers open, scalable CNC platforms, advanced automation technologies and open programming tools that help optimize cutting, forming and machining times and improve production flexibility and precision.