Precautions CNC Machinists Must Follow

21 May 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


Always be careful when using a CNC machine. The improper use of a machine can lead to the machine being damaged, can lead to a poor cut and can also lead to the operator being injured. While operators might be tempted to take shortcuts, they will actually cost a company more money in medical bills and machine repairs.

Use Lubricants When Cutting Aluminum

When cutting aluminum, always make sure you use some form of lubricant. This is especially a problem with the less expensive router-style CNC machines. Aluminum enjoys sticking to the edge of an endmill. When this occurs, it is inevitable that the tool will break. To prevent this from happening, it is important to use a lubricant.

Avoid Excessive Runout

Another common problem is excessive runout. Runout is an additive that is added to chipload. If you have too much chipload, this can lead to the endmill breaking. There is always some runout, but the degree of runout must be controlled.

Do Not Have Too Many Flutes

Make sure that you do not have too many flutes in aluminum. This is a material that requires fewer flutes. Otherwise, you will have more chips that will curl in a way that takes up space. Do not use more than three flute endmills.

Do Not Work Too Slowly

Some operators assume that working more slowly will lead to a greater level of safety. However, moving more slowly can increase the risk that the tools will be damaged. If the chipload is too low, this can make it difficult for the machine to efficiently cut. The material is instead rubbed and burnished. If this leads to the material being below the center line of the cutting edge, this will lead to the material being pushed down rather than being cut. Do not go below a ¼ chipload for a tool.

Focus On Safety Over Everything Else

Regardless of the workload demands, every step possible must be taken to ensure that the operator is kept safe. As operators become more experienced, they often take measures to shorten the amount of time that each task takes. Not only will this place the operator at risk, but may also increase the risk that the machine will be damaged. While the loss of the machine can be expensive, even more expensive is the loss of the production time. Therefore, you will want to periodically remind your operators of the proper safety precautions.

To learn more, contact a company like Hales Machine Tool Inc.