Setup and Operation of CNC Machines

Computers & TechnologyTechnology

  • Author Joyce Mcneill Christopher
  • Published May 18, 2010
  • Word count 557

Computer Numerical Control Machines are sophisticated instruments that only trained CNC operators should operate them. There are certain rules and guidelines to consider if you are planning to use a CNC machine by yourself.

CNC checklist before startup

Prior to starting up the Computer Numerical Control Machine, there's safety rules that should be regarded. Prior to starting the CNC machine be to ensure your personal safety, for that reason using protective gear, like safety glasses and shirts with short sleeves is part of the dress code during CNC operation. In addition, whenever you are handling tools and sharp edged work pieces be careful to avoid any accidents. Also, make sure that the cutting tools are attached tightly in the machine spindle to avoid any change during the cutting operation.

Actual Startup of the CNC

Computer Numerical Machine startup operation varies with the type of machine being used but they is almost always a main power switch or circuit breaker to turn it on. On some machines also required is hydraulics or possibly air pressure prior to start up.

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When the Machine starts up, it usually starts at its Machine Home Position. Machine Home Position allows the control and the machine to have a preset starting position for all its properties. After the machine starts up, the CNC machine has to be sent to this position before the work begins. You will later change that position to an appropriate location when you are machining a particular part of a product.

Tool Length Offset Value or TLO is the distance from the tip of the tool at the spindle in the Home Position. TLO has to be set for each tool in the current job. You can set the TLO using a height gage, fixture location, or the reference tool. After these values are determined, they are stored in the Controller and can be used during program operation.

When you have set the Tool Length Offset Value then you setup a part origin of a CNC machine. The setting up or the part origin on a CNC machine is the same as setting up a conventional machine. It involves positioning the axes to a location where the plan designates as its origin. There are ways to locate that position on the reference point, by using edge finders, wigglers or magnifying glasses.

When you have set up the whole system for the Computer Numerical Control, you Load the program to the machine. Program loading changes for each machine. Some machines have tape readers to input the program. A lot of newer machines come with internal or external floppy devices to put the program in the machine. When the program is loaded, the machine is ready to use.

In some instances, you have to change the tools in the CNC manually during machine operations. After a machining operation is complete, program will move the aces to the change position and display next tool needed. Now it is the machine operator’s job to remove and replace with the next tool.

You need to take extra care when you are starting to operation the CNC machine, any error during the part of the operation could cause serious injuries to the machine operator.

For repair of machinery spindle repair

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