Machine tool servicing ranges from lathes and mills to grinders and planers. Many companies use an independent service provider to maintain the various shop equipment and tools used in the daily production of goods. This machine tool servicing can involve changing cooling and lubricating oils and fluids to replacing hydraulic filters and hoses on various machines. Cutting tool replacement, sharpening and even the proper dressing of grinding stones are all functions of hired machine tool servicing. This service can also apply to the programing of computer numerical control (CNC) machines, as well as installing new tooling and performing general cleaning of the machine.
One of the most damaging elements on any shop equipment is dirty lubricating oil, followed by improper levels of coolant. Heat is the enemy of most machining equipment and leads to not only worn or destroyed cutting heads, but also damages motors, belts and bearings within the machine. Some small shops have an individual on the payroll to service the equipment, however, larger shops commonly turn to an outside machine tool servicing company. These companies often arrive at the shop at closing time and work through the night servicing the equipment.
Occasionally, this type of machine tool servicing is provided by the manufacturers of the various pieces of equipment. The machine tool servicing for a grinder might involve dressing the grinding wheel or stone, changing the coolant used during the grinding process and lubrication of the bearings. The service on a CNC machine might involve changing the cutting bits, the coolant and even reprogramming the machine for a new part run. Some machine manufacturers lease their equipment to machine shops, thus servicing the machines ensures that the machines are well taken care of. This reduces the risk of having a machine returned due to breakage or poor performance.
Other types of machine tool servicing are completed by companies that specialize in the maintenance and repair of various types of shop equipment. Changing the blades in some types of saws can be a complex and involved experience for the layperson, however, machine tool servicing personnel are trained in the proper replacement and adjustment of the many types of saw blades used in the various types of equipment. Occasionally, a small chip of machined steel will work into the adjustment screws of a milling machine tooling bed, rendering the machine useless; a machine tool servicing worker will disassemble the bed and clean all of the components, rendering the machine ready for use once again.