Simple steps to create the perfect warm-up routine for your CNC machine

August 14, 2017

Who’s your favorite athlete? Got it? Whoever they are, they have a warm-up routine to prep for their contest. No athlete waits until the opening buzzer, quick runs onto the court or field, and then dominates everyone.

If they did that, they’d risk injury. Or, they wouldn’t perform their best because their muscles aren’t warmed up and ready.

Your CNC machinery needs its own warm-up routine too. If it doesn’t warm up, it breaks down, doesn’t cut as accurately, and it may not last as long.

When should you warm up your CNC machinery?

There’s 4 different times when your CNC machinery needs to be warmed up:

  • Whenever sitting idle for more than 4 hours
  • If you have a colder temperature in your shop…even if your CNC machine was idle during a short break, like lunch
  • If you need a precisely accurate cut, warm-up your CNC machine, even after you take short breaks
  • If you need high spindle speeds immediately

What does your warm-up program need to do?

If your CNC manufacturer has supplied you with a warm-up routine, your work’s done. Simply run that.

But not all CNC machine manufacturers include their own warm-up routine. If you have to make your own, make sure your routine does this at minimum:

  • Run your routine for at least 200 seconds, beginning with the slowest RPM and moving up to the highest.
  • If you have a high-speed machine, start slow and work your way up to the normal operating speed, rather than the max.
  • If you have a break during the day, you have no need to run the warm-up routine. Instead, keep your CNC machine running at its normal operating speed.
  • Finally, cycle your tool changer and lathe turret. Turn on your coolant just briefly. You simply want to make sure all are ready to go.

Nothing earth-shattering, right? Creating and running a warm-up routine isn’t hard at all.

But it offers you great benefits. Your machine lasts longer. You have less need for repairs. You get more accurate cuts. That means you have happy customers who don’t complain, which builds your business.

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