CNC machines offer high precision but pose risks if not operated properly. It happens that due to a slight oversight, an accident can occur during the cutting process, and its consequences will be significant. How to avoid this? How to use CNC machines safely? We write about this below!
Vertical CNC machining centers are considered to be among the most versatile machines used by leading manufacturing companies. These machines have vertically oriented cylindrical cutters on the spindle axis. CNC enables some vertical machining centers to use up to five axes to achieve desired shapes, holes, crevices, and intricate details in 3D components. CNC machines can provide high precision and high-quality workmanship in series production, making them ideal for automotive, aerospace, textile, tooling, mold manufacturing, military components, and other industries.
What are the risks associated with using a CNC machine?
- When operating CNC machines, the worker must be aware of the risks of improper equipment operation. Some common vulnerabilities associated with the maintenance-free use of vertical machining centers include:
- Shrapnel-if the machine is not protected, the TP mechanic is at serious risk of being hit by loose tools or a load that may break during operation. Flying debris or parts can also damage nearby machinery and be life-threatening.
- Suitable clothing-CNC components move at high speed during operation and can cause fatal injuries to mechanics or bystanders. If loose clothing comes into contact with moving parts of the machine, it can immediately snap and suck the worker in. Such an event can even lead to death!
- Poor maintenance-although maintenance is safe and does not cause damage, it can be fatal if the machine is not completely switched off before maintenance is performed. If the machine is still running, it can injure the technician by grabbing him by the clothes.
What should I avoid when using a CNC machine?
To ensure the safety and well-being of employees and the smooth operation of the CNC machine, we present the behaviors that should be avoided if the safety of the CNC machine is guaranteed:
- Failure to maintain CNC equipment-tool failure may lead to minor errors that may not cause a major machine failure but may cause serious damage if not repaired quickly and efficiently. Most CNC machine errors and operational problems resulting from improper maintenance and recklessness. Therefore, you must ensure that your machines are maintained on time, and equipment replacement is prepared regularly to minimize downtime.
- Keep a distance to avoid accidents during machining, it is recommended to keep a certain distance from moving parts of the CNC machine to avoid getting caught by the clothes. Never wear loose clothing or loose threads. It is also recommended to close all cab doors before starting work.
- Work with professionals-let and unskilled workers to maintain and use your equipment. When changing tools on CNC machines, ask a CNC expert for help, as incorrectly installed screws and protective housings can cause parts to tilt. In addition, qualified operators understand the settings required for different materials, thus helping to prevent catastrophic failures caused by programming errors.
- Proper CNC machine programming and supervision-improper CNC machine programming may result in death or damage to moving parts, tools, spindles, and other components. completely dependent on automation. Keep in mind that, despite the degree of automation, CNC machines must never be left unattended. Make sure there is a supervisor in the room while the machine is running.
- CNC workers must have extensive knowledge of the operation of the tool. In addition, the current operator also provides the optimum level of accuracy, which can fall due to the wear of tools.
How to ensure safety when using a CNC machine?
So far, you have learned about the various risks posed by CNC machines. To help avoid death and ensure the smooth operation of the machine, we provide some safety tips to be followed to minimize the risk of injury:
- Ensure proper maintenance and hygiene.
- Before using the CNC machine, remove any dirt or oil from its moving parts that may cause a malfunction.
- Also visually inspect all bolts and screws for moving parts and covers.
- Check the tool settings carefully.
- Check for cracks and damage.
- Test the tool before installing the machine.
- Verify that these tools are Program dependent.
- During maintenance, the machine must be switched off completely following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you have any doubts, consult a trained mechanic.
Safe use of the CNC machine and personal protective equipment and training
Wear personal protective equipment when working. Production using CNC machines must also take into account the protection of the user throughout the cutting process. Although your device has an extra layer of crash protection, you can never completely avoid a catastrophic crash. Therefore, it is advisable to take additional steps to establish a PPE in this:
- footwear for work,
- protective headphones on the ears,
- safety glasses.
Gloves may seem like a good idea, but they are one of the biggest dangers of falling into moving parts of vertical machines. Clothing threads coming out of the gloves often fall into the machine, placing the operator dangerously close to the striking element.
Operating a CNC machine is not easy, so intensive training is required to avoid injuries and ensure trouble-free operation without downtime. Operators of CNC machines must understand their operation and potential hazards. The training should include a list of hazards associated with the machine and ways to prevent them. Do not buy cheap clothes and CNC products. Some CNC tools and components are expensive, and operators feel that they should choose cheaper alternatives in order not to exceed their budget. However, almost all CNC operator training warns against this behavior. When a hardened steel tool collides with other hardware, the cheap tool releases a pulse of energy that causes the part to pierce the reinforced housing. This condition can cause damage to nearby equipment.
Safe use of the CNC machine, and protection and maintenance
Safety guards should be operated by a trained operator. Most accidents occur when unskilled operators try to reach into vertically positioned machines to remove congestion. It is recommended to leave this work to an employee with additional training in adding or removing these covers. Safety guards help prevent sparks, shrapnel, and loose bolts during machine operation. They also prevent operators from becoming trapped in moving machinery.
Processes such as CNC and automatic material feeding minimize human interaction, so they do not have to deal with the most dangerous parts of the machine. In addition to the safety benefits, automation can significantly increase productivity, reduce labor costs and minimize downtime, thereby increasing profits.
CNC machines must only be operated by a qualified operator. Excessive automation often leads employers to hire low-skilled, untrained workers to perform tedious tasks when needed. This condition can endanger operator safety and better machine performance. Automatic or programmed movements can be a hazard for CNC machine operators.
Keep in mind that it is recommended to ensure proper and timely maintenance, wear PPE equipment, train operators and automate actual processes to minimize human intervention. If you do not understand the operation of the machine, consult a trained technician for supervision.
CNC machines are a great solution, thanks to automation can significantly improve the quality and speed of production. However, make sure that your operators are safe to use this equipment. Take care of maintenance, appropriate training of employees, ensure the correct work clothes, equipment covers, and your company will certainly succeed.