No matter how well you use your metal fabrication tools and machines, they will eventually wear out or witness a decline in functionality. More often than not, these wear and tear and decline in function could be because of how careless they are being handled or used beyond their limitations. Taking care of your fabrication tools and machines will always make a difference in how it operates and their useful life.
Why You Should Care For Your Fabrication Tools
Asking why you should take care of your fabrication tools is the same as asking why you should check or top up engine oil in your car. You already know what will happen to your car without engine oil. Nevertheless, here's why you should take metalwork tools' care and maintenance seriously.
Improves around-the-clock functionality of tools and machines
To avoid preventable breakdowns in between projects
To guarantee safety in the workplace and reduce the chances of accidents
To minimize chances of any conveniences that may result from tool breakdown
To reduce time wastage
To improve the longevity of work tools
Metalwork Tools Care & Maintenance Tips
Care and maintenance of fabrication tools can be predictive, preventive, or corrective. Whichever is the case, ensuring workflow continuity in the workshop is crucial. Productivity around your workshop should always stay the same because of a machine breakdown. Here are some tips for maintaining your metalwork tools.
Utilize The Instruction Manual
Sometimes, we get too carried away with our presumed expertise in some tools and machines and, along the line, neglect the instruction manual. The instruction manual holds the answer to any conceivable questions you may have about the machine's operation, handling, and maintenance. They proffer solutions to any minor hiccups you may experience while running the machine. Besides providing a troubleshooting guide, your metalwork tool user manual gives you a well-laid-out guideline on the care and maintenance of the machinery. It also suggests the best practices for guaranteeing the machine's optimum performance.
Metalwork Tools' Cleaning
Care and maintenance of metalwork tools begin with simple things. Something as simple as cleaning. Unfortunately, only a few metal workers or machine operators abide by this. From the waste produced during metalworking that takes up table space to the ones that may clog the machine, all it takes is appropriate cleaning to take care of it all.
You can clean and dust your fabrication tools and machines with a wire brush, soft rag, air jet, or vacuum cleaner. The cleanliness of your metalwork tools guarantees you get optimum performance. Always have a cleaning schedule on standby and strictly abide by it.
Tools & Machinery Inspection
Most times, when performing fabrication processes like grinding, welding, drilling, or pressing, your metalwork tool is more likely to show signs of an impending breakdown first. Vibrations, alignment issues, worn-out belts, overheating, and a lot more are all common signs of an imminent breakdown. Disregard these signs at your peril. These seemingly slight problems can lead to bigger challenges that would prove more expensive in the long run.
You should have a keen eye and be intuitive enough to detect these signs. Also, train your machine operators to be very observant and report to you immediately if they notice any possible sign of impending machine deterioration.
Lubrication Of Moving Parts
There are many moving parts in metal fabrication machinery. These moving parts are constantly in motion, working to produce the desired result. To reduce the chances of friction between these moving parts, you must apply proper lubricants. Lubrication of machine parts reduces friction and ensures the smooth functioning of the parts. It also protects the parts from rusting, prevents wear and tear, reduces the chances of overheating of machine parts, and improves the general efficiency of the machine.
They are many classes of lubricants, but you don't apply just anyone to your metalwork machine. You can refer to the machine's user manual to find out the best kind of lubricant for it. Always ensure you carry out periodic greasing and oiling of all movable machine parts.
Grinding & Sharpening
Grinding is simply the act of sharpening different cutting tools. Cutting is one of the key processes of metal fabrication. However, the process can be strenuous and abysmal if the cutting tools are not sharp enough. Tools for cutting, slicing, chopping, drilling, and even sharpening metals, like mills, saws, drill bits, lathe tolls, etc., should never be blunt. Blunt tools lower efficiency and can lead to grave mistakes, especially in the size and shape of the final product. It can lead to the end product deviating from its expectations. Never let blunt tools dampen your productivity or reduce your customers' trust in you.
Imagine you have a fabrication project to handle, only for your machine or tool to break down and start malfunctioning. Not only will it cost you so much time, but it will also stretch your budget for the project as you'd be spending on repairs, hiring a new tool, or outrightly buying a new one. Nobody would like to experience this. I bet you don't. So why not take care of your metalwork tools before it gives up?
Proper care and maintenance in metal fabrication are not limited to fabrication tools and machines alone. To ensure the efficiency of your machinery and guarantee the safety of your workers, you must abide by some basic care and maintenance standards.