Do you wear safety goggles at your workplace? If you do, then you must have noticed how quickly they get dirty, dusty and grimy. While some won’t bother with the blur, most of us prefer to keep our glasses clean. When we see better, we work better.
It’s the same for any laser cutting machine. The light from the laser passes through an optical window to reach the workpiece. If the window isn’t cleaned or wiped properly, the light beam may deflect and lose the majority of properties. To prevent that, we must do laser machine maintenance. Yes, you heard it right- It’s all about maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!
The efficiency of your laser cutting machine depends largely on how well it’s maintained. Although it might come under a service contract and 24-hour technical support, it is always a smart move to follow these simple steps of cleaning to ensure no delays in deliveries or tempers frayed.
Not only will this ensure enhanced longevity of the machine, but it will also save money. As the old adage says, “time is money”. It’s not a tough job and will save you from future hassle. Here are some maintenance tips for your laser cutting machine to sustain optimum output and keep it running smoothly.
1. External Up-Keep:
Maintaining your AP Lazer machine takes no more than 5 minutes a day. The brain (control board) and other electronics are totally protected within their insulated housing at the rear of the machine. The internal parts do not need user intervention.
Day to day maintenance is highly reduced by our extraction or exhaust system. Routine check-ups are therefore limited to external cleaning of engraving areas, mirrors and fume extraction outlets.
For added convenience, AP Lazer machines are provided with a special toolbox with a cleaning kit including cotton buds and denatured alcohol.
2. Optics Wipe:
Before an operation and after 8 hours of solid laser application, be sure to visually inspect all optical lenses. This means keeping an eye on all three mirrors and focal lenses. Look for smudges, debris or any kind of residual grime.
Wipe them with the cotton buds and denatured alcohol provided to you. Always bear in mind that a clean machine gives better results. Accumulation of unwanted particles can lead to scratches and damage the lens and mirror, overall degrading the quality of the desired product.
Note of Caution: Always remember to put the curved side upwards (towards the beam) and the flat side downwards (towards the product).
3. Oils Well that Ends Well:
Lubricants are key in preventative maintenance in any shop that uses a machine. Laser machines, after being used for a while can suffer from guide rail corrosion or rusting. If the proper 3-in-1 oil is not used along the rails, the laser path will be affected and so will be the result.
Roll the gantry and move the slider back and forth to apply it evenly on all surfaces. Keeping parts properly lubricated helps reduce friction and wear. It can prevent rust and lock-ups. When moving parts are kept moving with clean lubricant, it puts less stress on the motor and thereby extends its life.
4. Renewing the Water Cycle:
Laser engraving machines often use recycled distilled water which acts as a coolant for the laser beam. Continuous and long-term use of this water may lead to contamination or a white scale in the tube.
After use of about 2-3 weeks, discharge the water and add a new stream of distilled water. Water tank cleaning is essential for a machine’s long life. Be sure to check and ensure tightness on the hose joints to avoid leaks. This way the laser tube will perform in its best condition.
5. Seek Advice from AP Lazer’s Technicians:
To prevent the risk of production downtime and to receive expert advice on laser integration, reach out to AP Lazer’s certified technicians. They will do general inspection and keep your machine in optimal condition. AP Lazer provides a customized service package at a fixed price with your laser machine. Please contact us now for a specific quote.
Getting the Best Out of Your Machine
Our machines can perform a myriad of laser applications without any hurdle if good maintenance discipline is followed. In addition to the routine checks every machine needs, the beam generation and delivery system also require regular attention. Well maintained equipment breaks down less and produces high-quality results. If you look after your machine, it will look after you!