CNC Router Preventative Vs. Predictive Maintenance—Do You Need Both?

by | Jun 17, 2020 | Diversified Machine Systems

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We all know that maintenance is essential to the upkeep of any piece of machinery. Most people, however, are not aware that there are two kinds of maintenance—preventative and predictive—and that both are necessary to keep a machine running at its top performance.

Diversified Machine Systems (DMS) has spent over 15 years manufacturing and maintaining CNC machines, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. We’ve witnessed first-hand that a two-fold approach to maintenance significantly extends the lifetime of a machine. On the other hand, we’ve seen the high cost of neglecting both kinds of maintenance. To ensure the functionality and longevity of your CNC machine, both preventative and predictive maintenance are essential.

But first things first. What is the difference between preventative and predictive maintenance, and why does it matter?

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is the regular, ongoing maintenance of your CNC machine. Since it is not dependent on data from monitoring tools, preventative maintenance can be regularly scheduled and implemented. It requires you to look, to listen, and to observe your router and notice any defects in the functionality. If your machine were a body, preventative maintenance is the equivalent of taking vitamins regularly, while also paying attention to any aches and pains that arise over time.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is responsive to the specific conditions of a CNC machine. With proper monitoring tools, predictive maintenance can make you aware of issues that may not be visible or audible. When these tools alert you to a problem, you can respond in real-time by calling in the expert service you need. If your machine were a body, predictive maintenance is comparable to reading your temperature on a thermometer and going to see a doctor.

We understand that both serve an essential purpose, and the costs of neglecting either one is significant. A predictive approach that lacks preventative maintenance will make a CNC machine susceptible to all kinds of day-to-day wear and tear. Without regular cleanings, lubrication, and regular observation of a preventative maintenance schedule, a machine becomes slower, less precise, and more prone to breaking down. That’s why DMS offers an extensive service checklist and maintenance recommendations to anyone who employs our routers.

By contrast, a preventative approach that overlooks predictive maintenance will encounter other dangers. Lacking the monitoring systems and fine-tuned data of predictive maintenance, a CNC machine may fall prey to unexpected malfunctions that could have been predicted and averted with the right equipment. To ensure that these kinds of issues are caught ahead of time, DMS machines come with sophisticated monitoring systems, and we respond to predicted difficulties with speed and expertise.

Diversified Machine Systems always recommends a two-fold approach that incorporates predictive and preventative maintenance. The pairing of prediction and prevention is key to getting a good ROI on your CNC machine investment.

But these distinctions barely scratch the surface of the crucial facets of predictive and preventative maintenance—which is why we’ve written extensively on both topics. You can find our blog on preventative maintenance here and predictive maintenance here.

We also covered this topic in a recent webinar which you can view below!

If you would like to discuss maintenance on your DMS CNC router, or any other upkeep questions, please contact our USA-based Service Team at 855-266-5063 or today.

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