Your lathe is an important tool, one without which your precision machining company could not function. So it’s imperative that you care for it properly. However, despite keeping your lathe well-oiled, clean, and dry, it can still break down. A malfunctioning lathe is a serious hazard to you and to your employees. In fact, machine tooling accidents injure approximately 3,400 workers every year, according to data gathered by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). These injuries are caused by machinery malfunctions, operator error, and failing to use the correct equipment to move this heavy machinery, such sumner lifts.
Therefore, it is imperative that you are able to recognize the signs of a malfunctioning lathe, as well as how to safely move your machine when it is in need of lathe repair. Here’s what you need to know.
Signs of a Malfunctioning Lathe
A lathe has many moving parts, any of which can fail. The following signs of lathe malfunction should be a warning that your machine needs to be repaired.
- Unusual noises such as grinding, crunching or squealing (especially in the motor)
- Improper thread cutting
- Failure of carriage or power feed handles
- Broken or worn parts such as chucks, bearings, gears, or belts
Although some of these issues can be fixed on-site with a simple change of parts,other may require the skills of a machine tool repair service.
Safely Moving Your Lathe
Your lathe weighs hundreds of pounds and although it needs to be serviced, you should never attempt to move your lathe manually. This can result in serious injuries to the extremities of your employees or yourself, as well as cuts, broken bones, and back injuries.
Your lathe should only be moved using an assistive lift with the proper chains and safety harnesses. Sumner lifts and genie lifts are ideal tools for this purpose. If your shop isn’t equipped with these lifts, check with your local precision machine repair shop.
These professionals can move your lathe safely using their own lift. Remember to put safety above all else in your shop and if your lathe breaks down, discontinue using it and have it moved and serviced by a professional repair service.