Preventative Maintenance Can Sometimes Be All Talk

In a recent article from Today’s Energy Solutions, an article discusses Machine tool metrology systems that yield critical data for manufacturing trace-ability of critical oil/gas components.

Preventative Maintenance is a term often talked about but rarely performed.  Approximately 25 years ago A.A. Jansson decided to get into the machine tool calibration industry.  We researched the best calibration equipment on the market and made the necessary purchases and invested in the training required to help manufacturers make sure their machine tools were operating as required and as expected.

We were in for a big surprise. We found that most companies we called upon didn’t want their machine tools calibrated. We were continually told, “that as long as our part passes the measurement checks from our Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) our machine tool doesn’t need to be calibrated. Why would we want to spend the money, we have a CMM. When our CMM tells us we have a problem then we will address the machine tool.”

For us it was a large investment with little return. It wasn’t long before we put the equipment on the shelf and decided to no longer calibrate machine tools. Jump ahead 25 years and things have changed. We currently have a full time Machine Tool Calibration Business. The majority of the companies that we call upon still take the approach that they don’t check their machine tools until there is a problem.

However there is a growing trend among many manufacturers to check their machine tools and to make sure that they are accurate. We spend time adjusting and compensating machine tools for pitch, yaw, roll, horizontal and vertical straightness and linearity. Many of the machine tool manufactures with the help of the motion controller industry have developed mathematical compensations routine to improve accuracy and performance. We expect this trend to grow as manufacturers reap the rewards of a well tuned machine tool.

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