Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Machine Tools
Without modern machine tooling and machining services, there would be no planes, trains or automobiles. There would be no large scale food or clothing companies, and metal goods would be much more expensive. Read on to find out what machine tools are and why things like machine tool spindle repair is important.
Simply put, machine tools are machines used for shaping and machining metal and other rough materials. They are used to serve a variety of functions such as threading, turning, boring and facing, which allow materials to easily be molded and crafted into final products.
The earliest machine tools were handcrafted bow lathes and bow drills. They date back to 1200 B.C. However, the modern concept of machine tools didn’t really take hold until the Middle Ages when clock makers and other craftsmen began designing tools that that would help them produce their goods more effectively.
History is full of stories of machine tools being created out of necessity to produce a specific good or service. For example, the boring mill was developed in the the 1770s by John Wilkinson, due to the need of perfectly bored cylinders for steam engines. It was during the Industrial Revolution, that the demand for machine tools expanded exponentially. Increased mechanization required more metal based parts. As such machine tools became a key feature in factories, because they easily shaped, filed and cut metal pieces.
During the late 1900s, computerized numerical control machines (CNC equipment) were introduced. Computerized systems use a series of number codes to control the motion of machines. With CNC, machine tools can repeat complex sequences over and over with great accuracy.
Today, there are many different types of machine tools in use. Common tools include:
- Broaching Machine: uses a toothed tool, or broach, to remove material from metal.
- Grinding Machine: an abrasive wheel is used to cut down, or grind material.
- Lathe: a tool that rotates material on its axis so various functions such as drilling, turning and grooving can be performed.
- Planer: a metalworking tool that uses linear movement between a work piece and cutting tool to ensue a straight cutting path.
- Other machine tools include: drill presses, saws and threading machines.
Because machine tools handle such rigid materials, they require regular maintenance and machine tool repair service to ensure quality performance. All machine tools should be regularly wiped down, so any unwanted excess material or dirt is removed. Machine tools with pieces that frequently rub together should be properly lubricated to avoid damage. Checking the equipment’s gear box spindle’s oil level and apron are at safe levels will help avoid having to seek machine tool repair. If a warning light or message does appear, seek machine tool spindle repair help immediately.
Unusual noises are also a sign that you may need to inspect or repair machine tools. In this case, contact a professional machine tool builder or machine tool repair service. Machine tools may contain complex systems and mechanisms that are difficult to fix.
Remember to practice proper usage and maintenance of the tools. No one wants to be blindsided by an unexpected machine tool spindle repair!