Keeping your CNC shop clean

By: Ivan Irons

Keeping your shop clean

My first inclination is to say that it canā€™t be done in your home shop.? My experience in my home shop has been that machining creates dirt.? I use the term dirt very loosely.? Dirt in many forms like plasma dust, machining chips, and cutting fluid spray.? All of these forms of dirt are very invasive and get into everything.? You constantly have to be cleaning just to keep up.

In my home shop experience, I treat every one of my machines differently.? My CNC plasma cutter is the dirtiest by far.? I built a special room for it to try to contain the plasma dust it creates.? My milling machine is in my main working area.? I usually just have to clean around it from time to time.? My CNC Wood Router is located in my woodworking shop.? It creates a lot of wood chips and wood dust, which all my other woodworking machines do as well.

Factories invest in thousands of dollars in extra machines to keep things clean.? These machines purpose is to reduce the amount of dirt in the shop.? Some of these machines clean the air and some of these machines take care of the physical chips leftover from machining.

Here are some examples:Automated Chip Augers - Chip augers are generally in the belly of machines.? As chips fall down the augers move them over to a collection area.? These chips can then be shipped out and recycled.

Downdraft tables ā€“ Downdraft tables are usually associated with plasma or laser cutters.? As the machine is cutting, air is drawn downward from below it.? This air is then moved through filters, which clean the air and place it back in the shop.? They put the air back in to the shop so the building doesn't have to be continually heated in colder areas of the country.

Updraft Table ā€“ An updraft table works the exact opposite.? It pulls the air upward, then through a system of filters.

Water Tables - Water tables are used mainly with plasma cutting operations.? There is water directly under the piece of metal being cut.? The dust and debris of the plasma cutting process is captured by the water table.? Over timeFree Reprint Articles, the table fills with this debris and must be cleaned out.

Janitorial Services - Some factories maintain a janitorial service that cleans the facility every night.? This is usually dependent on the cost in the area the factory is located.

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