As with different types of equipment, lack of proper maintenance on your laser and engraving machine can result in more expenses – and this is something that industry experts at AP Lazer will attest to. This is because poor maintenance will lead to poor results, which means you may have to redo the work. Lack of maintenance on your existing unit would likely also necessitate buying another machine sooner than anticipated. Here are some practical tips to help you get the most productivity from your machine, as well as to lengthen its lifespan.
Clean the Optics
Since out-of-spec optics affect beam quality, cutting performance, mode quality, and optics life, it is important to clean these parts as regularly as possible. Blowing off dust using compressed air usually provides satisfactory results. In case there is some sticky dirt on the optics, it is advisable to use lens wipes and methanol or alcohol, or a mild soap solution. Since the lens and mirrors are fragile, it is important to avoid touching them with cleaning tools or even with your fingers.
Clean the Exhaust System
Understand that residue from the material being lasered coats the inside of the machine’s exhaust system. Cleaning this buildup is vital because airflow into the system must not be restricted. When there is a restriction, smoke from the cabinet is not released to the atmosphere. This results in dirty rails and optics that affect the quality of engravings.
Check the Air
Most brands of laser and engraving machines need an assist gas to provide quality cuts. The assist gas could be oxygen, shop air, or nitrogen. Since the different types of gases require different types of flows, it is important to set your machine at the best flow with respect to the type of assist gas you would be using. In some cases, lack of quality air support can make materials catch fire. This can be dangerous to you, the machine, and your shop.
Maintaining such a machine should be effortless, and it is so long as you keep up with it. Modern equipment comes with built-in monitors that offer a plethora of maintenance options. Since manufacturers offer comprehensive maintenance, it pays to make regular maintenance appointments with the equipment manufacturer.