Automatic machine startup/warmup
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    Default Automatic machine startup/warmup

    Every day we do a 20-30m spindle warmup on our various CNC machines and realised this eats about 6% of our daily capacity. Currently, my project is to push spindle run-time efficiency to higher levels, and this seems like a big chunk to lose when we are targeting 75% spindle on-time.

    Has anyone had any experience or suggestions for auto power-up/auto warm-up that can be triggered by a timer 30m before the machinists arrive for their shift?

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    What kind of controller are you working with? With the right controller, we can set your machine up with an email or twitter account and alert you to when it’s ready and when it is not. You can check on it with your phone and start / stop it at will. If it is an 840D . . . lots of options. If something else, likely a bit more learning / work, but doable.

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    If fanuc (possibly others) you should be able to the variables that store the time and date.

    You could setup a macro program that interogates the appropriate variable for the time, when it is greater than whatever time you need have it call your warmup program as a subprogram. Have it keep looping and maybe add a 1 minute dwell between loops.

    You would need to begin running this program before shutting down for the day for it to function so its not bullet proof.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

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    Quickest and easiest way is for one person to arrive a half hour before, and start all the machines on the warmup program. Likely cheapest, too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Quickest and easiest way is for one person to arrive a half hour before, and start all the machines on the warmup program. Likely cheapest, too...
    That's what I was thinking, the foreman or someone doesn't get there 30 min before the tools hit the iron???

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    For almost 30 years that was my job, come in early, turn on machines, drink coffee while I waited for the machinists/operators to show up or not. After they showed up I would help the ones that had trouble figuring out where to start the program, cut blanks to make parts from, find another job for the ones that finished the job yesterday but couldn't mention it yesterday, then I would spend the rest of the day unf__king the stuff they f__ked up and couldn't fix and the weekends making programs and fixtures so they would have something to do next week if they showed up. Now I sleep later, play with the pup on the way to work and read email while the machines warm up, then I run 2 or 3 of them till lunch then I cut back to one or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardplates View Post
    That's what I was thinking, the foreman or someone doesn't get there 30 min before the tools hit the iron???
    I guess it depends on how many machines.

    Unless you have some weird labor law requirements I'd settle this with personnel mgmt. Surely someone on the crew would prefer to arrive an hour early and leave an hour early.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardplates View Post
    That's what I was thinking, the foreman or someone doesn't get there 30 min before the tools hit the iron???
    Believe it or not, I had thought of that

    The thing is, if someone is there then they can get the machines running (most machines are fully automatic, or have long cycle times) so in theory if one person arrives early he/she could get 3 or 4 machines running if they were already warmed up. Whilst in theory this only costs the pay for one person for 30m per day, if you think about lost productivity it actually means 3 machines for 30m per day which adds up to quite a lot.

    I was just throwing this out there because once I thought of it, I thought lot's of other people would have had the same desire, and as such there may be an established way of doing this.

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    Do your machines not have a start up procedure, ie cycle the door/e-stop, etc? Not sure how a software/macro could work around that (physically pressing and releasing e-stop for example)...? I think the cheapest and easiest solution is what others mentioned, have someone come in an hour earlier than the rest and start all machines and get them warming up. No reason this can't be productive time, they could check coolant, cut stock, sweep/clean, etc while machines are warming up. Also, are you sure you need 20-30 minutes of warm up? That seems a little excessive to me, unless your shop is 40deg F in the morning!

    Think of it this way, instead of paying say 10 guys for 1/2 hr to sweep and clean, etc while machines are warming up, you are paying one guy (even if they make $30/hr, you pay $15 for him to get machines going so the rest are ready to work when they punch in)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smarticus View Post
    Believe it or not, I had thought of that

    The thing is, if someone is there then they can get the machines running (most machines are fully automatic, or have long cycle times) so in theory if one person arrives early he/she could get 3 or 4 machines running if they were already warmed up. Whilst in theory this only costs the pay for one person for 30m per day, if you think about lost productivity it actually means 3 machines for 30m per day which adds up to quite a lot.

    I was just throwing this out there because once I thought of it, I thought lot's of other people would have had the same desire, and as such there may be an established way of doing this.
    Easy Peasy.

    Your building taxes, sewer & water, and other fixed costs don't stop when you go home at night.

    Neither doo the payments on borrowed money for machines.

    Split crew into 3 shifts, never shut machines off.


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