If looked after correctly, your Mirage flange facing machine will provide years of trouble free use, with accurate and consistent results produced every time. Although Mirage flange facers are considered by many as the most robust flange facers available, as with any machine incorporating moving parts, some simple and essential maintenance is needed to keep things running smoothly.
So what are the typical maintenance tasks you should to carry out?
After every use
- Following each machining operation, you should clean all cutting debris from the machine, paying particular attention to lead screws, pivots, sliding and rotating faces.
- Oil the air motor using a low viscosity green oil.
- When dismantling the machine from the job and returning to storage, now is a good time to check that all components are present and stored correctly in the supplied storage crate.
- It is good practice to lightly oil each component, especially when unsure when you will next need to use the machine.
- Check the condition of the cutting tools and regrind/replace as necessary.
Weekly, or after every 10 hours of use
- Apply a small amount of low viscosity oil to all lead screws, pivots, sliding and rotating faces. Mineral based SAE 10 oil is ideal for this.
- Check securing nuts and bolts are tight.
- On internal mount flange facers, grease the main hub bearings with 5 shots of 00 EP lithium semi fluid grease.
- Also, using the same grade of grease, lubricate the gearbox (with 2 shots) using the grease nipple.
- Greasing the tool post rack should also be carried out.
- Clean and lightly oil the slide ways and base components with SAE 10 oil.
Long term storage
If your flange facing machine is to be stored for 12 months or more, it is recommended that the machine, its components and accessories be protected from corrosion by using a general oil based rust inhibitor.
If your machine creates a poor surface finish, this may be due to several reasons. Assuming the machine is balanced and mounted securely, causes of a poor surface finish include:
- Worn or damaged tool inserts
- Too much play in tool post gib strip along the carriage
- Too much play in main hub bearings
- A worn or faulty drive motor
Tool post movement along the carriage
If the carriage action becomes too loose, on machines incorporating a gib strip, this can be fixed by tightening the necessary grub screws.
Hub bearing maintenance
On an external mount flange facer, the surfacing arm should not lift more than 0.15mm (0.005”). If there is too much movement you will need to remove the top cap and tighten the lock nut to give free rotation and no bearing skid.
On both pneumatic and hydraulically powered flange facing machines, motors can be removed easily for inspection. Issues can normally be resolved with a spares kit or in severe cases by replacing the full motor.
If you stick to the essentials of mounting and operating the machine correctly, the majority of maintenance needed will be mostly just keeping the machine clean and well lubricated.
Find out more about flange management by downloading The Complete Guide To Managing Flanges.
If you need equipment for an on-site machining project get in touch with your regional Mirage contact here