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Preventive Maintenance tips for CNC Machines

In this post, we will be seeing the preventive maintenance checklist for CNC machines and how Prism CMMS software helps the maintenance team to manage their preventive maintenance works.

Benefits of performing proper preventive maintenance for CNC machines.

  • increase the lifetime of the machines and its tools

  • improve the production throughput

  • reduce the machine downtime

  • lower the maintenance cost

Key Components of a CNC Machine

  • CNC Tool

CNC Tool is one of the key components in the CNC machine which is used to achieve the main function of a CNC machine like cutting, carving, milling, machining.

  • Spindle

Spindle is a mechanical element that holds CNC tool on one end and motor on the other end. Spindle rotates the tool as per the computer program instructions or human instruction.

  • Turret

CNC Turret is a tools holder that can hold multiple tools. In the complex CNC operations, Turret can mount right tool as per the program sequence.

  • Headstock

Headstock holds the motor on one end of the CNC machine to rotate the spindle.

  • Tailstock

Tailstock placed on the other end of the CNC machine that holds the working piece and rotates.

  • Main Control Unit (MCU)

Main Control Unit controls the entire CNC machine operations. It decodes Gcode instructions, controls the spindle rotation direction and speed

  • Bed

Bed is made up of iron on which CNC machine's critical operation is performed. Turret moves over the bed in order to mount the spindle at right x,y co-ordinates.

  • Chuck

Chuck is mounted on the headstock

  • Human Machine Interface (HMI)

HMI displays the list of commands that the operator can execute, shows the current operational status of the CNC Machine.

  • Controller

CNC Controller is the combination of software and hardware which process the program instructions, sends the speed and rotation instructions to motor.

  • Drive Motor

Motor is placed inside the headstock. Depending on the nature of the CNC operation, the function of the motor is controlled by the CNC controller.

  • Hydraulics Clamping System

Hydraulics Clamping System is used to hold the work piece in the CNC machine.

Preventive Maintenance Task Checklist

  • Clean Coolant Tank

    • Clean the sludge, aluminium chip

    • Refill the cooling unit if necessary

  • Check Hydraulic Tank

    • replace the hydraulic oil

  • Check the level of hydraulic oil in the tank

  • Check any leakage in the hydraulic tank

  • Check Air supply

  • check lubricant level

  • Check Automatic Tool Changing Unit

  • Check dust on the Bed, headstock, tailstock

  • Clean spindle and chucks

  • Check pneumatic pumps

  • check if the surrounding around the machine is dry and clean

  • check the the oil filter and clean if necessary

  • check the wipers

  • check the power supply (voltage)

All the machine vendors share the preventive maintenance task checklist in the technical manual.

For any asset maintenance team to keep the machines up and running, they need to have the history of maintenance works done for each machine. So that they can plan their future maintenance works wisely.

The maintenance team should not spend their valuable time to maintain the maintenance records.

To make sure that the preventive maintenance works are completed efficiently, the maintenance team can use Prism CMMS software to schedule the preventive maintenance work orders as daily/weekly/monthly or after a fixed number of days for each machine or a group of machines.

All the maintenance task checklist found in the technical manual provided by the machine vendors can be uploaded in Prism CMMS and the same can be included in the preventive maintenance work order.

Maintenance Team can get rid of paper work, save upto 89% in their time in keeping the maintenance records, increase their productivity upto 30%.

Example Preventive Maintenance Task checklist of a CNC machine is given below. Like this prepare the list and upload it in Prism CMMS.


What to Inspect

How to Inspect

Expected Result

Action if Result failed

Check Door Open/close switch



No damage/No loosen

Replace or Tight again

Check the Door cable



no damage

Replace or Tight again

clean the ATC motor break pad

motor break


No Dust

Clean the break

Check the ATC motor shaft key

motor shaft


No damage

change the key

Check the ATC Shutter



No Dust

Clean the break

apply grease to Spindle Collet

spindle collet


No Dry

Apply grease

Check the below video which explains how easily preventive maintenance work orders can be handled by the asset maintenance team.

As shown in the below image, the maintenance supervisor can create the preventive maintenance work order. The technician can update the status of all PM tasks in the app.

In case if you want to execute set of tasks daily on a machine or a group of machines, create PM checklist. Check this blog for more details.

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