Routine maintenance of LaserCAM machines is largely a matter of cleaning,
lubrication and checking filter condition. Full training on what is needed
is covered at the time of installation and is backed up with detailed
instructions contained within the TechSoft Training Guide.
Maintenance beyond this, including alignment of the laser beam, requires specialist
training and equipment and must not be attempted by the user.
Provided user maintenance guidelines are
followed carefully and a regular maintenance routine is established, then it
will be some time before a LaserCAM needs further attention. Quite how long
will depend on use, but many schools opt for an annual service once the
warranty period has expired. This service includes cleaning and adjustment
of all mechanical and optical systems together with output tests to
determine the efficiency of mirrors and lenses. Laser beam alignment is
critical to efficient performance so this is checked and adjusted as needed.
‘Raw’ laser output is measured and this can give an indication of tube life
expectancy. Schools will receive a full report following the service.
The most common reason for a LaserCAM failing to give
consistent results is misalignment of the laser beam and/or mechanical
systems. Age and use will contribute to this, but so too will
over-enthusiastic cleaning, accidental knocks and bumps, and moving the
machine to a new location. Most of these issues can be solved with a single
call-out. Our engineers do not ‘clock-watch’, but about an hour on-site is
usually all that is needed. If component failure is diagnosed, then parts
will be charged in addition. In the unlikely event that parts are not
available, our engineer will return to complete the repair with no further
charges being levied. If a failed laser tube is diagnosed then this call-out
charge will be absorbed within the cost of fitting a replacement tube.
Staff changes often mean that expertise is lost and we
receive frequent enquiries about elderly (and not so elderly) TechSoft
machines ‘discovered’ by teachers new to a department. Machines include
LaserCAMs and many of the TechSoft/Roland knife-cutting and milling/routing
systems. In nearly every case, machines can be re-commissioned at very low
cost and need only basic maintenance to bring back into service. We will, of
course, need to liaise in some detail to check on machine type, condition
and likely work needed before calling. A Maintenance and Training Call-Out
provides a TechSoft engineer on-site for up to two hours to carry out
maintenance and re-commissioning work, with a further two hours to deliver
staff training. This can prove an extremely cost-effective way to boost
CAD/CAM work in a department.