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Basic maintenance

5 ways to extend your Monport laser’s service life

People who have already purchased a laser engraving machine tend to be most concerned about two issues:

11. How to use it?    
2 2. How to maintain it? 

Good use of a laser engraving machine can get the doubled effort, but good maintenance of a laser engraving machine can save costs to the utmost extent.

Since the price of a laser engraving machine ranges from a few hundred to tens of thousands, although high-quality after-sales service can provide some basic guarantees. Regular and comprehensive maintenance is the most important thing to truly extend the service life of the laser engraving machine. Let the follow-up work more smoothly, so as to achieve a true sense of low investment, high return. 

In this article we will share with you how to maintain the laser engraving machine to extend the service life of the laser engraving machine.

5 Steps2.1. Cleaning of various components

In order to ensure that the laser is always in a normal working state, after a week of continuous work or when it is not used for a period of time, the components in the optical path such as the laser lens should be checked first before starting to make sure that the optical components are free from dust pollution, mildew and other abnormal phenomena. If there is any abnormal phenomenon mentioned above, it should be cleaned and cleaned in time to ensure that the optical components will not be damaged under strong laser irradiation.

(Note: The equipment must be turned off during cleaning. If the equipment is used in a clean environment, the above inspection can be extended to two weeks or even longer accordingly) 

Specifically:

1). Replacement of circulating water:

Before the machine works, ensure that the laser tube is filled with circulating water, and the circulating water should be replaced regularly.

The water quality and temperature of the circulating water directly affect the service life of the laser tube. It is recommended to use pure water and keep the water temperature below 35°C. If it exceeds 35°C, the circulating water needs to be replaced, or ice cubes are added to the water to lower the water temperature.

White scale will also appear in the tube after long-term use. At this time, a small amount of vinegar should be added to the circulating water. After the scale is removed, the laser tube will be washed clean with pure water, which will also extend the life of the laser tube.

It is worth noting that in the environment of high temperature or humid environment, the laser should always pay attention to observe whether there is any "condensation" phenomenon on the cooling water circulating pipe or laser concentrating cavity due to low water temperature. The "condensation" phenomenon will cause damage to the end face of the YAG crystal, resulting in a decrease in output power and even failure to emit light. If there is "condensation", immediately stop using the laser welding machine. After the moisture on the surface of the concentrating cavity is naturally dried, recheck the condition of the YAG optical surface, determine whether to clean the YAG rod, and check that everything is normal before turning it on again. Pay attention to properly adjust the lower limit set temperature of the high temperature controller before starting up. 

2). Fan cleaning:

When the fan in the machine is used for a long time, a lot of solid dust will accumulate in the fan, which makes the fan generate a lot of noise and is not conducive to exhaust and deodorization. Dust will also deteriorate the insulation performance of electrical components and lead to electrical breakdown. It will aggravate the wear of the motion system, reduce the accuracy, and make the light output of the optical path system weaker or even unable to emit light.

When the fan suction is insufficient and the smoke is not smooth, the fan needs to be cleaned. First, turn off the power, remove the air inlet and outlet ducts from the fan, use a rag to remove the dust inside, then turn the fan upside down, pull the blades inside, and flush with a long-bristled brush and high-pressure air gun until it is clean. And then reinstall the fan. 

3). Lens cleaning:

There are 3 mirrors and 1 focusing mirror on the laser engraving machine (the No. 1 mirror is located at the emission exit of the laser tube, which is the upper left corner of the machine, the No. 2 mirror is located at the left end of the beam, and the No. 3 mirror is located at the laser head fixed. At the top of the part, the focusing lens is located in the adjustable lens barrel at the lower part of the laser head. The laser light is reflected and focused by these lenses and emitted from the laser head.

The lens is easily stained with dust or other contaminants, which affects the depth of engraving and cutting, and also affects the accuracy of engraving and cutting, causing laser loss or lens damage. Generally, it is necessary to wipe the lens carefully with absolute alcohol in about a week (according to the frequency of use of the laser engraving machine). No. 1 and No. 2 lenses need to be removed when cleaning, just wipe the lens wiping paper dipped in the cleaning solution carefully along the center of the lens to the edge. The No. 3 lens and focusing lens need to be taken out of the frame and wiped in the same way. After wiping, they can be replaced as they are.

At the same time of cleaning:

(a) The lens should be wiped gently, and the surface coating should not be damaged;

(b) The wiping process should be handled with care to prevent falling;

(c) When installing the focusing lens, be sure to keep the concave surface facing down.

 

4). Guide rail cleaning:

The guide rail and linear axis are one of the core components of the equipment. In order to ensure the high processing accuracy of the machine, the guide rail and linear axis are required to have high guiding accuracy and good motion stability. During the operation of the equipment, a large amount of corrosive dust and smoke will be generated from the processed parts, and these smoke and dust will be deposited on the surface of the guide rail and linear shaft for a long time, which will cause a lot of adverse effects on the processing accuracy of the equipment, and it will be on the guide rail. Corrosion spots are formed on the surface of the linear shaft, which shortens the service life of the equipment. The machine guide rails should be cleaned every half a month, and the machine should be turned off before cleaning.

22. Fastening and lubrication of screws and couplings

After the motion system works for a period of time, the screws and couplings at the motion connection will loosen, which will affect the stability of the mechanical motion. During the operation of the machine, it is necessary to observe whether there are abnormal noises or abnormal phenomena in the transmission parts at all times, and tighten the screws one by one with tools at intervals. The first tightening should be about one month after the equipment is used.

Since the engraving machine is particularly sensitive to vibration, the working environment should be far away from places with vibration sources such as punching presses, heavy objects, etc., and anti-vibration pads can be installed to avoid the impact of the environment on the machine. In addition, there are several timing belts in the transmission system of the laser engraving machine. If the timing belt is too loose, the engraving font will appear ghosting. If the timing belt is too tight, the timing belt will wear out. After using for a period of time, the tension screw of the timing belt should be adjusted properly until the engraved text does not appear ghosting.

In addition to tightening the adjusting screws, some bearings of the laser engraving machine need to be regularly lubricated (except oil-impregnated bearings). Use a clean soft cloth to wipe off the floating soil on the bearing, use a needle tube to suck the oil into the needle tube, and then use the needle to slowly inject the bearing, and then slowly rotate the bearing when filling the oil.

33. The inspection of the optical path

The optical path system of the machine is completed by the reflection of the reflector and the focusing of the focusing mirror. Although the focusing mirror does not usually shift in the optical path, it is recommended that the user check whether the optical path is normal before each work. Every other week, check the X-axis guide rail and lead screw, Y-axis guide rail and lead screw, Z-axis guide rail and lead screw lubricating oil filling, keep the lubrication of all moving parts, and extend the X, Y, Z axis guide rail and lead screw. Service life.

Equipment operators can also check the laser output spot with black paper. Once spot unevenness or energy drop is found, the laser resonant cavity should be adjusted in time to ensure the beam quality of the laser output.

44. The working environment

Usually the working environment of the engraving machine does not exceed 40℃, and 20~25℃ is the most suitable. The increase in temperature will reduce the insulation performance of the equipment and deteriorate the parameters of the components.

There is too much dust and serious air pollution. In such an environment, the work of the machine will be damaged, causing the failure rate to continue to rise; various electrical accessories are also prone to problems in a humid environment. Therefore, ensuring the cleanliness of the working environment is also an important factor in maintaining the machine.

55. The matters needing attention in the daily maintenance process

  • The installation fulcrum of the laser tube of the laser engraving machine should be reasonable, and the fulcrum should be at a quarter of the total length of the laser tube, otherwise it will cause the laser tube's spot pattern to deteriorate, and the laser power drop cannot meet the requirements;
  • The suction device should be inspected and cleaned regularly, and the air duct of the fan should be cleaned up, otherwise the dust will quickly contaminate the lens and laser tube, which will easily oxidize the mechanical and electronic components, resulting in poor contact;
  • The power of the electricity grid needs to match the equipment itself;
  • The working current of the laser tube must be reasonable, so that it can not work under the full power for a long time. Use the laser reasonably and save the laser energy. The optical system should also be cleaned regularly, otherwise it will cause premature aging and rupture of the laser tube; when the laser equipment is working, the power should be adjusted to 50%-60% of the total power, and then adjust the working speed according to the material, so that the laser tube is the best Good working condition.
  • The dirt and dust on the machine body, laser head, sensor and other parts should be removed in time to keep the appearance of the machine clean;
  • The combustibles (such as glove rags, etc.) in the machine should be cleaned up in time to prevent fires during engraving;
  • The iron slag on the hopper waste car should be cleaned up in time to ensure that the engraving waste can fall smoothly;
  • Before carding the machine every day, carefully check whether the working gas pressure and the reducing valve are working properly to avoid insufficient air pressure, which will affect the quality of the engraving;
  • Before use, check the connection of each air pipe of the laserhead to determine whether there is any leakage of cooling water to ensure the normal supply of gas and cooling water;
  • During the debugging process, a black metal material with good absorption performance should be placed on the optical path of the laser output as a beam terminator to prevent fire accidents. 

Only by correctly mastering these five tips to maintain the laser engraving machine, can the laser engraving machine have a longer life, so as to truly achieve low cost and high return.

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