Proper Preventive Saw Maintenance

Preventive saw maintenance has a number of advantages that make it worth utilizing. Companies are now starting to realize the significance of taking proper care of their band saw equipment, recognizing that a little down time on the saw for maintenance saves a lot of down time if the saw fails due to some other reason.

Practicing scheduled preventive maintenance on band saws increases the sawing productivity by decreasing costs, downtime, and frustration. With preventive maintenance, machine and blade life increases, and overtime emergency maintenance repairs become less frequent. Well‐maintained band saw machines make efficient, quality cuts, and promotes the safety of the operator.

The following guidelines are used by the equipment operator when performing preventive maintenance on the bandsaw machine:

  • Check band wheels in every blade change.

  • Monitor band wheel bearings every six months. Check the band wheel bearings for any unusual wheel movement and replace them if needed. Listen, listen, listen!!!

  • Installation of guides must be in accordance to the machine manufacturer’s instructions. Need to inspect band guides every six months – minimally.

  • At every blade change, the blade tension needs to be inspected and tensioned in reference to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Frankly, blade tension should be checked every day as the saw should not be tensioned when not being used (as in overnight if no 2nd or 3rd shift or on weekends).

  • Before removing each blade, blade tracking needs to be monitored . The correct spacing between the back edge of the blade and the flange of the wheel should be about one eighth inch.

  • Daily inspect the hydraulic system and frequently check the oil level.

  • Drives must be checked every six months. Visually inspect all areas where bearings are.

  • Check the oil level of the transmission during this inspection, and replace any defective bearings or seals.

  • Check the drive wheel of gear‐driven machines for excess play.

  • For pulleys, check for proper alignment, tension, and wear. If possible adjust pulleys and if it is damaged, replace them .

  • Inspect belts for wear, cracks, and stretching. If there are problems, encountered replace the belt according to the machine’s manual.

  • On a daily basis, guide alignment must be checked. Adjust the alignment according to the manufacturer’s manual.
  • Inspect the vises for wear on both stationary and movable vises, and adjust, repair, or replace if needed. Align the vise to the blade and adjust it as needed.
  • On weekly basis, check the band speed and monitor the maximum and minimum speed.
  • Inspect chip removal system on a day to day basis. Ensure that the conveyor system is working properly and removing all chips.
  • Monitor daily the sawing fluids. Maintain the level of sawing fluid to the machine’s specifications, and be sure the fluid is flowing freely through all fluid nozzles.

Preventive maintenance does not just enhance the lifespan of the band saw equipment, it also help attain it’s optimum performance thereby extending the lifespan of the machine which in turn decrease the need for capital replacements.

A well maintained band saw machine performs better than poorly maintained equipment. Shops that take the time to maintain their band saw machine on a regular basis typically gets the optimum performance possible out of their band saw. The performance of the company’s bandsaw is often intimately related to profits. Many shops rely heavily on their band saw, and the smoother their equipment performs, the more profit they can make.

A thorough working knowledge on the operation and maintenance procedures of the bandsaw is a must, the operator must also take into consideration the different safety measures to ensure smooth and efficient operation.

Companies that follow good preventive maintenance habits will maximize their band saw cutting efficiency and productivity while lowering expenses. Preventive maintenance is a small investment of time in relation to the cost savings that can be obtained by lengthening the life of the machine and blade.