Date: 3/25/2014 3:18 PM PDT
The equipment used in today’s manufacturing
environments is usually computerized, sophisticated and expensive. It is extremely important to make certain the
equipment is properly disconnected, prepped and blocked prior to shipping. If this is not done correctly it can cost you
thousands, or in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. In a worst case scenario, the damage can be
so bad as to be a total loss that has to be scrapped.
CNC Equipment is made up of
turrets, tables and head stocks that all travel on ways and ball screws; in
most situations these are so perfectly fitted that a 500 lb. turret can be
easily moved by hand with a turn of the ballscrew. Due to this fact it is imperative to secure
the axes prior to shipping – if you do not, you may end up with a table or
turret that and slams from one end of the machine to the other as it travels
down the road on the back of a truck for 2,000 miles. This can damage, bearings, ballscrews, motors
Spending a few hundred dollars on
the front end to make certain a machine is properly prepped may save you tens
or hundreds of times that on the back end.
Below is a checklist that we like to use to make certain that a machine
will show up in the same condition it left:
All coolant has to be drained prior to
loading. If not your trucker will not
(and cannot) take it over the road.
The machine axes should be blocked. In the best situation you will have the
original shipping brackets from the manufacturer; if not a tech will sometimes
be able to fabricate something. If this
is not possible the most common methods that we see is the use of wood blocks,
zip ties and/or nylon straps. The key is
to find a good sturdy way of securing the tables, headstock and turrets on the
**Whenever blocking a spindle DO
NOT put the block directly under the spindle bearings, this puts undue pressure
on the bearings and can damage or destroy them.
We recommend placing cardboard or bubble wrap in
front of the CRT and control panel for protection and then shrink wrapping in
place. Whenever possible, it is
advisable to shrink wrap the entire machine to protect it from tarp damage (the
nicer and newer the machine the more important this step may be)
Box up all manuals, books, keys, spare parts and
additional tooling together so that it is in one place and travels together
with the machine.
Only ship CNC machinery on Air-Ride
Trailers!!! This is a must.
Confirm that your trucking company will be
tarping the machinery. There is usually
a $75 - $150 tarping charge but it is money well spent.
**We had a friend that shipped a 5 axis
router from Washington State to Minnesota in the dead of winter. The trucker did not tarp the machine and
turned a $150,000 ‘state of the art’ piece of equipment into a $2500 pile of
If you have any questions on
the above or we can assist you in any way please do not hesitate to contact us.