Machine Oiling Interval

I am curious. What kind of oiling interval you think is suitable for a continuously running CNC milling machine?
One which may run for an extended period reciprocating rapidly over a
short range of its travel.
I have 4 machines with automatic oilers, and I just purchased a 5th.
Of the 4 machines I already have one was setup by the manufacturer to apply oil to the ways and ball nuts every 15 minutes with an electro mechanical clock timer. It has wath appear to be cast iron ways, and inspite of an original service date of 1984 the ways are in pretty good condition. If it was on all day it used about a pint a day of way oil. Maybe a hair more. It has other issues, but the ballscrews have almost no backlash and the way surfaces look very good. It does have oil metering emitters at every lubrication point. This limits the amount of oil delivered in a cycle, and assures lubrication points oil appropriately as long as there is no air in the lines. There hasn't been any air in the lines in years. I did recently change it over to a more modern programmable electric oiler, but the cyle rate is about the same, and I timed the duration to put out the same amount of net oil.
The other three are newer being 2-5 years old. One has plane cast iron ways, and the other two have square profile linear ways. They are all set to oil about every 20 minutes for about 15 seconds. They do not have emitters. Just open oil ports to the lubrication point. I get atleast some oil at every lubrication point every cycle.
Now to get to that fifth machine. Its a brand new machine. I purchased it with a bunch of options including an automatic tool changer, automated power draw bar, full enclosure, and an automatic oiler. This is a high end "pro/hobbyist" machine so I get to install all the options and setup the machine myself. In reading the manufacturers notes it says it should have the electric oiler interval set at 240 minutes (4 hours) and it should pump oil for only 5 seconds. This set me back a bit so I asked the companies tech support about it and I got a general non-committal reply. "The oiling schedule that we set is only a starting point. It is adequate at this setting, but you can set it for whatever you would like."
The oiler itself is just another Chinese automatic electric oiler similar to the ones on my other machines.
In the specs for the machine it says, "The sliding dovetailed ways are hand-scraped and designed to withstand high loads and dampen vibrations. The ways have bonded PTFE filled acetyl sliding surfaces, hand scraped by skilled machine builders. Similar to brand name compounds such as
Is that way spec adequate to explain why they recommend such a short oil application period and such a long lubrication interval? Or have I been grossly over lubricating all my other machines for years?
The oil spec is just iso 68 way oil and includes a list of suitable oils including Mobile Vactra #2 which is what I use in all my other machines and with a dispenser even on my manual machines.
If their oiling recommendation is "generally" adequate do you think it takes into account localized scrubbing from the point I raised near the beginning of this post? Because I do complex 3D machining almost exclusively my machines may run for an extended period reciprocating rapidly over a short range of its travel on any given axis.
I would like to read your opinions, but do please read the whole post first.
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Bob La Londe wrote:

WOW! A big topic. Each machine needs enough oil to keep the metal from grinding against metal. On the roller way machines, you may be using too much oil, but it may need to give that much to treat all the OTHER parts of the machine. The advantage of metering orifices is you can tailor each point to get the right amount for that type of component.
The Turcite-style way liners need less oil than cast iron to cast iron, but you don't want to let them run dry. Also, due to the softness, you really have to keep an eye on the wipers, to make sure no grit gets under the wiper and into the Turcite.
Jon
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