“I’m high maintenance, but I’m worth it.”


Does anyone know who that quote is from? I sure didn’t. It was said by Lara Logan, a CBS correspondent. High maintenance: the idea of needing a lot of work and attention. It sounds daunting, time-consuming, and costly: surely people should want LOW maintenance!

As I scoured the internet to try and solve the enigma that is maintenance (or maybe the lack of it?), I read quote after quote about how to become lower maintenance or higher maintenance, or why high is better than low, or visa versa… this phrase “but I’m worth it” stuck out to me.

Everyone seems to be declaring one or the other as something that adds value to their individual qualities. So which is it? What has more worth? High-maintenance, or low-maintenance? The answer is likely to be different for everyone, but what if we add a third option?

“Prevention is better than cure” or to borrow the popular saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. We’re all familiar with this concept. Both the high-maintenance people (who absolutely have to fit their diet and gym routine into a day), and the low-maintenance people (who might diet and exercise just to feel better), can probably agree that they are engaged in the prevention of future unknown, painful, and costly health risks.

Why then is it, that we in the manufacturing and industry might have such a hard time applying the same preventative concept to the tools and machines that we use?

Why do we frequently allow our equipment to go without the cleaning, lubrication, testing, and adjustment while we may consider it “high maintenance”, will assuredly prove to prevent future complications… Worth it. I work for the manufacturer of highly precise, measuring instruments (yes I said “instrument” not machine), whenever I hear stories of dirty Y-axis rail, or wet and dirty air being fed to our equipment, I can’t help feeling a little despondent.

As a violinist and guitar player, I was taught to take the utmost precautions to protect my instruments from moisture, dirt and other damages, ensuring their longevity, tonal accuracy and precision.

Should not the same principles be applied to instruments that are used specifically because they assure the user the highest accuracy and precise measurement? Isn’t a simple daily wipe down of your machine, worth the effort to keep your machine air-bearings functioning at their highest level for as long as possible?

Next time you are standing next to your WENZEL CMM, I challenge you not to view it in the way that so many of us view mills and lathes: as machines. Instead, look at it for what it truly is: a high-performance, precision measuring instrument, capable of incredible accuracy…. but also, requiring some routine care.

Clean your probes, clean (and dry) your air supply, and if nothing else, PLEASE (I’m begging you here) clean your air bearing and granite surfaces. If you do not, then we risk proving Kurt Vonnegut right when he wrote: “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”

Trust me, your instruments will thank you.

If you don’t feel prepared to tackle your CMM’s maintenance, I and the staff at WENZEL are always happy to help. Keep an eye out for our release of a more in-depth user-guide to your CMM maintenance or give us a call at (248) 295-4300.