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Spindle Maintenance & Service

Electric Spindle Service & Maintenance

A schedule of preventive maintenance will help keep your spindle operating at peak performance.

Cleaning

Keep the spindle housing, fans and ductwork clean to allow free movement of cooling air. Clean tool tapers, collet cavities, shafts and collets clean using denatured alcohol. Never use lubricants or oils on tooling items. Failure to keep tooling clean can cause tool misalignment, out of balance, tool slip and poor quality cuts.

Warm Up

Electric spindles need a warm up period for best performance. Do not apply loads to a cold electric spindle. For warm-up, run the spindle at 9,000 rpm for 10-15 minutes or until the spindle bearing supports reach 98º F (human body temperature). This allows bearings, bearing supports and the spindle shaft to reach their designed dimensions and preloads through thermal expansion. Applying loads to a cold spindle will cause premature bearing failure.

Extended Warm Up

If a spindle has been kept in stock for more than 6 months without rotation, it is imperative to perform and extended warm-up procedure before applying any load to the spindle. The table shows recommended warm up times: 

Cool Down

Allow cooling system (fan, compressed air or liquid) and bearing pressurization (if used) to run for 10 minutes after stopping work. This minimizes condensation and prevents contaminants from being drawn into the bearing cavities. 

Tooling

Keep tools sharp to reduce forces, heat and to maintain cut quality. Monitor increases in electric current to the spindle to detect loss of tool sharpness. Heat generated from tools can overheat bearing grease, evaporate its essential components and lessen bearing life. Maximum bearing temperature of bearing supports is 150º F. Excess heat will cause tool holders to jam in automatic tool change spindles. Be sure all spindle sensors operate properly to avoid damage.

CAUTION: All PDS electric spindles with ATC are designed to accept only ISO or HSK style tool holders. BT tool holders are not interchangeable. Use only balanced tools and tool holders and rebalance all tools after each sharpening. Vibration from unbalanced tools can rapidly destroy bearings. Replace any worn, scratched or deformed tool holders and collets with new items to prevent tool slip and imbalance from run-out. Normal collet wear life is < 700 hours. Tool slip leads operators to over tightened collet nuts and damaged threads.