Northland Tool Blog

Delaying Spindle Service Causes More Damage, Costly Repairs

Excessively worn ball bearings are deformed and have damaged the outer race
Running this spindle too long caused deformed ball bearings and damage to the outer race

Damage to the outer race is consistent with prolonged operation after spindle exhibited initial signs of needing to be rebuilt  

Every spindle rebuilt by Northland Tool is backed by a 1-year warranty on parts and workmanship

Over 2 years in the making
A customer reached out to us over 2 years ago with a complaint that their spindle was starting to get noisy. We provided an estimated cost of $5,000 to rebuild.

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GPG: Grind-Plate-Grind Process Explained

When a cylindrical surface, such as the OD of a shaft or the ID of a tooling taper, becomes worn or damaged, we use a process referred to as grind-plate-grind (GPG) to restore dimensions to original OEM specification. First, we pre-grind, also referred to as “green grind,”  to remove a thin layer of material and smooth any damage. Next, the part undergoes an electroplating process to apply a layer of hard chrome to the desired area. This builds up a durable surface that is slightly oversized than the final desired dimension.

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Precision Machining in a World of Microns

How small is a micron, and why do we work in such a small scale?
Precision is defined as the quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate. But how close is “exact”, exactly? It all depends on the application. There is no clearly defined tolerance range for a workpiece to be considered “high precision,” but in our line of work repairing spindles, we frequently encounter specs calling for a tolerance of +/- 2 microns.
A micron (μm), or micrometer, is one millionth of a meter, or 1/25,400th of an inch. That’s roughly 0.00004″.

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Southtec 2017

We are having a great show at Southtec 2017. Not only have we been able to introduce our unique spindle repair service, we have Kent Queensbury from Lion Precision demonstrating The Spindle Check system. If you have not seen this amazing technology yet contact us and we will be happy to give you a demonstration. This is a must have tool in your arsenal.

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Hardinge T42 Four Pack

Our customer wanted to requalify his Hardinge T42 spindles to make sure he continued to hold the very tight tolerances required for his customers products. As this took all four machines down at once we rush repaired them with grinding work and hand carried the spindles back within days of receiving them.

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Ball Cage Manufacture

Many spindle rebuilders do not have the equipment or skill to manufacture the ball cages that are essential for proper preload of the bearings. The practice of reusing ball cages is usually done because they have no other option. They have not invested in the machinery and skill sets needed to manufacture parts correctly.
One of the more common failures we see from other rebuilders is a ball cage that no longer functions freely. This causes excessive preload to the bearing set as the spindle experiences thermal growth. That eventually causes premature bearing failure.
Don’t get short changed on your next repair.

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Spindle Actuator Repair

This is a drawbar actuator that the walls of the ID had been scored and allowed hydraulic fluid to seep around the seals and contaminate the spindle bearings causing premature bearing failure. We were able to rework the ID in our grinding department saving our customer several thousands of dollars.

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Manufacturing Spindle Parts

Since you can’t go to the local parts store and buy a front spindle housing and the lead times from the OEM can be measured in months not days, if they will even sell you the part. We manufacture replacement parts here to keep you up and running. Northland Tool manufactured this part, with micron tolerances, in 4 days and had our customer up and running in less than 7 days.

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Need Your Spindle’s Drawbar Re-Qualified?

Give us a call 800-774-6353. Performing a Grind Plate Grind to your drawbar shaft in most cases is a lower cost alternative than replacing it with new. Over time the belleville washers or coil springs can wear grooves in the drawbar shaft itself. This can cause poor tool retention force and difficulty getting full travel of the drawbar during tool changes.

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Northland Tool at the Hardinge Open House 2017

We work closely with machine tool manufactures to keep up with the newest technology being used in today’s spindles. We are at the Hardinge open house showcasing our spindle repair services and rolling out our newest product the Lion Spindle Check System. Find out exactly what your spindle is doing at the point of tool contact. How round of a hole can you produce, how flat can you make a surface, what spindle speed will give me the best results, can all be answered within minutes with Spindle Check.

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