Lathe Nose Spindle Repair



CHALLENGE

Northland Tool & Electronics recently received a lathe spindle for repair from one of our customers who manufacturers surgical implants. The customer was experiencing unacceptable chatter on the surface finish of their parts, but was unable to troubleshoot the issue in house. When the spindle arrived at Northland we completed a full evaluation and test run before disassembling the spindle. All our testing, vibration analysis, measurement of run out on critical surfaces, and motor testing showed the spindle to be within specification and healthy.

SOLUTION

We are always reluctant to disassemble a spindle that tests well, so we contacted our customer for additional details and to provide technical support. We visited the facility to get a first-hand look at their process. While we were there, we performed additional vibration analysis on similar machines to gather a baseline for analytical purposes. After meeting with their group in charge of this project we agreed to continue testing on the spindle with some tooling they provided for us.

Our next step of the project was to run the spindle with the tooling provided to see if it was influencing the performance of the spindle. During this process, our technicians started noticing odd frequencies showing on the vibration analysis, which pointed to mechanical looseness. We discerned that the tooling provided was indeed out of balance. Knowing this is a direct contributor to part finish we balanced the tooling to eliminate this as a factor in the part chatter. As we had not experienced this before we added the tooling into the equation, we dug deeper into its cause.

When we brought the customer’s tooling to our grinding department to check all of its critical surfaces, they found that the relationship between the taper and face of the mounting surfaces on the tooling were out of specification from the tooling manufacturer. The tooling taper was not ground correctly, preventing the tooling from meeting the face when tightened.

RESULT

After disclosing our findings to our customer, we discovered they had had five sets of tooling made recently and they decided they would like to send them all in for requalification. After initial inspection we found that three of the five had the same issues with taper-to-face contact. We were then able to kiss grind the tooling back into specification on our Kellenburger grinders. We balanced all five sets after the grinding process and returned the spindle and tooling to the customer.

Once we installed the spindle with the balanced and requalified tooling, the customer stated that they were not experiencing any part quality issues with the machine or that spindle anymore.

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More Case Studies

Repair History - Here are examples of similar spindle repairs that may contain additional information that will help you. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

I really didn’t expect this; You guys really pulled it off! My many thanks to your outstanding crew for helping us get back into production.
— Dan Eaton, Taylor Metalworks
Its great not to be sending spindles out on a regular basis since you addressed my problems, but I know they will still be coming sooner or later. Never a problem when we get them back , run better than new. Hope everything is ok there. Please tell everyone there that we here appreciate everything that you do to keep us up and running and the quick turnarounds. Have delt with the rest now deal with the best. Have a great week end and up and coming holiday.
— Northland Customer
Thank you NTE just received spindle today and WOW ! what a nice job. Can’t wait to use it. Thank the Northland team for us for a job well done 
— Northland Customer
Both of the spindles that you repaired are on the machines and running great. We don’t have any spares for those grinders. We probably will not be purchasing a spare, as you have been able to turn around the repairs quickly and the price of a spare is cost prohibitive.
— Northland Customer
I am writing to thank Northland Tool for going the extra mile and saving my company from expensive machine downtime and expensive repairs. We have always sent our Chiron spindles for repair as a shaft with bearings. None of our previous rebuilders pointed out the bearing fretting or the fact that the housing in the machine was out of tolerance and causing premature failure to the spindles. After Northland fixed the housings the spindles have never sounded as good or run as well! Great job guys!
— Northland Customer
The detailed cause of failure reports and the expert technical advice that Northland Tool provides is bar none the best I have ever seen. We struggled to keep two of our large our milling spindles running for longer than 6 to 12 months. Northland Tools evaluation showed that the hydraulic nuts were not holding the assembly together causing premature spindle failure. We discussed this in detail and mutually decided to modify the spindle shaft to prevent this from occurring again. The first spindle we performed this on is still in the machine running like new after 3 years. That’s over three times the life of previous repairs and it’s still going strong. Easily over $40,000.00 of savings so far on that one machine and counting.
— Northland Customer
Your people go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to spindle repair. When we had difficulty with the spindle installation and we were able to talk directly to a spindle technician that helped us troubleshoot the issue it helped us out of a bind. We have sent several spindles to you and have nothing but great things to say.
— Northland Customer
Thank you for your attention with my quick turn spindle repair. Your status updates allowed me to plan around machine downtime and I now know that you deliver on your promises. In the past other spindle repair vendors talked a big game and consistently failed to deliver. You not only delivered my spindle before the due date but you kept me informed throughout the entire repair process.
— Northland Customer
You performed a miracle with my BIG PLUS spindle. After crashing the spindle severely damaging the taper we found that a replacement spindle was not only cost prohibitive but had a long delivery. Your repair was a fraction of the cost of new and you never would know that the spindle was damaged to the extent it was.
— Northland Customer
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