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Precision Matters: The Importance of Quality Spindle Rebuilding

CNC Milling Spindle
One of the universal truths of business is that not every supplier provides the same commitment to quality and process as others. Some take shortcuts to get through jobs quicker, building their business on throughput. Others, like us at GTI, prefer to do jobs right, from bottom to top, building a business on results and reputation. When it comes to getting your spindles repaired or rebuilt, it’s critical to work with a supplier that provides quality, thorough work.

It’s no secret. Spindles are a cornerstone in manufacturing, with CNC machine tools performing so many functions — boring, drilling, routing, grinding, milling, sawing, cutting, and more. Without a properly functioning spindle, work comes to a halt, leading to a loss of productivity and income. To avoid unplanned downtime, a proficient facility manager will have a preventative maintenance strategy in place. However, a subpar spindle repair job, prone to sudden failures, can disrupt even the most carefully crafted schedules.

Of course, minimizing unplanned downtime isn’t the only benefit of properly rebuilt spindles. The quality of a rebuild also has an impact on the quality of the work you’re producing. Even the slightest imperfections or balance issues, easily missed if the rebuilder isn’t paying careful attention, can directly and negatively impact the precision and quality of your machined components.

A High-Quality Spindle Rebuild

Every spindle repair company and technician will have their own “trade secrets” — we certainly do — but there are a number of steps that are an absolute must for a high-quality spindle rebuild:

  • Spindle Failure Improper Lubrication
    Evidence of Improper Lubrication

    Cleaning — During disassembly, every surface of every part of a spindle should be carefully cleaned in preparation for inspection.

  • Inspection — It’s important to identify the primary cause of failure. It takes care and experience to properly conduct a thorough and detailed inspection to shine light on the contributing issues. At GTI, we hand-inspect every single component of every single spindle that comes through our doors.
  • Measurements and documentation — During inspection, all parts of a spindle, its shaft, and its housing should be measured and documented.
  • Failure analysis — Every rebuilt spindle should come with a detailed report on what caused the failure. Having this valuable and often actionable information could help prevent future failures, when responded to properly.

Only after these steps are taken should a spindle repair technician then begin the process of repairing and replacing parts.

After the rebuild itself is complete, there are further steps that a shop should take before they return the spindle to its owner:

  • Testing — A range of tests should be conducted to ensure that the reassembly process was conducted correctly.
  • Balance adjustments — Spindles are super-precise instruments that need to be balanced on multiple axes to ensure proper operation. At GTI, we dial spindle balance measurements to higher-than-OEM specifications.

What to Look for in a Spindle Rebuilder

Simply put, not every spindle repair job is equal because not every spindle repair shop is equal. But how do you know if the one you’re considering is the right one? Here are a few things that all top-tier spindle repair shops share:

  • A good shop will have experience, over a long period of time, with a wide range of different OEM brands. Keep in mind, there are spindles from over 350 manufacturers out there!
  • They will guarantee their repairs and rebuilds meet or exceed original OEM specifications.
  • They conduct extensive testing and balance adjustments to do so.

And finally, a top-tier shop will offer a top-tier warranty. For instance, all GTI-rebuilt spindles come with a full one-year warranty that kicks in when it’s put back into service, as opposed to when it’s shipped, no matter how far in the future that is.

When it comes to rebuilding your spindle, precision matters. Cutting corners and saving a few dollars will most likely cost you in the long run. Don’t take chances. Choose an experienced shop that has a quality-driven process in place, to ensure a proper and reliable spindle rebuild that will last.

Looking to repair or rebuild a spindle? We can help! Click here to learn more about our spindle repair services.