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How to Prevent 3 Common Causes of Spindle Breakdown

Breakdowns of any kind are a major roadblock for production efficiency. With machines out of operation, manufacturers find their revenue decreases as overhead costs skyrocket. While not all breakdowns are avoidable, some definitely are. Only 30% of machines live their full lifespan because of poor maintenance and upkeep. Knowing why spindles breakdown before their time is the best way to prevent an untimely end to your machines.


One of the most common factors in premature spindle failures is poor air supply. Particulate contaminants and moisture especially are often disastrous. Maintenance personnel and machine operators often focus on lubrication to the detriment of all else, but a contaminated air supply is known as the silent killer of spindles. Around 80 percent of spindle failures are because of contamination. Many assume that contamination is exclusively caused by external sources such as grinding swarf or coolant, but in actuality, many spindle machine tool users are killing their own equipment. Ensuring a dry air supply is one of the best ways to protect your production line from contamination related breakdowns.


It is always best to utilize the right type of spindle for the right job. The most common causes of overloading include improper feed rate, excessive preload, faulty belt tension, and poorly sized bearings. Doubling the speed of a spindle beyond the manufacturer’s recommended rating can reduce the lifespan of a spindle by half. It’s also essential to ensure that bearings have the proper amount of preload – the amount of force exerted against the rolling elements without external force. Too much preload will wear down the parts when not in use, and too little preload will prevent the tool from performing properly.

End of Spindle Life Failure 

Seemingly identical spindles operated under perfect conditions may not last the same amount of time. Manufacturers estimate the time period that 10% of bearings will fail under optimal usage conditions. This calculated timeframe is known as a machine’s basic life or L10, and can be used to estimate how long you can expect a machine to last. Following a proper maintenance routine can help ensure you get the longest lifespan out of your equipment, but even under perfect conditions, breakdowns do occur. That is why it’s vital to have a trusted spindle repair technician to turn to when a breakdown does happen.

About GTI Spindle Technology

At GTI Spindle Technology, we specialize in high-quality spindle diagnosis and repair. Getting your business back into full operation and minimizing downtime is our mission. We offer in-house, on-site, and emergency assistance for machine tool spindle failure analysis, spindle repair, and complete spindle testing. With an extensive range and expertise in a diverse group of industries, our customers know that they are getting the highest quality of spindle repair and customer service. Click here to find out more.