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  1. #1

    Haas VF-4 Spindle Drive Fault Problem

    Hello, I've been working with the VF-4 in my shop for about two years now, and while I was drilling and tapping a Jig plate the machine began to throw the 123 Alarm: Spindle Drive Fault during the tapping cycle, at first it happened once in a row of tapping cycles, but then it happend a few times in one row.

    Since then trying to orient the spindle, or turn the spindle in any way using its motor throws the 123 alarm. It has had problems in the past orienting the spindle before and sounded much like a post in this thread:


    To qote Haas__Man "Sorry dafowfidy,
    I think i have misread your original post. Could you confirm to me that your machine is a 1992 model VF2?
    If it is then you do not have a vector drive. In its place then you probably have a Mitsubishi spindle drive or a yaskawa drive. When the fault happens look at the spindle drive unit, there should be a small lcd display, does it have anything on the display?
    Also when you orientate the spindle does the spindle rotation look smooth? or is it jerky?
    If it is smooth, but too fast for the locking maechanism to lock the spindle, then it is possible to slow this down with parameters. Parameters 72 and 73 are the speed of rotation of the spindle when orientating. One is for high gear. the other for low gear. if you lower the value, then you lower the speed of rotation and give the spindle lock mechanism a chance.
    Hope this helps.

    The spindle on my machine appeared jerky and somewhat slow when orienting, on the mitsubishi Freqrol-a200e-ul unit I am reading one of two codes when this happens, OC2 or OC3. Resetting the Haas, resets it so there is no error, but trying to turn the spindle only throws the error again.

  2. #2
    Same thing hapenend to me on my MiniMill. It's either the encoder or the encoder belt or both.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    i used to get this fault on my mini mill when i powered up and was told it was the power unit (vector drive). Turned out to be the spindle servo amplifier!

  4. #4
    So, we have fixed the spindle drive controller, but we are still concerned as the spindle when spinning up to any RPM is now hesitating at the beginning, as though it is fighting its own rotation, it was not doing this before the drive controller was replaced, and it is not throwing any alarms, but we are not running it in fear of breaking somthing else. Any insight to this?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    The first thing to check is that the spindle drive is grounded properly. Make sure all groung leads are to chasis or ground - and have good contact.
    What is the year of manufacture on the machine?
    When you say you fixed the spindle drive unit - how did you do this and what was wrong with it? Did you remove the drive from the machine to do this?
    Also - does the spindle load meter work correctly?

  6. #6

    vector drive fault

    There are some things that should be cleared up here:
    1) If this were caused by an encoder, you would get an encoder alarm because the encoders are self-tested.
    2) In a mini-mill or TM, there is no box called a vector drive; there is an axis amplifier as they supply enough current for the smaller spindle motor.
    3) Grounding is that old "easy to blame thing" but a lack of ground does not give this kind of symptoms. (A lack of ground WILL cause electrical shock!)
    4) A hesitation at start could be caused by an open wire from drive to motor.

  7. #7
    I am working with the shop manager on this, so the best I can do is relay what I have been told to me.

    The machine is a 1997 VF-4.

    The Spindle Drive controller drive had the IGBT replaced, and with a slightly dissimilar model, we were assured by the Haas rep and Mitsubishi that it was compatible with our drive controller. The Mitsu. Rep had us change a drive startup parameter to try to fix the jerky spindle problem. The Controller was removed, torn down and the Blown IGBT confirmed and replaced.

    The spindle Load meter reads about 110% on accel and when it has reached its set RPM never drops below 50%.

    I have been told that the motor wiring has been checked (which sounds like a visual inspection) and nothing is corroded.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    The spindle encoder on this particular machine (VF4) are not self tested because the spindle drive is not a vector drive or a minimill power supply. It is a Mitsubshi drive unit. The spindle encoder is only used for rigid tapping on this machine.
    HAASSTUDENT - I will see if I can get some drawings of wiring connections to the spindle drive unit so that you can check that everything is wired up ok. You did not mention if the drive was removed from the machine for repair? Grounding to the spindle drive unit could definately be causing your problem - but could also be wired up incorrectly.

  9. #9


    I am sorry but Haas_Man is mistaken.
    All of the encoders used on Haas machines since 1991 have had an electronic self-test performed on them to insure consistent signals and consistent count or position information. If the encoder is not working properly, it always gives an encoder alarm.

  10. #10
    I had a similar issue with the spindle hesitating and rocking back and forth on an SL10. After all day of diagnosing it turned out to be the "Delta Y contactor". This is the one that you hear click when you ramp up the spindle rpms. It had a loose jumper from the factory on mine, but I'm sure they wear out eventually. It gives the spindle more torque in the lower rpms.
    Just something else to check.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Who fixed the drive unit? Shop manager, Haas tech or someone else?

    The drive unit was repaired correct, not replaced?

    As others have mentioned, it sounds like it could be a wiring issue or a problem with a parameter within the drive unit.

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