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Getting spindles “pimped”

Gothenburg, Sweden, 16 September 2019: Spindles of machine tools are supposed to exert enormous forces with extreme precision and highest reliability. For this purpose, the technicians on site are doing their very best. However, in case of repeated failures, the maintenance staff might not find the true cause of the constant malfunctions. To get to the bottom of the problem, SKF offers a special spindle service.

In order to avoid expensive downtimes, the experts from SKF’s spindle service centers can scrutinise the spindle directly on site. This includes, for example, vibration, imbalance and run-out tests as well as lubrication, clamping and cooling system checks. The experts also take a close look at external influencing variables such as the belt tension on the spindle drive, the alignment of the drive shaft or the condition of the coolant additives.

If it turns out that the spindle's malfunctions are caused by an improper design, it’s time to build a tailor-made spindle that really meets the requirements of its individual application. To achieve this, countless parameters need to be taken into account which result from the dynamic interaction of bearings, seals and lubricants at different speeds, temperatures and loads. Such tribological systems are a key competence of the spindle service specialists – thanks to the respective expertise bundled at SKF.

This is all the more true since these specialists can use a sophisticated simulation program for the development of efficiency-enhancing new designs: SKF SimPro Spindle is a kind of "virtual test bench" which incorporates SKF’s broad experience and vast engineering knowledge about the complex interplay of bearings and their lubrication. The tool enables the engineers to design a spindle optimized for its specific task in the shortest possible time.

For example, by using the potential of the program the team once succeeded in extending the service life of a grinding spindle by a factor of 25 - thanks to tailor-made labyrinth seals, sealed super precision bearings and exact fits according to SKF standards. In addition, the experts implemented an extremely effective air purge concept in their new design. This solution package avoided the ingress of the abrasive grinding dust which had repeatedly damaged the old spindle. With the new spindle optimised by SKF, the customer was no longer facing costly and annoying “riddles” and also benefited from a noticeable increase in productivity.

Further information on SKF’s spindle service capabilities is available here: https://www.skf.com/group/services/remanufacturing-services/machine-tool-spindle-service/index.html.

Held in Germany until 21 September 2019, EMO Hannover is expected to attract more than 2,200 exhibitors and over 120,000 visitors from the automotive, aerospace, electronics and general machinery industries. SKF is exhibiting in Hall 8, Stand A22.


Aktiebolaget SKF


Responsible for the content of this press release: SKF


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