American Machinist

Five-minute spindle change: a special spindle design gets old spindles out, new spindles in, and machines back in the cut. (Spindles).

Somewhere, a jobshop has just crashed a machine spindle, wrecking the bearings and perhaps the motor. If using a conventional high-speed spindle, the shop will spend hours, even days, removing, repairing, and re-installing it. But if the shop is using a new divided spindle, the machine is back to work within five minutes of less.

Unlike conventional high-speed spindles, the RigiDyne 40,000-rpm quick-change system comes in two parts, a spindle unit and a motorized driver. This split design, says manufacturer Ingersoll Milling Machines, Rockford, Ill., ensures that the motor isn't damaged if the spindle crashes. "If you look at spindle failures, you seldom lose the motor," says Peter Mischler, a staff engineer with Ingersoll. "You usually lose the bearings, and that sometimes damages the motor. With the split design, spindle problems aren't communicated back into the motor. And you only have to change out the damaged part, not the motor and everything else. …

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