The biggest benefit of CNC machine spindle repair is dodging the need to purchase a new spindle. With new spindles costing between $6000 and $20,000, repairing a spindle whenever possible is obviously the most cost-effective way to get a CNC machine up and running again. Experienced spindle repair technicians will also recalibrate spindles to optimize durability and performance reliability so that unexpected breakdowns don’t unnecessarily strain your shop’s budget.

CNC machine operators should always remain vigilant for these signs of potential spindle failure:

  • Spindle jerks, freezes, doesn’t release or runs backwards
  • Faulty clamping
  • VFD trips repeatedly
  • Sensor instability
  • Axial or radial load failures
  • Tool slips or doesn’t release properly
  • Reduced tool balance

What is Spindle Repair?

Spindle wear and tear is a natural consequence of busy CNC machines. Operators should regularly check for signs of impending spindle failure, such as bellmouthing degradation of the spindle taper mouth and damage to toolholders (discolorations, chips, nicks). Another problem called fretting occurs when the spindle mouth and tool holder start scraping against each other, which can cause the toolholder to drop inside the spindle. CNC machine operators should be careful not to assume rust-colored marks on toolholder tapers are just simple rust and not fretting.

Spindle repair technicians are highly trained to analyze, repair and test spindles that they restore to full operation. The process of CNC machine spindle repair typically involves the following steps:

  • Broken spindles are carefully inspected before being disassembled. Technicians evaluate each spindle for conditions specific to failure, such as insufficient oil and general corruption. Following each spindle inspection, technicians detail cause(s) of the failure.
  • Spindles are then polished, washed with solvent and allowed to dry naturally.
  • Repairing and/or rebuilding of the spindle begins at this point. High-quality CNC machine spindle repair is performed in environmentally-controlled areas to maximize quality control aspects of the process.
  • Spindle balancing demands an addition or removal of load to significantly boost efficiency and durability of the spindle. Precise balancing of spindles requires the use of computer software programs that provide data essential for perfecting spindle balance.
  • Repaired spindles are reassembled in clean rooms. Regardless of what was preventing the spindle from working, spindle repair technicians replace old bearings with new bearings supported by lubricants formulated for a specific spindle.
  • Repaired spindles are thoroughly tested to demonstrate their ability to operate seamlessly. Technicians document spindle efficiency by assessing temperature topouts, momentum and acceleration and vibratory sequences. Once testing is complete, spindles are packaged in proper materials and shipped to the customer.

How Long Should Spindle Repair Last?

The life of a repaired spindle depends mostly on two things: the quality and skill of the repair and how well a CNC operator maintains their machine.

Most spindles continue working as expected for as long as 20 years if the spindle doesn’t crash. Most spindle crashes are attributed to operator errors or pushing CNC machines to overperform. When used correctly, an expertly repaired spindle should last as long as a new spindle.

To keep CNC machine repair costs as low as possible, shop managers should depend exclusively on experienced, knowledgeable spindle rebuilders. Poorly repaired spindles and bearings typically begin malfunctioning prematurely due to inadequate lubrication, contamination and amateur handling of spindles and bearings.

How Much Should Spindle Repair Cost?

The cost of CNC machine spindle repair depends on what is wrong with the spindle. For example, repair of nonworking shafts may cost around $3000 to $4000. Damaged bearing repair averages between $500 and $1500. Grind-Plate-Grind (GPG) restoration can also add to the cost of repairing a spindle, particularly since the GPG process requires several days to complete. Other aspects of determining spindle repair cost include whether a spindle needs replacement of o-rings and seals, replacement of drawbar springs, setting of position sensors and many other tasks specific to different types of spindles.

Superior Spindle for CNC Machine Spindle Repair

Finding a spindle repair shop by doing a Google search is easy. But finding the best CNC machine spindle repair shop is not so easy. When you rely on Superior Spindle for all your spindle repair needs, you don’t have to worry about receiving spindles that are poorly repaired or lacking repair. Our spindle repair professionals always do the job right the first time so that your CNC machine is operating perfectly again ASAP.

Contact Superior Spindle today to learn more about our spindle repair services.