what is a cnc spindle and how does it function

What Is a CNC Spindle & How Does It Function?

CNC spindles, sometimes called spindle drives, play a crucial role in machining. These components are fundamental to a fast and efficient process, while also ensuring that produced elements are as precise as possible. The team at Superior Spindle Service is committed to helping their customers understand these components. Keep reading to learn more about spindles and their overall function in your CNC machine.

How Do Spindles Work?

CNC spindle

A machine spindle is a critical component, and is needed in a wide array of industries, including the automotive and aerospace sectors. Spindles are electrically or air-powered devices that come in numerous sizes. 

Typically, there is a shaft that holds the tool together, a motor, and a taper used to control various tools. Then, the spindle rotates on an axis. The axis is controlled by commands coming from either a person or a computer. As the machine rotates the tool, the spindle cuts, slices, refines, and more.

Types of High-Speed Spindles

CNC spindles come in many shapes and forms, but they are typically divided into two categories, each of which has its own set of benefits.

  • Integral Motor Spindle: This device comes with an internal motor that can reach a maximum speed of 60,000 RPMs. Because this machine can spin so quickly, it can be used in a variety of applications. On the other hand, because it rotates so quickly, it also burns out quickly. Its power and torque might be limited depending on the motor housing.
  • Belt-Driven Spindle: This machine spindle can rotate up to 15,000 RPMs. Although it is not as quick as an integral motor spindle, it has an external motor that allows it to deliver more power and torque. It is also not as expensive as an internal motor spindle. If you have a limited budget, this could be the better option for you.

The Benefits of Using High-Speed Spindles

High-speed spindles offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Accuracy: High-speed spindles are some of the most accurate machines available.
  • Versatility: These tools operate well at any temperature, and can withstand most changes in temperature. 
  • Durability: High-speed machine spindles can handle routine wear-and-tear without breaking down quickly.
  • Cost-Effective: The precision of high-speed spindles will help you save money down the road. 
  • Low Maintenance: Although you do have to take care of spindles, they are not costly to maintain.

What To Consider When Choosing a Machine Spindle

The most common question among CNC enthusiasts and businesses using this technology for the first time is “how do CNC machines work?” The most straightforward answer is through computer programming. CNC machines operate by numerical coding, allowing the user to preprogram machine functions. These functions are determined by the design of your system: open loop or closed loop.

If you are looking for a spindle drive for your CNC machine, there are many options available. When choosing a spindle, there are some factors that are important to consider, including its application, what type of CNC machine you have, and what types of materials you are working with.

Spindle Application Use by Industry

Machine spindles have a multitude of uses across many different industries. This includes equipment that’s integral to agriculture, automotive, mold manufacturing, and even aerospace applications. In terms of the machine process, spindles play an important role in a fast production space. 

For instance, metal lathes are used to cut hard materials. Along with metals, these machines can also cut plastics, as well as sturdy composite materials. Lathes can be used for milling, which uses rotary cutters to trim away at a piece until it reaches the desired shape. CNC machines containing spindles can also be used in woodworking, electrical component creation, and manufacturing parts for computers.

If you’re not sure which type of spindle is best for your industry, reach out to the experts at Superior Spindle Services. 

Spindles by CNC Machine Type

You should also think about the type of CNC machine that you have. Some of the most common types include:

  • CNC Mills: Based on a three-axis system, CNC mills utilize G-code or other unique languages, and are heavily used in the manufacturing industry.
  • CNC Lathes: These machines are often used for complex and intricate cutting and require high velocity. 
  • CNC Plasma Cutters: Using a combination of compressed-air gas and electrical arcs to produce adequate heat, plasma cutters are used heavily in metal fabrication shops. The plasma torch is controlled along an axis, and is capable of performing accurate and clean cuts repetitively.
  • EDM: Also called electric discharge machines, these machines are used in the process of molding pieces with the use of electrical sparks.
  • CNC Water Jets: While often found in metal shops, water jets are also useful in the cutting and shaping of granite. These tools force water through a series of narrowing tubes, increasing its pressure and velocity as it is sprayed against and through a hard substance.

There are countless CNC machines out there, and you need to make sure you find the right machine that meets your needs.

Spindles by Material Use

Finally, you also need to think about the materials you work with on a regular basis. CNC spindles are designed to work with all types of materials, including embroidery, foam, wood, glass, plastic, and more. Whether your business offers 3D printing, wood routing, or glass cutting services, machine spindles can help you streamline your production processes. 

The type of CNC machine spindle you need depends on the materials that you are working with. If you need help finding the right spindle, contact the professionals at Superior Spindle Services.

How Superior Spindle Services Can Help You

To get the most out of your CNC machine, you need to be vigilant about maintenance, and you should understand the basis of computer programming responsible for executing your objectives. Unfortunately, most issues with machine spindles arise out of human error. That’s why it’s important to work with spindle specialists.

Superior Spindle Services has a tremendous amount of experience in the field; their specialists can help you identify the right machine spindle. They can also help you maintain your equipment for years to come with their exceptional spindle repair services.

CNC Spindle Repairs

Over time, it’s likely that your spindles will break down due to gradual wear. If your machine spindles are not functioning properly, it’s important to repair or replace them to prevent disruptions to your operation. 

Repairing or rebuilding a CNC spindle is a rigorous process that should only be undertaken by highly experienced professionals. For example, reassembling new spindle components must take place in a sterilized environment to prevent dirt and debris from coming in contact with the component. This speeds up degradation and greatly shortens the lifespan of your spindle.

If something has gone wrong with the spindle in your CNC machine, turn to Superior Spindle Services. They offer a full line of spindle repair services includes vibration analyses, bearing repairs, full replacements, and rebuilds. Their experienced technicians will work closely with you to help you find the most cost-effective and long-lasting solution.

Learn More About Machine Spindles Today

If you are looking for efficient machine spindles, get in touch with the professionals at Superior Spindle Services. They always place the needs of their customers first, and are available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Contact Superior Spindle Services today at (877) 946-7400 to learn more about their inventory of CNC spindles, or to request a quote.