Industrial Applications for Aerostatic Spindles


LED lighting solutions are becoming increasingly important, particularly in the automotive industry.  There are often hundreds of LED cavities in head lights. Each not only needs to comply with ultra-precision surface finish, but also needs to reflect the light emitted by the LED under a fixed angle and within a defined light cone.

Legal requirements for exhaust gas emissions are becoming increasingly stringent. Among combustion engines it has been determined that the fuel injector is one of the components with the greatest potential for optimizing combustion, with the injection hole the crucial component, and the surface finish and hole shape the key properties. In this regard, high-speed spindles embodying a very low error-motion and low tool run-out are essential for manufacturing future fuel injectors.

For each application, as well as others, Levicron offers optimal tool spindle solutions embodying ultra-precision properties and characterized by a stable high-speed operation.

Watch Industry

As a result of the need for small parts, high precision and a mirror surface finish, the mechanical watches industry requires Ultra-Precision Machining. However, the volume also necessitates highly productive CNC Machining with automated tool change. Levicron’s aerostatic tool spindles ASD-H25 and ASD-H25A provide an ideal solution to these requirements. In addition to their ultra-precision qualities and extremely high spindle speeds, even “Guillochage” (special engraving technique) can be performed as a result of spindle robustness and the integrated rotary encoder. Moreover, due to their integrated synchronous motor technology and capacity to reach much higher torque at lower speeds, tapping holes can be performed much more rapidly than with alternative spindle solutions.

Levicron’s tool spindle solutions are utilized for the manufacture of components for famous Swiss watches with strong success, producing results the industry has never never previously achieved.

Coining Dies and Engravings

Coining Dies are produced from tool steels like STAVAX. Heat treatment needs to occur before machining, which means that grinding is the correct machining process. However, the need for very small features and engravings  also means that only milling with carbide or CBN tools is appropriate.

As machining can span multiple days, a high spindle speed is needed to enhance productivity, while advanced spindle stability is also required. The properties of Levicron’s aerostatic spindles, which run at very high speeds at a dynamic tool run-out of under 1 micron, do not change with time, rendering them the optimal spindle solutions for this application.

Lighting Industry

LED Lighting requires the machining of the LED cavity to reflect the light efficiently and in a defined light cone. Once more, this means that there is not only a need for Ultra-Precision machining, to achieve sub-micron accuracy and nanometer surface finish, but also for a level of automated robust machining experienced in CNC Machining.

Levicron’s aerostatic spindle solutions are ultra-precise, enabling them to provide CNC functionality with HSK tooling, while also offering the robustness and speed to machine dies and components for LED lighting.

Technical Optics

Precision Optics utilized in microscopes, telescopes or exposure units demand ultra-precision turning, milling and grinding to accomplish sub-micron geometries and nanometer surface finish. As it impacts on the form precision, polishing is often not permitted, and the part needs to be utilized as it comes from the lathe or the machine tool. In addition to the grinding of glass lenses with significantly lowered sub-surface damage, ultra-precision turning and milling of optical components represents the most regular machining application which utilizes Levicron’s tool and work holding spindles.

Electronic Components

The integration of functions and electrical circuits means modern and future electronic components need to be simultaneously small and accurate. Fiber optics, for which even the optical fiber at the connector must be aligned with 1 micron, is one such example.

Besides the technical and electrical design, manufacture and material properties represent additional challenges to further miniaturization. For tool and work holding spindles, this means that precision and stability, in addition to increased speeds, are essential to keep track with current trends in the electronics market. The features of an ideal spindle for machining electronic components are:

  • High spindle speeds;
  • Thermal and dynamic stability even at high speed and during long machining cycles;
  • Property stability even during long machining cycles
  • Automated tool change

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Levicron GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit Levicron GmbH.


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