Lion Precision’s Spindle Error Analyzer (SEA) is used throughout the world for testing and qualifying machine tool spindle performance.
Spindle builders and rebuilders also use the system to qualify spindles after rebuild and before shipment. But the spindles are in a fixed test stand making it difficult to adjust the relative position of the spindle and the SEA probes. A new 3-axis stage has been introduced to solve the problem.
The 3-axis stage includes a top plate with mounting holes that mate to SEA probe holders. SEA users can attach their probe mounting system to the 3-axis stage. The stage can be located in approximate position relative to the spindle in the test stand then precisely adjusted in all three axes.
“Because so many precision machining operations are now using SEA to test their spindles, spindle manufacturers and rebuilders want to test spindles while in the test stand. We felt compelled to help make that task easier,” says Don Martin, Lion Precision’s president.
He goes on to explain that the precision nature of the system requires that the probes be located near the master balls which are mounted in the spindle for the test. The probes must be located at the proper distance ± about 50 µm from the master ball. “Positioning like that takes a very steady hand. This new 3-axis stage system makes it easy.”
The SEA system includes high-resolution noncontact capacitive displacement sensors, precision probe mounts, precise masterball targets with less than 100 nm of roundness error, temperature sensors and software to acquire and analyze the measurements. Results are presented in polar or linear plots and values are listed for synchronous and asynchronous errors, TIR and more.
Spindle displacement can be plotted against temperature and RPM to show critical relationships between these variables.
In 1958, Lion Precision was the first company to provide capacitive displacement sensors to industry. The company has expanded its product offering to include eddy-current displacement sensors and some application specific sensors for the machine tool, packaging and PCB industries. The company is focused on assisting users in sensor implementation by providing technical knowledge resources, expert guidance and optimized systems including custom designs.