The spindle is one of the most crucial components when it comes to the machining process. Found in numerous industries like automotive manufacturing and aerospace, the spindle plays a major role in functioning of various equipment. But what exactly is a spindle?
A spindle is a CNC machine tool used in large pieces of equipment. It consists of a rotating shaft and a fixture. The rotating shaft holds and positions the tools. It is powered by a motor which allows the spindle to rotate on an axis. This in turn powers the tools which are fixed to the spindle and rotates them at speeds that exceed 20,000 RPM. This allows the tools to perform a variety of functions which include cutting, drilling, splicing, milling, and so on. Spindles can be found in a number of machines used for woodworking, milling, drilling, and the like.
Then comes multi-spindles which are machines that hold more than one spindle. These are mainly used during large-scale productions. In this type of machine, there is more than one spindle head which holds the tool. These tools simultaneously perform operations thereby increasing the efficacy of mass manufacturing operations.
Spindles are employed in the computer numerical control (CNC) machining process. Multi-spindle machines are typically categorized into two – vertical and horizontal rotation. Based on their drill head attachments they are further classified into fixed and adjustable drilling heads.
Now that we have established the definition of multi-spindle machines, let’s look at how they are essential in drilling machines.
Benefits of Multi-Spindle Machines
Over the years as technology improved so did the machining processes. They became better in terms of quality, functioning, speed and much more. Here we are going to look at why multi-spindle heads are essential in drilling machines.
- Maximises Productivity
The ultimate goal for any process is to increase productivity. The multiple spindle heads allow multiple tools to work simultaneously. The drilling function of a single spindle can now be performed by multiple spindle heads. Additionally, there is also no need to move a part from one machine to another for machine operations. This reduces the operating time by reducing the time taken to machine workpieces. The automotive industry in particular has made use of multi-head spindles in the mass production of car parts.
They also help to increase capacity by producing high volumes of parts in short periods of time. Besides this, they are also able to perform a wide range of functions at the same time. So in addition to drilling, spindles help to perform other tasks like turning, reaming, milling, knurling, threading, etc. at the same time. This allows them to produce a variety of products.
- High Precision
One of the major advantages of multi-spindle head drilling machines is that it is highly precise. Since most of the high-tech drilling machines employ computer numerical control, the margin of errors is greatly reduced. These spindle heads can now be programmed to the exact specifications of the final product. Everything from hole size and patterns can be made according to the manufacturer’s needs after which the machine will automatically start drilling according to the specifications that are programmed into it. Precision is maintained throughout the high volume of products manufactured thanks to the fixed spindle arrangement that is customized to the drilling pattern.
In addition to this, CNC drilling machine would also allow the spindles to be programmed in levels of speed and force according to the required product. So if one product needs to drill at a slower speed then the spindle head can be programmed to do just that. This enables uniformity throughout all the workpieces and eliminates any forms of human error.
The accuracy of the multi-spindle drilling machine ensures that parts are not defective and ultimately reduces the amount of waste by-product.
- Cost Effectiveness
Multi spindles are extremely cost-effective. For one, it eliminates the space and time taken by single spindle drilling machines. It is also better in terms of production as multi-spindle drilling machines are capable of drilling on multiple workpieces at the same time. This reduces the operational costs and increases productivity as multi-spindles can create larger capacities when compared to the single-spindle machines.
It is also a good long-term investment as only the initial cost of buying the machine is involved after which the maintenance cost is extremely low. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for human capital and also requires less time & energy than a human force. They also do not require much oversight because of the advent of the CNC machine. This means that the machines are fully automated resulting in extremely little human labor force to run the machines. This is highly advantageous in terms of profits margins as well.
Multi-spindle drilling machines are extremely useful in large scale productions. They not only provide a wide range of operations but they do so at limited cost and energy. The speed at which these machines produce products makes them highly efficient. As the name states, the single biggest advantage of the multi-spindle machine is the presence of multiple spindle heads on the machine. This allows multi-tools to be fixed to the spindle heads thereby greatly reducing the energy while improving productivity and capacity.
The added benefit of spindle in the drilling process is the many machining benefits, such as faster production, lower energy consumption, increased operator safety, and quick assembly. Along with this, the high precision and accuracy ensure there’s limited waste production. These reasons make multi-spindle drilling machines superior to that of single-spindle drilling machines.
The number of benefits the multi-spindle machine provides makes them extremely useful in the machining process. Their limitless applications and advantages are what make them a mainstay in large-scale operations.