The shop where I work uses this outfit. We use the Huntington beach location. They do have a location in Michigan.
Novi, MI 866-362-0699
Hi, I have a small vertical CNC Cat 40 machine (27" in X travel) and I think my bearings are starting to go bad in the spindle. It's a Mitsui Seiki VR3A S/N 197. It's my first owned machine and is an older machine but has been running great since I bought it last summer.
How long can I run the machine this way before I have to get the spindle worked on? I expect it will probably cost anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 from the searches in google and I don't have that much cash readily available right now. This is my only machine and it only cut's aluminum for parts that I sell on eBay so there isn't much cutting force ever. I'm just a self employed guy out of my garage. Any ideas on how to save me some money? I assume attempting to replace the bearings myself is a bad idea...
Can anyone recommend a reputable place in Michigan that can replace the bearings or rebuild the spindle? I am way north of Detroit up in the Thumb area. The CNC just started making noise yesterday and it sounds like a flat spot in a bearing.
Thanks for the help.
Setco, Centerline and PBA come to mind. Tell them your price shopping and maybe they will work with you, especially in this economy.
I worked in a shop for 9 years, but trust me, I'm not even going to mention thier name, they are out of your price range. But I do remember my boss *****ing about Centerline because they work so cheap, or what we probably concider for a reasonable shop rate
Thanks guys, Setco seems to be the common place then.
If it is just a flat spot on one of the roller bearings, will it hurt to keep running it for a while? The noise goes away, then comes back, then goes away, so whatever it is, is just starting to go bad.
That is a total gamble. I have personally seen where the customer ran a spindle to the point of total bearing destruction, as in ceramic bearings reduced to dust, and it didn't cost any more money to repair than if they sent it back at first sign of trouble. I've also personally seen where the customer kept running the spindle and probably doubled thier repair bill.
It all depends. Way too many variables, luck involved, but never reccomended. Most of the time, it will cost you more if a bearing actually blows.
OK Thanks for the info. I'll start putting money aside then to get this repaired sooner than later.
What about finding a used spindle? That would also give you a chance to save up money for the repair and not worry so much about down time.
A typical repair can take 3 weeks with shipping time. Even if you work out a deal, and over-night ship back and forth, probably won't get better than 5 days, and that's if the repair shop is farmiliar with that spindle and has bearings in stock.
Wow, If it takes that long, I might have to find a used spindle. My home based business wouldn't be able to be down for that long. Last year I quit my 9 to 5 to work for myself out of my garage full time and right now this is my only source of income. Do you know of any places that deal in used spindles?
Ive used GTI spindles for years.
maybe ebay, otherwise start emailing used machinery dealers and see if they are parting out a similar machine...?
Thought that might be a problem. It's not as simple as replacing an axle bearing on a car. Can get complicated, all depends, I honeslty don't know anything about your machine so I can't advise about too much. But I would probably look for a used spindle and call around and see if you can find someone farmiliar with that spindle before you ship it out for repair. You might find a shop that rebuilds 20 of those a month that will give you a much better price than a shop that has no clue what you have.
I could talk your ear off about spindle repair. But being able to relate to your situation, find a used spindle! I doubt a used spindle would cost you $5K, which would be reasonable for the full rebuild. And that's if you don't require new hard parts such as a shaft, and assuming your stator is in good condition, ect. Those repair shops make $$$, but they have lots of expensive equiptment too. If I only had an ID/OD grinder, surface grinder, rotary grinder, all the fixturing, a 100 ton shop press, oscilliscope........ on top of the equiptment I already own..........
If it is a typical 4 angular contact bearings spindle, bearings should run around $800 - 1200. Changing bearings in these is far from rocket science. However there are some very critical points to be aware of. www.bardenbearings.com offers a video for sale on spindle bearings. I have not seen it but it may be worth the investment for you to purchase and decide from there if you should tackle it.
I do not want to take anything away from setco or any of the others. There are very complex and or sophisticated spindles in which they are invaluable.
Now if you have a roller bearing at the nose (which I doubt on that spindle) it is a little trickier (sp) and you may want to have an experianced tech tackle it.
Well I don't know if you would be able to tell if it has roller bearings at the nose from these pictures, but I snapped these pics this summer when I was having it loaded into my "pole barn converted to a shop" The machine is from the 1980's. When I took the front cover off the other night to see what I could see, I saw a plexiglass window with what appeared to be a big flywheel/gear behind it. Lots of clean oil was splashing around on the gear behind the plexiglass, so I know it didn't run out of oil or get plugged
The last picture is the very first part I made with this machine.