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Transfer line Spindle Alignment

The L-700 was designed specifically for transfer-line spindle alignments. Both laser and target have a .500" (12.5mm) mounting stud that is easily adaptable for spindle and master-part fixturing. The 4-axis target displays live readings for horizontal and vertical center and angle measurements. With our new interfaces, the system has a center resolution of 0.5 micron (.00002") and an angular resolution of .00002"/ft.

Spindle-to-Master-Part Laser Alignment using L-701
Side View of a Spindle-to-Master-Part Alignment

Our new Windows based Spindle 8 Software eliminates mounting errors, recommends shims and produces alignment reports. The software can also handle dual-spindle alignments simultaneously.


Transfer-line spindle alignment is a very complicated task. It requires 3 steps that must be followed in order to achieve desired tolerances and to speed alignment.


Spindle8 - Way Straightness Screen
Spindle8 - Way Straightness Screen

Step 1. To set up the alignment, various dimensions of the spindle box, such as travel length, spindle length, distance between feet, etc., must be entered into the software. The laser is then mounted in the spindle and the target in the master part or pallet. Next, the laser is qualified or adjusted to the spindle's axis of rotation using the NORMIN procedure. The system is now ready to take data for alignment.


The alignment procedure starts by checking the spindle-box ways for straightness and flatness. This is achieved by taking two readings, a forward reading and retracted reading. A click of a button and the software shows a display of flatness and straightness and if they are in tolerance. If not, then the system can be left in the spindle during the alignment.


Spindle8 - Squareness / Parallelism Misalignment Screen
Spindle8 - Squareness / Parallelism Misalignment Screen

Once the ways are flat and straight, Step 2 is performed. This step checks to see if the axis of rotation of the spindle is parallel to the spindle box's forward motion by taking 6 sets of readings, 3 in the forward position and 3 in the retracted position. The 3 readings taken in each position are:

1. Laser inverted and target normal;
2. Laser normal and target inverted; and
3. Laser normal target normal.

The software uses these readings to calculate the mounting errors of the laser and target and then subtracts them from the raw readings. It then displays the out-of-parallel condition of the axis of rotation of the spindle to the ways, recommends shim values to fix the condition and automatically updates the display of the angles as they are aligned. Both the laser and target have bubble levels to help repeat the normal and inverted (12 o'clock and 6 o'clock) positions.



Spindle8 - Final Alignment Screen
Spindle8 - Final Alignment Screen

After the spindle axis of rotation is aligned, Step 3 measures the angle and center of the whole spindle assembly (i.e., the wing base and spindle box). Since the ways are now flat and straight and the spindle axis is parallel to the spindle-box motion, it is a relatively easy task to put the spindle on center without any angle. Six sets of readings are taken again as described above. The software removes the final mounting errors from the setup, recommends shim values and displays all 4 alignment axes that automatically update when moves are made.



How it Works

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