Helpful Alignment Tips for Machine Shops
This whitepaper from Pinpoint Laser Systems is designed to assist machine shops in aligning critical shop equipment.
Rotating machinery works best, runs more efficiently, and produces better quality parts if it is properly aligned. Frequently, we hear from customers that are voicing concerns about lathes where the chuck or collet is not in alignment with the tailstock or the tool holder and the cut parts are tapered. Sometimes, the tool moves in an axis that is no longer parallel with the centerline of the chuck that is holding the rotating workpiece. Often, operators just suspect an alignment problem with a boring mill or a lathe or a spindle machine but measuring the error takes too long so they just “hope for the best.”
Proper alignment of spindle equipment is easy to perform and improves manufacturing efficiency and profits. The following application note describes how to use a Pinpoint Laser Microgage system to quickly and precisely evaluate the alignment of your spindle system. This information can then be easily applied to re-aligning the machine itself or applying correction factors for future production runs.
In most cases, lathe and spindle misalignments fall into two categories; offset or centerline misalignment and parallelism or angular misalignment.
Offset or Centerline Misalignment