Bearing Solutions for Machine Tool Spindles

Bearing Solutions for Machine Tool Spindles

by Kevin Sweeney
14 February, 2023
7 min read

The most common application for spindle bearings

Bearings are utilized in many machine tools. Some examples where precision bearings are applied are drill presses or drilling machines, CNC controlled machine tools, industrial robots, machining centers, boring machines, lapping and honing machines, broaching machines, gear cutting, production milling, and gang drills. Machine turret lathes allow for a variety of turning, drilling, boring, reaming and thread cutting operations, in production machine tools some of the basic designs are multiple station machines, gang drills, production milling, and screw machines all needing high precision bearings.

How do I choose a machine tool spindle bearings?

When selecting machine tool spindle bearings you must consider vibration, heat generation, humidity, environmental contamination, and speed and loads. 

Several factors go into the bearing selection process for machine tool spindles:

  • First, you must consider the space requirements and see if there are other mounting limitations.
  • Second, you must calculate what type of loads and speeds are involved. When designing the bearing for each spindle application it must be determined what precision and stiffness is needed. As with all bearing applications one must consider the operating temperature, vibration and contamination issues.
  • Finally, you must determine lubrication and if seals are required are desired.

Selecting the bearing is critical in optimizing spindle unit performance and reliability.

Spindle units are critical in the primary functioning of machining tool operations. Spindle designs include belt-driven and motor-integrated spindles. Spindle bearings are used in many machines including high speed milling and high capacity turning operations.

Selecting super high precision bearings is essential for successful machine tool spindle operations.

Using a system to arrive at just the right bearing solution can be achieved by working with the right companies. (PIB) Pacific International Bearing Sales Inc works in partnership with three companies excelling in the manufacture of high precision machine tool bearings. SKF, FAG, and TPI have world class manufacturing facilities and decades of experience in making the highest quality and variety of bearings in the world.

Once you have selected the bearings the right bearing arrangement is required to achieve the perfect solution. PIB (Pacific International Bearing Inc) has collaborated with SKF Bearing, FAG Bearing, and TPI Bearing for decades to offer the best variety and selection of precision bearings used in high-speed machine tool spindles.

This fruitful partnership has produced numerous product developments for rotary tables, feed spindle and main spindle bearings. PIB has developed many application solutions that make the machines faster, more precise, and safer. These developments have led to more cost-effective, compact, and ready to install bearings and or bearing spindles.

Pacific International Bearing Sales Inc product range provides the customer with the widest range of machine tool bearings covering most applications.

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Written by

Kevin Sweeney

Founder and CEO at Pacific International Bearing Sales Inc (PIB)
Education: BS Business and Economics California State University Hayward Ca
CBS (Certified Bearing Specialist)

My role with Pacific International Bearings (PIB) is currently CEO. Since 1976, I have been deeply involved in the bearing industry, working in manufacturing sales at NTN Bearing and subsequently in Bearing Distribution. Before establishing PIB in 1990, I gathered valuable experience in bearing manufacturing and distribution. The last 45 + years in the bearing industry have been both rewarding and challenging, assisting customers across a large number of diverse bearing applications.
Outside of the bearing industry, my interests are family, woodworking, motorcycling, cars, gardening, and golf.
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