MOTION CONTROL: The most critical part of any metal-cutting machine is the spindle that drives the cutting tool. With its broad product line, featuring motorized or separately driven spindles, spindle motors and built-in high torque or high-speed applications, Siemens Energy & Automation offers standard or custom solutions to machine tool OEMs and end users. Today’s machine tools are equipped with single or multiple spindles in two basic designs. The first are motorized, direct drive spindles, where the motor is integral with the spindle and the entire assembly, including bearings, motor, drawbar and tool retention, are all in one cartridge. The second are separately driven spindles where the spindle itself is driven by a separate motor. The drive mechanism can be belt, gear box or coupling for direct drive. The spindle houses the drawbar, tool retention system and, sometimes, tool coolant. In the case of directly coupled spindles, the motors can have hollow shafts with the coolant rotary union mounted to the back of the motor. Motorized spindles are becoming the norm in advanced machine tool design, as their compact configuration, high-speed machining performance, superior accuracy and long service life are outstripping the conventional belt driven spindles. Because all functions are built into one compact cartridge or block, these spindles offer the machine designer more flexibility, less space and a higher degree of performance. Using synchronous motor technology, these spindles are more efficient, cover a broader speed, power and torque range and can be used for more precise applications. Weiss spindles can be built to speeds as high as 80,000 rpm
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
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