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Universal Lightning Head Spindles

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Universal Lightning Head Spindles | 17 August, 2012

Hi, Looking for some experience from others regarding frequency of repair, maintenance etc on UIC Lightning Head spindles. We have a genesis machine for the last year and we are continually removing and repairing spindles due to the Vaccuum or blow off sticking on. Usually resulting in replacing poppet valves and o ring seals.

How often do you guys remove and clean them ? Any maintenance tips?

Also any ideas if poppet valves, o rings etc are available outside of UIC?? The cost we are incurring at present is incredible!!

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Universal Lightning Head Spindles | 18 August, 2012

Not the same machine... but I had poppet valve problems until I put a drier on my air supply.

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Universal Lightning Head Spindles | 18 August, 2012

we service all of our lightning spindles once a year,

Take the spinldes off. loosen the screw by the nylon cap and slide the locking pin out.

run the spindle shaft, the nylon cap and pin assembly , and spring thrue a ultrasonic cleaner with 99% iso, for about 15-30 seconds to dissolve all the grease.

Rub clean with lint free all shafts, clean the shaft holes and spindle shaft tube with pipe cleaners and 99%

Dry it all and reassemble NO GREASE.

When installing the spindles every other spindle gets 4 dots about 3 to 5 mm wide on the spindle cap with the correct white grease. Also a small film of grease around the rubber oring.

We re grease same amount every 3 months ish first cleaning old grease off by running lint free cloths around the cam by wedging them in the spindle caps.(turn by hand).

about once every 3 months we will have a spindle go down with 1 problem or another.

We order spare valves from universal , there shape tells me they are proprietary.

We have 150 lightning spindles and run 7 to 10 hours a day.

We number and color code by head all spindles, and try to put them back in the same spot, for no particular reason.

We generally have 1 or 2 people removing/replacing spindles, and another 2 people cleaning them. We usually do this as our annual long maintenance on the week before thanksgiving, This year we did it in the summer due to a slow down. We also do the Z assemblys at the same time as well as checking all electrical chassis for excessive dust. I will pull and strip to the frame any electrical chassis that appears dirty. All fans that get cleaned will have there blades scrubbed with 99% to remove all possible residue. This prevents dirt from re accumulating faster than before.

We also ultrasonic clean our nozzles using 99% Iso for about 5 to 10 seconds, and then tap the nozzles on the table and then blow them off (via 7 gang nozzle holders).

UIC has a ridiculous procedural for this involving motorcycle cleaner, a jar in the ultrasonic cleaner and hours of soaking. There thought is that the 99% iso will eat up the rubber tip, our thought is if you actually left it in the 99% ISO for hours it would :p 5 seconds is sufficient and dose not cause a problem.

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Universal Lightning Head Spindles | 18 August, 2012

For time between maintenance, look up the assembles in voyager, follow there maintenance guidelines in there. If you look carefully you will find maintenance by parts placed. This is like your cars oil change. It is due by date, or parts placed whichever is first.

If you run 3 shifts or go 24 hours a day, you do maintenance 3x more often for everything than listed in voyager. All there times are based on a 8 hour shift.

If you get the parts placed figured out, then you may only need to do it say 2.5 times as often, (Due by parts placed or the original 8 hour shift periods.)

Better to overdo maintenance, than under do, and end up replacing a lead screw or ball slide(we had a lead screw go out, and 2 more that might follow).

When i grease the slides and screws, I will do wipes and smears of grease off the slide/screw, (Q tip and wiped thin on paper.) Then I examine under a stereo microscope to identify any glitter or metal in the grease.(Early failure warning).

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Universal Lightning Head Spindles | 19 August, 2012

Thanks for the replies guys. Interesting the one with the dryer in the air supply, will look into this. Sure some of our service guys lightly grease the O rings within the spindles, have been trying to get them away from this.

Also interesting to hear that uics maintenance is based on 8 hour shifts, we run 24/7 !!

I agree that the poppet valves are most likely unique to UIC, clever by them!

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Universal Lightning Head Spindles | 21 August, 2012

We have 2 lightning head machines. We have a very clean, dry air supply. We have had zero spindle problems in 3 yrs.

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Universal Lightning Head Spindles | 21 August, 2012

As a side note: A lot of machine manufacturers call out IPA as a "degreaser". As an experiment put a dab of grease in a container with IPA then put some in a container with mineral spirits. Shake them up and see which one dissolves the grease.

It's been my experience that IPA leaves a residue behind sometimes that will cause issues.

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