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01-05-2009, 08:35 PM #1
Adding through spindle coolant to a Fadal
I would like to add through spindle coolant to my Fadal's. As I am a one man shop I do not want to shell out 5-7K for a factory upgrade. It looks like you can add a rotary union to the top of the drawbar and spacer up the tool knockout cylinder to push on the rotary union and make it work. What am I missing? Has anyone retrofitted one themselves?
01-05-2009, 09:35 PM #2
I've got a Fadal sitting here with TSC and one without, I went out to take a look, but the sheet metal is on, and if I take off the sheet metal again and leave it on the floor, my partner is going to kill me.
So I took a look in the parts list and used a few brain cells to think about whats up there.
At first thought, your idea seemed pretty good until I thought about it, I don't think the rotary coupling would do all too well getting squished with 2000+ lbs of force on every tool change. The only other machine I've messed with with TSC the rotary coupling was up on top all by itself, no pressure on a toolchange.
The kit at CNCpros is $5100, which I thought was ridiculous until you realize what probably is in it. You've got a pump, thats $1200 of it(think E-bay), you have all the electrical crap to change your M7 from a single phase 120v to 240 or whatever 3 phase. There is also a breaker box and reset/starter box on the back of the machine. Then figure in all the wires, and hoses, and I'm sure some stuff needs to be moved slightly to make room.
A quick glance tells me(I may be wrong) the top of the spindle stuff can be had for under a $1000, pick up a cheap pump and cobble the rest together for a few hundred bucks.
01-06-2009, 10:57 AM #3
I did not think that the kit included the pump. Looking at a rotary coolant union, it is around $550. I do not see where all the cost is in the kit to do the conversion. I can cobble-up the wiring and piping pretty easy for $300. Even if I go with a new pump and filter ($1500) that gets me to less than $2500. I have 2 fadals and am a one man shop so the $5K to $7K is way out of the ballpark for me right now. I am mainly wanting to use it for drilling. I have the coolant inducer holdersm but they take up alot of Z space and will not work with the tool changer.
01-06-2009, 01:11 PM #4
Scott, someone here on the forum quite a while ago spoke ago using hydraulic pumps for their high pressure system. They are very inexpensive compared to a multistage Grundfos, but the downside is they are not as forgiving for junk as they are positive displacement. I'd still go for one for the difference in cost, and you can go for a pretty high pressure unit, make it adjustable with a bleed off valve (if you don't always want to run 1,000 psi), and just use and oversized suction screen with a tighter mesh on the inlet side. Another way would be to use your standard coolant pump to force feed the HP pump with an inline filter, and then to your spindle.
01-07-2009, 09:32 AM #5
I can handle the pump part. The main part is the rotary union and working with the drawbar pusher.
01-07-2009, 12:33 PM #6
You should be able to find a suitable union here for less than $550.00:
Making sure it can’t get in the spindle bearings should be the main focus of that modification. Adding a T with a pressure washer wand/hose for cleaning the cabinet is a nice addition while you’re at it.
Here’s a source for pumps:
01-07-2009, 02:01 PM #7
Got to be careful regarding the type of coupling being used.
By memory, all deublin couplings constantly work in the closed position. So even if you aren't using the CTS, you MUST still have CTS (hollow) pull studs and even cutter bodies.
ie your tooling must be able to allow air out. If not, when the tool goes in the spindle, there is no-where for the air pressure thats generated to release.
This bit us big time with Hitachi's.....
On our current Chevalier's, the coupling type is very similar to this http://www.coolantunion.com/bearingless.html
The only difference is the addition of a spring which holds the ceramic discs apart always, unless CTS is actuated (coolant pressure closes the discs).
This way, we can safely run any pullstud/cutter we want without causing damage.
The discs then only work when they need to. So far we have had 3, 2 + 1 years (3 machines 6 years total) trouble free running.
01-07-2009, 07:59 PM #8
The Deublin coupling that I had quoted was the high pressure coolant style that is dissengauged when there is not coolant pressure. It was $538. Is there some schematics of the Fadal or other machines that I can find to look at and get a good idea of the arrangement?
01-07-2009, 10:05 PM #9
Scott, CNCpros (fadal CNC) has all the manuals on line, for free, good place to buy parts too.
Edit, when I commented earlier, I was looking at one of their manuals.
01-08-2009, 07:50 PM #10
From looking at the online drawings, all I really see is that they have added the seal faces and use springs to load them. No real rotary device is used. Is this correct? Why do they want $5K for such a simple arrangement? Is this why they have alot of trouble with leaks? Can a good rotary coupling be fitted for a more leak resistant installation? One other part that bothers me is if I thread the rotary coupling into the drawbar then what will seal the coolant from comming up the outside of the drawbar between it and the ID of the spindle and out the top? Do I need to make a seal plate that bolts onto the spindle flange with an o-ring seal to the drawbar?
02-25-2009, 11:35 AM #11
I've added CTS to Fadals
I think I can offer some valuable insight on this topic. Our company has retrofitted a Deublin rotary union onto Fadals. We originally designed our systems as a replacement for the factory CTS system because we had that system on our machines and it doesn’t work very well. I will be the first person to tell you that putting a Deublin on a Fadal is not as easy as it seems.
One of the biggest challenges with through spindle coolant is that in order adapt a coolant hose to a rotating spindle it requires that by some means a static sealing surface must mate with a rotating seal surface. In order for this to be possible the seals must be made out of a material that is extremely brittle and the sealing surface must be perfectly flat with a mirror finish to ensure VERY little friction/wear occurs. I know that this is common knowledge but there is a catch, because of how hard and brittle the seals are they are very easily damaged by viberation and harmonics. If there is to much viberation (or run out) in the rotating seal it will chatter against the static seal and cause the surface to chip and deteriorate.
This is the reason that the factory Fadal system doesn’t work very well. Fadal mounts their rotating seal to the end of the drawbar which is not held concentric with the spindle and can wabble like crazy. So in the same manner a Deublin union will not do much better in those circumstances, that is why Deublin specifies that the union pilot must have no more than .0004 total indicator run out.
When we designed our system we needed to first create an accurate platform to ensure that we could achieve the required run out specs. As far as cost goes, our system is about the same price as buying the system from Fadal that doesn’t work very well. The reason that this type of retrofit costs as much as it does is because we supply everything from the orientation bridge plate up, we have to include all of these parts because they are all involved in the alignment process. Because we supply so many components with our systems we took the inishitive to make changes that cure other common problems and make our systems more valuable, (i.e. drawbar piston breaking, hydraulic reservoirs leaking oil onto belts, Bellville washers wearing out the drawbar.) When you are dealing with $538 coolant unions it is worth investing the money up front to ensure that you will not be replacing a union every six months. Our Lightning Cool systems are actually the only through spindle coolant system that Fadal is offering from the factory on most new machine models. We also offer our own pump package now that is available for far less than ordering the parts from the factory and the package includes all of the plumbing, hardware, electrical, and instructions to add the option seamlessly. We are also offering a 12% discount on our retrofit kits right now.
Our website has much more information and photos… www.LightningCool.com
Sorry it is such a long post, I hope this helps.