tel: +44 (0)24 7663 7771

Spindle Services Limited take on major refurbishment programmes for two Tier 1 suppliers

Spindle Services ensure Ford Motor Company have no interruption in supply of Puma engine components after major equipment refurbishment during Summer shutdown.

This summer (2015), saw Spindle Services Limited taking on (2) major refurbishment programmes for (2) Tier 1 suppliers to Ford Motor Company's Dagenham engine plant.

Case 1 - Puma Bed Plate

A Coventry Tier 1 supplier, machine the bed plate for the Puma Engine. The bed plates are produced on a suite of rotary Transfer machines originally manufactured in the late 90's by Marwin Production Systems (Now part of Asquith Butler). At one of the stations, a 22-Multi-Spindle Drill Head (made originally by Slack and Parr) had been giving consistent problems over the previous 2 years with broken spindles, failed gears and failed rotary couplings.

After a major gearbox failure in October, it was decided to virtually replace the head with new during the summer shutdown. This entailed a degree of reverse engineering by Spindle Services, producing new gear drawings and casting drawings, followed by manufacture of wooden patterns, procurement of new cast iron gearbox castings and machining of the casings to the original specifications. New hardened and ground SDH20 drill spindles were manufactured in advance, along with a complete new set of hardened and ground helical gears for the head. New Deublin rotary couplings were procured along with Bilz SDH tooling adaptors. In addition, using our design expertise, we designed and manufactured an additional baffle plate to prevent swarf impinging on the spindle noses, which had caused the previous broken spindles.

The old head was received on the Monday morning of the shutdown. 10 days later, it was returned to our customer fully tested with a new lubrication circuit and a clean bill of health. The customer went back into full production 14 days after the head was removed, causing no interruption in their supply to Ford Motor Company.

Case 2 - Puma Cylinder head

A Tier 1 casting supplier, produce, at their Northern Ireland facility, the cylinder head for Ford Motor Company's Puma Engine. This is proof machined on a Lamb Technicon (Now part of MAG Industrial Automation) transfer line. By using condition monitoring vibration analysis, the customer had picked up a gear/bearing problem on a pair of 2-Spindle orbital Milling heads, originally manufactured by Systematic Drill Head company. These heads machine pads on the top face of the cylinder, using eccentric pots with a hydraulic motor driven spur gear drive.

Fortunately, some original engineering was available, so with foresight by the customer, we were called in early. This enabled us to reverse engineer the missing details and manufacture a complete new set of hardened and ground helical and spur gears in advance of the shutdown. We also procured new lubrication pumps/ Danfoss hydraulic motors/ Komet ABS Tooling connectors and some special Dale Fluid Power hydraulic brakes with the assistance of AC Hydraulics.

These heads arrived a week after the previous head. Teardown revealed that the vibration analysis had been correct, with failed bearings in the gearboxes which had also started to degrade the gears. Various other problems were found and with the support of our Plating and spraying partners, we were able to reclaim various seal journals with ceramic (aluminium oxide) bands and chrome plating various bearing journals to bring things back to specification.

The heads were given a fresh coat of paint, re-assembled with new bearings and seals throughout and tested, all within the 2 week window, enabling the customer to recommence their supply to Ford motor Company at the end of the annual summer shutdown.

For further information please contact Spindle Services Ltd, at or call +44 (0)24 7663 7771