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Book Spells out Precision Spindle Measurement Techniques

Spindle error motions are a primary source of quality degradation and product failures in machine tools and other processes that require a precision rotating axis.

Using noncontact sensors to measure the spindle error motions enables engineers and operators to determine the capabilities of the spindle before making parts or installing the spindle in a larger system.

Professor Eric Marsh of The Pennsylvania State University has described the difficult task of measuring spindles to the nanometer or picometer level in a new book, Precision Spindle Metrology.

The book details important concepts, mechanical setup, high-resolution sensor options and detailed data analysis techniques. It ends with chapters on specific case studies and applications of spindle measurement results.

Spindle error motions on machine tools are responsible for errors in feature location, feature roundness and surface finish.

The maximum speed of high-speed drills is limited in part by spindle error motions.

Precision Spindle Metrology takes the reader stepby- step through the process of understanding which error motions may be responsible for different quality issues, selecting and using a sensor system to measure error motions at full operating speeds, collecting and processing the data and deriving error motion values from the tests. The book is in full color and includes diagrams, illustrations, and photos to assist the reader in understanding the concepts and other content.

Precision Spindle Metrology was commissioned by Lion Precision (, a manufacturer of nanometer resolution capacitive sensors and Professional Instruments (, a supplier of highprecision air bearing spindles.

Marsh heads the Machine Dynamics Research Lab at Penn State where he is a professor of mechanical engineering. He holds Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his research work with Professor Alexander Slocum’s Precision Engineering Group and is regarded as a leading expert in the measurement and understanding of machine tool performance, especially the axis of rotation.

More information and sample pages are available at The book can be purchased through Lion Precision ( or through

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