Colibri Blog

Tips for Machining with Confidence: Clamping in High Speed Machine CNC Environments

Posted by Dror Pockard on Oct 29, 2015 3:24:00 PM

In the world of CNC machining, boosting spindle speed is critical for increasing throughput and, ultimately, the bottom line. However, operators can’t simply crank up the RPMs in their metal-cutting processes – there are adjustments that must be made to ensure that quality doesn’t suffer.  If machining companies want to gain a competitive advantage, they must carefully balance speed and accuracy.


Increasing machining speed isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. Purchasing new high speed machines to meet growing demands is both expensive and inefficient. Today, there are many cost-effective solutions available for increasing spindle speed such as plug and play solutions and coolant-driven spindle technology. In this tip series, you’ll learn how to reduce machining time and operate more efficiently without sacrificing job quality in the process.

Tip #1: Using the Correct Clamping Tools

 In CNC machine applications, clamping accessories are essential for ensuring operational accuracy.  Companies use a variety of spring collets and tightening nuts to determine runout accuracy for assembled CNC machine cutting tools. When starting to work with high speed machine spindles, it’s important to realize that standard clamping accessories won’t be sufficient to ensure accuracy at higher RPMs.

The torque involved in high speed machine processes puts a lot of strain on your cutting tools. When you work at 30,000 RPMs and above, it’s important to use a clamping nut that is specifically designed for high speed rotation. Trying to get by with clamping nuts you’ve used for slower processes will only introduce higher runout rates.

The same principle holds true for the spring collets. Like the clamping nuts, it’s important to implement a spring collet that is specifically designed for high precision at high speeds and with small diameter tools. Specifically, you should be using spring collets with total indicator readings (TIR) less than 3 µm.

When you use the correct clamping accessories for small diameter cutting tools, you can achieve higher accuracy. Making the switch to high speed machine spindles is great, but outfitting your CNC machine with the correct clamping accessories is critical to maintaining quality while fully realizing the benefits of faster cutting processes.

What other adjustments do you typically make when you use high speed machine spindles? Share your tips in the space below.

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Topics: High Speed CNC Machines, Innovative approach to high speed machining

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