May the Drawbar Force Be With You

by | Feb 7, 2024

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As important as a rigid tool-to-toolholder interface is for optimum machining so too is the clamping force of a machine tool’s spindle drawbar on the toolholder. Many times overlooked or neglected until it’s too late, drawbar pull-force performance should be checked at regular intervals – every 60 to 90 days – on every spindle in a shop.

To make spindle drawbar testing, tracking and documenting easier than ever, especially for shops with a variety of machine tools on the floor, REGO-FIX developed its  ForceMaster drawbar tool. First introduced at EMO 2023 in Hannover, Germany, the ForceMaster is the newest addition to the REGO-FIX metrology line.

ForceMaster quickly measures drawbar pull-force and adapts to virtually any machine tool spindle. More than a dozen available adapters thread on to the tool to measure all popular spindle tapers, including HSK, SK, BT, CAT and others. This flexibility makes ForceMaster a universal metrology tool for the shop floor. With one rugged, robust measuring tool, operators can ensure spindle clamping force meets manufacturer recommendations to mitigate chatter, tool and drawbar damage and even crashed spindles.

ForceMaster features an IP67 certified dust and waterproof body that is ergonomically designed for a sure grip and comes with a rugged protective case that stores the tool on the shop floor. In use, operators simply thread on the appropriate adapter and push a switch.

Install ForceMaster into the spindle as you would any other tool change, and as the drawbar is pulled back, a precise pull-force measurement is displayed on the easy-to-read screen. Maximum values, date/time and battery life are also displayed. Plus, screen orientation adjusts like that of a mobile phone to accommodate left- or right-handed operation.

ForceMaster integrates into digital production environments and is fully accessible via a mobile phone app available for Apple and Android devices. The device dashboard can be mirrored to perform measurements remotely, and all information is downloadable for analysis and tracking. Shops can export data to a non-editable PDF document for security and to ensure maintenance crews have the information they need. The mobile app also provides access to the ForceMaster tool’s calibration certificate, operator manual and service support.

Monitoring machine tool drawbar pull-force is an important aspect of overall spindle preventative maintenance. A significant decrease off recommended values or a drop below 90 percent of manufacturer specifications requires attention and repair. Because of its flexibility, ease of use and comprehensive documentation, ForceMaster takes drawbar monitoring into the future, and like all other products in its portfolio, REGO-FIX designed, manufactured and tested the ForceMaster at the company’s industry-leading ISO-certified facility in Tenniken, Switzerland with legendary Swiss precision and quality.