“Damocles spindle failure”
An interview conducted by the association “Verband Deutscher Werkzeug- und Formenbau e.V.” with KERN company founder Markus Kern
Interview with Markus Kern from the series “Speakers’ Corner”: Damocles spindle failure. Published in the magazine of the association “Verband Deutscher Werkzeug- und Formenbauer e.V.”, VDWF im Dialog, Issue 4/2017, p. 46.
“There are black sheep, but you also recognize them!
Our company was founded in 2000, and I have been in business since 1989. I can therefore say that I am one of the oldest in the market in terms of spindle repair experience. So I know there are a lot of black sheep. It is important to me to say to the many milling and tool companies: there are also white ones! As a tool maker, I have been dealing with spindles for over 25 years.
My own company specializes in the complete repair of spindles of all makes and manufacturers. Previously, I was systematically trained in spindle technology for many years by Swiss spindle manufacturer Fischer.
I then brought all my knowledge to our full-service company. Today, my 30-strong team – consisting of mechanics, tool makers and also mechanical engineering technicians, repairs about 1000 spindles per year – the trend is rising sharply. Our more than 3000 customers include many large international corporations, with whom we have for the most part agreed long-term maintenance contracts and with whom we also develop preventative maintenance concepts for spindles for a wide variety of applications. The spindles we have repaired are in some cases even more precise and longer-lasting than new goods direct from the manufacturer. Some of our customers have confirmed this repeatedly. In the long run, this can make about 50% of the repairs unnecessary! This also includes good advice based on experience and failure analysis.
Unfortunately, such framework agreements are not common in tool and mould construction – tool makers usually do not have replacement spindles. If something happens, these things need to go fast. With our ‘express service’, we offer the repair along with the test run, in the highest quality, in five to seven days – no matter what is broken!
However, as a certified operation we still maintain a very precise process: only after dismantling the spindle do we create a cost estimate. I strongly advise against companies that offer a flat rate without having considered the spindle in advance – and also against vague offers. Such offers often do not actually include the service they claim to reflect.
Another of our offers concerns the replacement spindles: in this case too, you can absolutely rely on us. We make arrangements with our customers. They buy the replacement spindle – and thus know what they have – and we co-finance it.”
Managing Director, KERN Spindle Full-Service, Burladingen, Germany