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  • Writer's pictureDavid Nordman

Electromagnetic Chuck Tips - Troubleshooting your chuck

Updated: Apr 17

Electromagnetic chucks run into issues on occasion. With so many different factors going into the proper use of each of them, problems are bound to arise. It is important to know what to troubleshoot and how to troubleshoot it when looking at getting your chuck up and running again.

We usually suggest taking a look to see if the problem comes from the chuck control first. By looking at the output voltage of the controller, it should match the output voltage that is specified on the nameplate and in the manual. If the reading matches, the focus of the troubleshooting needs to focus back on the chuck itself.

fluke meter

With your focus back on the chuck, the first thing that should be done is to get a resistance reading from the chuck. To do so, connect a multimeter that can read ohms to your chuck wires and record your reading. Make sure your chuck has been off so the reading is accurate. With the reading, it should match the reading that is stated in the manual.

Moving from there, if the readings match, check to see if the chuck is grounded. If your reading comes out to less than infinity, there is most likely an issue. This could come from liquid in the potting, which would not be apparent until the chuck is heated up and the ground reading checked again.

rotary electromagnetic chuck

Another complication that the chuck could be facing is to do with the top plate. If the top plate is worn or thin, it can cause poor holding of your workpiece. Large dents, loose laminations, and smoothness of the top plate also come into play when examining the top plate. Additionally, the workpiece could be the issue. If the piece has poor surface condition, it could affect how well it is held onto the chuck.

While on the topic of the workpiece, the composition of the piece could also affect the holding ability. Steel suppliers occasionally change the amount of chromium used in the steel. The more chromium that is in the steel, the less magnetic the piece will be.

resid meter

Another problem that could arise is the amount of surface of the top plate that is being used at one time. If the top plate is overloaded, the holding power will be diminished.

The polarity of the chuck could also be an issue, especially if the chuck was recently rebuilt. The wrong polarity on a chuck is a significant problem as it would mean the repair was reassembled incorrectly with the only solution being to recoil it.

Lastly, inquire to whether or not there is a new operator using the machinery. It is quite possible that the new operator is less familiar with the machinery as well as the workpiece, with problems coming from that.

While these are all possibilities for the complications that come about with chucks, the root of the problem could be caused by numerous other factors as well. While this writing could serve as a start for you to troubleshoot the chuck on your own, we highly suggest and urge you to contact our service department at 815-962-8700 for the quickest, best advice for getting your chuck back up and running.

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