Axial Feed Unit Preventive Maintenance: Dos and Don’ts

Axial Feed Unit Preventive Maintenance: Dos and Don’ts

Axial Feed Unit Preventive Maintenance: Dos and Don’ts

Last week, we shared three cost-effective maintenance options for your BB5000 and BB4500  to ensure top performance. This week, we’re focused on preventive maintenance.

A preventive maintenance routine looks different for each customer since a routine is dependent on the nature of ongoing use and care of the unit. Suppose the unit is kept as clean and dry as possible, handled carefully, and stored properly. In that case, there is little-to-no preventive maintenance needed on the axial feed unit since it is internally greased and adjusted when constructed or refurbished.

It’s normal for a heavily utilized unit to require a full refurbishment at CLIMAX’s facility on a two-to-three-year schedule. A customer who uses the unit sparingly may see four, five, or even six years of use before refurbishment is required. Most AFUs that are returned to CLIMAX for repair or refurbishment usually have unit components reaching the end of their service lives after being fully utilized for the intended purpose.

To ensure machine longevity and increase the time between refurbishments, customers must follow the most common dos and don’ts listed below.


Keep the unit as clean as possible after each use. Chips from machining left inside the bore of the AFU can cause the unit to become bound on the bar or may damage the bar on its next installation.

Install the unit on the bar to alternate sides of the unit when feeding during cuts. There are two feed arms within the unit with two sets of clutch bearings. Alternating sides will more evenly wear these bearings and more evenly wear each side of the lead nut, allowing for longer use between refurbishments.

Tighten the clamp collars on both sides of the unit before feeding for a cut.


Never use a metal hammer to slide the unit on a boring bar, to remove the unit from a bar, or to knock the feed adjust into neutral. Striking the unit with a hammer will cause damage to the housing, collet, or feed mechanism components.

Never attempt to adjust the two 1/4″ internal hex head set screws on each side of the unit opposite the feed stops. These two items are factory set for minimum and maximum feed. Adjusting them could cause erratic feed or damage to the unit.

Do not tighten the collet clamp collars when the unit is not on the bar.  Tightening the clamp collars when the unit is not on a bar will cause the collet to become deformed, causing the need to replace the collet.

Interested in learning more about how to increase the longevity of your axial feed unit?  Contact us today to speak with a CLIMAX expert.

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