A precise spindle is essential to achieve precision machining, such as diamond turning. A fluid driven spindle supported by hydrostatic bearings was thus designed and tested. A feature of the spindle is that several flow channels are designed in its rotor so that driving torque can be generated by supplying pressurized flow into the channels. Rotational speed of the spindle can be controlled by the flow rate. In addition, the rotational direction of the spindle can be controlled by switching supply ports. Thus angular position control of the spindle is achieved by designing appropriate feedback controller. In the present paper, mathematical model of the spindle was thus derived in order for designing an angular position control system. Then spindle characteristics calculated by the mathematical model were compared with experimental results. Furthermore, the angular position control system that has a disturbance observer in its feedback loop was designed based on the mathematical model. The performance of the designed control system was experimentally investigated through the step response. Experimental results verified that the designed controller minimizes the steady state error of angular position of the spindle. Consequently, the steady state error was comparable with the resolution of the rotary encoder, 0.018 degree. In particular, the experimental results indicated that the disturbance observer effectively reduced the influence of various load torque on the angular position of the spindle.

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