Westwind air bearing spindles wins an Innovation Award for the designing and developing high speed drilling spindles utilized in printed circuit manufacture. Incorporating patented technology and proprietary air bearings, the new spindles have a large working-speed range from 20,000 rpm, for drilling large holes, to 200,000 rpm, for drilling small holes, of approx. 0.075mm diameter. To enable the high speeds without dynamic instability, heavy damping was achieved through water-cooled bearing sleeves and specially designed assemblies: the extraction of generated heat is one of the many challenges that were overcome in the development. The spindle improves PCB machining, giving higher accuracy of hole placements and improved thermal performance. Higher spindle reliability, longer spindle lifetimes and easier bearing sleeve replacement reduce machine running costs and improve customer profits.