Category: Design

Commitment to Quality: Part 1 – Hard Turning of Ball Nuts

The Steinmeyer name is known globally for commitment to quality and workmanship.  We have nearly 500 staff members at our headquarters focused on the design and production of the world’s finest ball screws.  In this series of posts, we explore how Steinmeyer’s quality commitment shapes the production process at every step. Let’s begin by highlighting a key technique — hard turning of ball nuts.

Steinmeyer through-hardens all nuts, and then performs final turning of the thread and pilot diameter in a single step.  Not only does this deliver exceptional integrity of the thread profiles, but also optimum alignment of the thread to the nut body.  The result is the smoothest running ball screw you can buy, thus delivering:

  • Higher efficiency and longer lifetime
  • Lower noise and vibration.

This is just one of the unique processes that positions Steinmeyer ball screws above the rest. In part 2 of this series, we’ll explore the advantages of Steinmeyer machined deflectors.

Wearable Pumps for Medical Devices Count on Ball Screws

There has been a tremendous amount of innovation lately in the design of medical devices and lab instruments. One of the critical aspects of the new products being developed is linear motion.  And Steinmeyer is proud to be directly involved in providing drive solutions to our cutting-edge customers.  We currently have several on-going applications involving wearable pumps driven by ball screws, and I wanted to share some of the specifics.

Implantable medical devices naturally place extreme requirements on size, materials, lifetime, and reliability.  These constraints drive up cost and complexity.  Incorporating all of this function into a single implantable is extremely challenging.  Not only that, but servicing the pump requires major surgery!

One solution is to break down the system into two components—one implantable and one wearable.  The implantable component handles minimal functionality and consists simply of a balloon. The wearable component enjoys much looser design requirements. In the projects we are working with, a wearable pump is used to drive compressed air through a catheter that passes into the body.

A wearable pump offers the advantages of being small, quiet, and very reliable.  That is where precision ball screws come into play.  Steinmeyer offers standard miniature screws in diameters 3 to 16 mm. The diameter typically required for this application ranges from 8 to 12 mm. Custom products can be developed as well for applications that need it. Steinmeyer ball screws also feature our proprietary super finishing process, called optiSLITE.  This improves the surface quality of the shaft threads for reduced friction torque, quieter operation, and longer life.

Fabrication and Assembly of Precision Positioning Systems

Modern mechatronic systems consist of numerous precision components that must be assembled in complex configurations.  The professional assembly of these individual parts leads to a system that meets the highest demands on quality and performance.  Here, every detail counts.

We live precision

Our Steinmeyer Mechatronik division has decades of experience in precision assembly.  We know that quality and precision can be “felt”.  Our highly qualified staff proves this every day.  All our products, whether simple linear rails or multi-axis positioning systems, are manufactured carefully. We pay attention to every detail. Our high standards, monitored continuously through our vigorous quality systems, are shown in every Steinmeyer system.

As versatile as the application

In addition to producing our own line of precision stages, we offer fabrication and assembly services in a variety of applications.  These include medical devices, laboratory instrumentation, and semiconductor inspection.

For more detailed information, please visit Special Assemblies

 

Join us at BIOMEDevice 2017 – Booth 226

New England’s largest trade show dedicated to medical products is coming soon! The BIOMEDevice show will be taking place Wednesday, May 3 and Thursday, May 4 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. About 400 exhibitors are expected and more than 4,000 visitors. In partnership with the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC), BIOMEDevice Boston is a powerful, end-to-end industry showcase. From contract manufacturing to components, this event promises to deliver a full spectrum of cutting-edge solutions to make faster, cheaper, and smarter medical products.

Steinmeyer invites you to visit booth 226 where you will see the latest innovations in ball screw technology. You will be able to view our premium miniature ball screw products and learn how these German made, high quality components can achieve your precision positioning needs. Our booth will be manned by engineers ready to discuss your latest application and field technical questions. We look forward to meeting you at the show and helping you find the best solutions to your medical device and laboratory equipment needs. To learn more about Steinmeyer ball screws for use in medical applications, visit our site.

Be sure to use our promo code INVITE to claim a free expo badge, or get 20% off your conference pass! Register here.

Case Study: optiSLITE Miniature Ball Screws for Smoother, Quieter Performance

Challenge:

An established company that engineers and manufacturers multi-axis stages was seeking smooth, quiet, long-lasting performance from its linear motion technology. The company’s engineers decided to perform a comprehensive test on identical stages between a regular ball screw from a large OEM and new optiSLITE ball screws from Steinmeyer.

This company’s precision, multi-axis stages are used for a variety of applications in optics, semiconductor, and other instrumentation fields. The stage selected for evaluation was an X-Y model with travel of 200mm.  Each axis is driven by ball screw with a shaft diameter of 12mm and pitch of 4mm.

Results:

Once the testing began, the differences between the two were immediate and dramatic. The stage with the optiSLITE screws felt more fluid, exhibited less vibration, and produced significantly reduced noise. The test engineers could immediately distinguish between the two, making the choice of the optiSLITE ball screws self-evident.

About optiSLITE technology:

Steinmeyer’s proprietary optiSLITE ball screws employs a “super finishing” process on the shaft raceway, which removes the largest irregularities left over from thread grinding. This improved surface quality results in noticeably smoother, quieter operation. Friction torque is also lowered, and made more consistent, resulting in enhanced servo performance. Finally, the lifetime of the screw may be increased by as much as 30% for certain applications.

Contact a Steinmeyer engineer to learn more about Steinmeyer premium miniature ball screws.

optiSLITE Miniature Ball Screws for Reduced Friction Torque

We are excited to introduce yet another innovation in our portfolio of precision screws – the optiSLITE miniature ball screw. These screws feature reduced friction torque and smoother running. The result is an even better positioning solution for applications in the semiconductor, optics, medical instrument, and metrology sectors.

optiSLITE ball screw shafts undergo a proprietary finishing process in their final step of fabrication. As you can see from these before and after SEM images, uring almost of the micron-sized defects on the raceway are removed. The result is a 40% reduction in friction torque!In turn this provides smoother running and enables greater servo accuracy.

optislite-vs-standard-screwoptiSLITE ball screws offer dynamic delivery of linear motion at high standards of precision and longevity, like all Steinmeyer products. The screws feature shaft diameters down to 5 mm and pitch down to 1 mm. They are available in all standard lengths and nut designs.

Contact a Steinmeyer engineer to learn more about Steinmeyer premium ball screws.

Xi-Plus Precision Ball Screws – Our Smoothest Raceways Yet

Steinmeyer has a long history of delivering ball screw innovations that enable our customers to design the world’s finest linear motion systems. With our new line of Xi-Plus precision ball screws, we are continuing that tradition for industrial applications that require quiet operation.

Like all Steinmeyer products, the Xi-Plus line is expertly manufactured in Germany. The shafts undergo a proprietary finishing process that removes micron-sized defects on the raceway, creating our quietest and smoothest screws ever. Those defects are responsible for high pitched “whistling” and rough running characteristics. No more noisy ball screws – no more annoying vibrations!

xi-plus-vs-standard

Xi-Plus ball screws offer dynamic delivery of linear motion at high standards of precision and longevity, like all Steinmeyer products. These screws are available in shaft diameters between 16-125 mm and all nut styles.

Contact a Steinmeyer engineer to learn more about Steinmeyer premium ball screws.