Like all motion control devices based on contact friction, ball screws require lubrication for proper functionality. The reason is that lubrication is required for smooth recirculation of the rolling elements.
Or to put it another way – the old adage was “if you want a really smooth ball screw with zero backlash you have to specify and pay for a ball screw with higher accuracy”. But is this true today?
At least once a week we get such an inquiry – someone looking for a ball nut and separate shaft long enough so they can cut it and machine the journals themselves, usually thinking this will significantly reduce lead time. And of course, compared to buying a completely custom ball screw, it may just do that. There are several reasons why we do not offer separate shafts and ball nuts, or complete ball screw assemblies with unfinished ends. Continue reading
OK – we know – ball screw lead times have been pretty long for some time, and with good reason (see previous blog). But have faith – Steinmeyer has been working on it and our efforts are starting to bear fruit.
Every week we get one or more calls from companies seeking support for their Steinmeyer ball screws. If the call is from an OEM, we bend over backwards in our attempt to support them technically as well as commercially. However if it is from an end user it’s a bit more complicated. Why? Continue reading
Routinely we get a phone call at least once a week – “hello – help – I have a Steinmeyer ball screw and I just spun the nut a bit too far at the shaft end by mistake and now I have some loose balls – what do I need to do?” Continue reading
Hah – got your interest with that title, right? But is there really such as component as a ball screw that requires zero maintenance? First we should establish exactly what we mean by “zero” maintenance. This can be one of two scenarios: either the ball screw has absolutely no lubrication, that is it runs dry; or the ball nut includes enough lubricant and is sufficiently protected such that no further maintenance is required for its lifetime. BTW for either scenario the answer is pretty much “NO, it’s not possible!” Continue reading
A question that often comes up for miniature ball screws – how do I lubricate it if there is no port on the ball nut? Good question! If you check our web site there is quite a lot of detailed information on lubricant types and wiper types, including precise amounts to use when re-lubricating:
There are three common methods to create a ball screw thread profile – rolling, whirling and precision grinding. But what’s the best one and what are some key differences between them? To answer that question one first has to understand the nature of the application. Continue reading
Lots of misconceptions out there about the type of screw to use to drive a linear axis. And it’s only going to get worse as more and more companies outsource such decisions. Steinmeyer manufactures both lead and ball screws so consider these comments as unbiased. Continue reading