Steinmeyer is recognized worldwide as an elite supplier of premium engineered products. The company enjoys a century of designing and manufacturing precision tools and components in Germany. Throughout its long history, Steinmeyer has been family owned, operating under the leadership of the Beck family since 1940.
Ball screws have been the company’s primary product line for decades, and the Steinmeyer brand embodies precision and quality. It also reflects a strong dedication to helping customers achieve engineering excellence.
Steinmeyer’s leadership is personally engaged in each customer’s success, and is uniquely qualified to deliver a product that meets exacting standards without compromise on quality, durability, and precision.
Steinmeyer has continually invested in manufacturing capacity and technology, maintaining the most advanced facilities in the world. Global service and support provides customers with access to the technical resources to guide their requirements.
Steinmeyer’s commitment to financial stability ensures that the company has the proper resources to invest in its facility and personnel without passing along costs to the customer.
All of these qualities have allowed Steinmeyer to successfully serve the most prominent customers in our target industries.
Learn more: http://www.steinmeyer.com/en/company/philosophy/
Many of our customers, especially those with high speed applications, have been asking: can you make the screws any quieter? Recently, Steinmeyer delivered an answer: the Quiet Series, featuring an innovative end cap that reduces noise by 50%.
Ball screws with high leads and high linear speeds are notoriously noisy. The loading and unloading of the balls against the return is the main source of noise. With steel balls and steel returns, this cycling can create a loud “whirling” sound at high speeds, especially when using preloaded ball nuts. Steinmeyer has been researching this issue, and recently announced some important results involving process improvements that may yield benefits across most of our product range (http://machinedesign.com/cables-connectors-enclosures/researchers-uncover-source-ball-screw-noise)
Meanwhile, on the design side, the innovative plastic end caps provide a solution for small diameter screws. As shown in the 3D drawing below, the steel body (blue) has an integrated flange and “through the nut” ball recirculation. The plastic end caps (gray) provide quiet return, and may also include integrated combination wipers (not shown).
Quiet Series screws are designed typically for a lead/diameter ratio greater than 0.5. Due to the high lead, they are especially well-suited for use in high speed pick-and-place actuators. The screws are available in diameters from 5 to 20 mm and leads up to 32 mm! All feature dual start threads, P5 accuracy grade, and ball nuts with zero or minimum axial play.
So, if you are running a high-speed application and your current ball screws are too noisy, contact Steinmeyer and ask about our Quiet Series. We may have an ideal solution that gets you running quiet.
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. Even if a dry lubricant coating is applied to the ball screw elements (shaft, nut and balls), some small amount of conventional oil/grease is still required. In other words, the ball screw cannot properly operate while completely dry. All Steinmeyer ball screws are pre-lubricated at the factory – but only with an initial fill amount. For most applications, we recommend an initial lube check after 500 hours of machine time. Based on that inspection, adjust the maintenance schedule accordingly. Of course, every application is different, and users should develop their own maintenance schedule based on the particulars of their operation.
One common scenario that can cause lubrication challenges is repeated use of a small segment of the total working volume. For example, let’s say your X and Y axes have a total travel of 1 meter, but you are machining an area of the part only a few centimeters long. If your machine performs this task repeatedly on many parts, a large portion of the X and Y shafts will be exposed to the environment without ever being swept by the nuts. Plus the balls inside the nut will not receive fresh lubricant. As a result, they may lose lubricant while gaining buildup of dirt, dust, and swarf. These conditions increase the risk of excessive wear when the machine returns to other operations.
To guard against this scenario, we recommend two solutions. The first is to create a designated lube “station” at the opposite end of the small operating range. Move the nut to this “station”, apply lubricant, and then return. This operation will ensure the shafts are not only wiped of debris (presuming there are proper wipers at both ends of the ball nut) but also evenly lubricated. Alternatively, if shaft contamination is minimal, you may inject lubricant into the nut while still in the small operating range. Move the nut at least one length to distribute the lubricant evenly within the nut. When the machine returns to other operations, there will be sufficient lubricant inside the nut to cover the shafts properly. See the Steinmeyer web site for re-lubrication guidelines for both oil and grease – lubrication quantities vary based on shaft diameter and nut type. Another alternate solution is to lubricate through the shaft – that is the shaft is cross drilled to allow lubricant to pass through it and into the ball nut at a designated location. This is especially useful for certain oscillating motion situations. For any further questions or suggestions please contact one of our application engineers!
Proper functioning wipers are an essential element of any ball screw system. Their first job, of course, is to shield the contact surfaces from contamination. But some wipers may also serve as a lubricant reservoir, thereby lengthening service intervals. Fortunately, Steinmeyer offers the industry’s widest choice in wipers:
• Classic labyrinth seal
• Felt ring
• Combination (friction and felt)
Combination wipers are plastic wipers with an additional felt wiper inside the ball nut. Felt is an excellent absorber of oil, so it acts as a reservoir. However, it must be protected from water or water based fluids. That is one function of the additional plastic wiper.
Combination wipers increase the nut length slightly, but offer numerous important advantages:
• Superior dual stage sealing
• Reduced maintenance
• Reduced oil consumption (75-90%)
• Choice of lubricant
These last two points are especially notable compared to oil-impregnated plastics, used as wipers by some of our competitors. These materials are often claimed to be maintenance-free. But the truth is that the oil eventually wicks out. With felt, you can easily refill during normal maintenance intervals. Plus, the choice of lubricant is yours.
At Steinmeyer, we are incorporating combination wipers more and more into our designs.
Steinmeyer recently added a key individual to its USA sales force. He is Bruce Gretz. Bruce has 30 years’ experience in various high tech businesses including Loral and Rockwell. Most recently he was Sales Director for PremaTech Advanced Ceramics. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering (BS), Aerospace Engineering (MS), as well as a MBA. Bruce is located in Massachusetts, at the Steinmeyer Inc. office in Burlington. He can be reached at (781) 273-6220 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steinmeyer recently added Custom Precision Solutions (CPS) as our representative for the southeast USA. Dominic Mastroianni, president of CPS, is located in Wake Forest North Carolina and covers the following states: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Dominic has 20+ years’ experience in motion control and represents a wide variety of premier manufacturers including Precipart, Autotronics and BEI Sensors. For Steinmeyer he will concentrate on ground ball screws and focus on applications in commercial aerospace and robotics markets. Custom applications are especially relevant since he represents so many items designed to function together. With more and more engineering designs being outsourced, it is especially important to rely on experienced engineers that know how to choose and integrate the right elements that comprise a precision motion system. Dominic can be reached at (919) 868-3628 or via email at email@example.com.
Steinmeyer is a unique group of three companies with individual competences that enable us to provide world class products for our customers. The dominant entity, Steinmeyer GmbH, is a premier manufacturer of precision ground and rolled ball screws. Steinmeyer began as a precision machine shop and manufactured some of the earliest micrometers and other measuring devices. This technology led us to the refinement of miniature ball screws which we have been producing for over 50 years, since the early 60’s. Utilizing an impressive array of ball deflectors, Steinmeyer is today able to provide the widest range of sizes and pitches – from an incredibly tiny 3 mm diameter with 0.5 mm pitch to 160 mm diameter with 40 mm pitch. And our ETA+ technology offers enhanced performance virtually eliminating following error in an axis. Our facility in Dresden, Steinmeyer Mechatronik, has core competence in optics, mechanics, and electronics – enabling a product line of precision stages, both linear and rotary. Driven by application specific motors, be it stepper, dc servo, linear or piezo, Steinmeyer stages are characterized by extremely small linear run-out values and very compact packaging, often including controllers. The Feinmess Suhl division today manufactures a complete line of precision micrometers and other gauging devices. Our focus on every product is high precision, combined with application suitability and impressive aesthetics.