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The Key Benefits of Precision Bell Screws in Modern Machinery

Many modern manufacturing systems use ball screws. This type of screw is special because it gives machine makers a highly efficient way to convert rotary motion into a form of linear motion while creating minimal friction. They are useful in numerous high-tech industrial applications.

Where Are Ball Screws Used?

Ball screws are used in machine tools such as lathes, CNC machines, and milling machines. Ball screws are very useful in robotic arms and legs and other robotic parts. Aircraft and aerospace applications use ball screws. Ball screws are used in medical equipment such as imaging systems and surgical robots. The automotive industry uses ball screws in its assembly lines and welding systems.

What is a Ball Screw?

A ball screw is a multi-part screw used to change rotational motion into linear motion. The ball screw is made up of a threaded shaft, a series of ball bearings, and a nut to house them on the shaft. End supports hold the ball screw in place. These ball screws come in many sizes depending on the end use. This construction makes the ball crew very accurate, efficient, and low friction. The shaft, nut, and end supports are usually made of steel and the ball bearings can be made of steel or ceramic material. The end supports can also be made of cast iron.

How Do Ball Screws Work?

A regular bolt and nut combination works by turning the nut to make it go down or up the bolt in linear motion. A ball screw is similar but uses less friction because of the addition of ball bearings that roll in grooves between the nut and the rod. Because the ball bearings roll instead of sliding, they require less energy and create less friction.

Why Are Ball Screws Beneficial?

The Key Benefits of Precision Ball Screws in Modern Machinery are their accuracy, efficiency, and small amount of friction produced as they operate. The use of ball screws leads to higher accuracy, less torque, and the use of smaller motors. Because there is less friction, machines with ball screws can run at cooler temperatures. Ball screws need to be replaced less often saving machinery downtime. Ball screws can be sourced in rolled or ground types and can be adjusted to increase or decrease the preload. Ball screws are up to 90% efficient.

Ball Screws Can Be Repaired

When ball screws eventually wear out or become damaged, they can be replaced, repaired, or refurbished. When a ball screw is repaired, damaged or worn parts are replaced. These parts can be ball bearings or the nut. When a ball screw is refurbished, the unit is taken apart, all parts are cleaned, and worn or damaged parts are replaced. Then, the unit is reassembled and lubricated. Before being returned to the equipment it was part of, it is tested to make sure all specifications are met.

Often, refurbishing ball screws takes less time and is less expensive than ordering new ball screws and installing them in the equipment. As with all machinery and equipment, proper maintenance by knowledgeable staff is necessary to assure optimum performance and durability.


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