Ballscrew Care and Maintenance
Your equipment is a major investment, and when a vital machine goes down, costs can multiply quickly. When ballscrew issues arise, we’ll fix the problem as efficiently and effectively as possible—but it’s better to prevent problems in the first place.
All equipment will show wear over time, and will eventually need to be repaired or replaced, but many common problems can be easily avoided by following a few simple steps. Here are some tips you can use to maximize the working life of your ballscrews and to avoid the hassle and expense that failures can cause. By following this checklist, you’ll stand to save on repair and maintenance costs, reduce downtime, and avoid a lot of anxiety and frustration.
Ensure proper lubrication.
Like most mechanical equipment, a ballscrew requires appropriate lubrication to reduce friction and wear. Ensure that lubricants meet the manufacturer’s specifications, and are delivered at appropriate times and volumes.
Ensure that lines are clean.
Contaminants within lubrication and coolant lines can reduce flow, or even stop it altogether, resulting in catastrophic failure. Check lines regularly as recommended to ensure the absence of contaminants or obstructions.
Ensure proper installation, functioning and placement of protective equipment.
Bellows, waycovers and similar protective equipment play a vital role in prolonging a ballscrew’s functional life. Inspect regularly for damage, displacement, or other problems.
Perform all recommended preventive maintenance.
High-volume production environments often result in compromises to maintenance regimens – but any short-term gains resulting from skipped maintenance are more than offset by failure later on.
Ensure proper alignments.
Bearing stacks, guides, rails, and ballscrews must be precisely and appropriately aligned for proper operation and minimal wear. Check alignments at regular intervals.
Maintain an appropriate operating environment.
Temperature, humidity, cleanliness and other factors all have a role in accelerating ball screw wear and ultimate failure.
Operate equipment within stated tolerances.
Exceeding manufacturers’ recommended operating speed, torque, and pressure may temporarily increase throughput, but it will rapidly accelerate wear and ultimate failure.