NSK has developed new technology that it says significantly extends ball screw life in high-load applications such as injection moulding machines and servo presses.
The latest super long-life ball screws from NSK are claimed to offer up to twice the service life of conventional ball screws thanks to the optimisation of load distribution. Resource conservation through extended life and the downsizing of machinery is a further advantage. The technology will have particular appeal for machine builders transitioning to electric designs.
The special long-life technology that balances load distribution more evenly came about through a combination of NSK's proprietary high-precision machining capabilities (including the development of dedicated machinery), the company’s digital-twin simulation technology, and its precision measurement systems (improved measurement accuracy by linking with machining data).
As a further benefit for builders of machines serving high-load applications, adopting NSK’s new super long-life ball screw technology permits the use of a smaller shaft diameter, delivering a cost saving.
The importance of new developments in ball-screw technology are vital for many machine builders. For instance, with sustainable development goals and carbon neutrality initiatives advancing in many countries, there is of course a need to enhance the environmental friendliness and functionality of industrial machinery. Here, manufacturers of injection moulding machines and servo presses, for example, are switching from hydraulic to electric drive systems using servo motors and ball screws to save energy.
Demand is increasing for high-productivity electric injection moulding machines capable of handling more complex shapes and larger sizes. As a result, OEMs in this space are looking towards ‘high-cycle’ designs offering short processing times. Quicker, more frequent operation in turn demands the use of long-life ball screws.
NSK’s HTF-SRC series of high-speed, high-load ball screws (100-200 mm outer diameter) takes advantage of the new super long-life technology. Notably, the dimensions are completely interchangeable with NSK's current equivalent models, so no machine design changes are necessary.