Have you recently noticed an abrupt halt or decrease in your company’s production rates? Have you considered the possibility of it being a problem with your ball screw assembly? A failing ball screw assembly can bring many problems aside from its production rates. It can also be a cause of concern for the safety of your employees. If you’re not too sure what the source of your problem could be, read this guide for the warning signs of a failing ball screw assembly.
The Warning Signs
Although there are several signs that tell if your ball screw assembly is failing, below are the most prominent ones. They include:
- Excessive backlash in the ball nut—keep in mind, some ball screws must be stretched before checking for backlash.
- Fatigue or surface distress.
- Heat discoloration on lead or balls of ball screw—this tends to be caused by poor lubrication.
- Vibrations in movement.
- Weird noises that sound like clicking or grinding.
- Excessive heat.
What Causes These Signs
The list provided above is the telling signs of ball screw assembly failure; however, knowing these signs isn’t helpful if you don’t know what the possible cause could be. We provided a few common ball screw issues that could be the culprit of your problems. Read them over below to find out if any of them can be applied to your situation.
- Exceeding the load or dynamic capacities—over time, this can cause mechanical failure.
- Exceeding the critical speed of the ball screw assembly.
- Having a machine crash and not following up with proper inspection or replacement.
- Improper machining or misaligning of the equipment—can cause side loading of the ball nut on the ball screw.
- A dirty work environment or lack of proper protection or sealing.
What To Do Next
If these problems are occurring in your ball screw assembly, and the telling signs of assembly failure are there, you have a few options. You can buy a replacement from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). But this can be a bit pricey. The second option is to hire a company that specializes in ball screw engineering to provide you with repair services.
Here at Wedin International, Inc., we are the leading experts in CNC ball screw repair as well as ball screw and nut replacement. If you notice these warning signs of a failing ball screw assembly, you can count on us for the most reliable repair services. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us today to eliminate your machines’ downtime and to get up and running smoother than ever.