Press Release

NSK Develops New Technology:High-Performance Ball Screws for Machine Tools

Reduced Ball Screw Heat Generation and Improved Motion Control for Improved Feed Performance in Machine Tools

High-Performance Ball Screws for Machine Tools

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Norio Otsuka) today announced that it has developed new technology in the form of high-performance ball screws for machine tools. NSK will release innovative products with this new technology in the spring of 2015.

The high-performance ball screw for machine tools was exhibited at JIMTOF 2014, the 27th Japan International Machine Tool Fair at Tokyo Big Sight (Koto Ward, Tokyo) from Thursday, October 30 to Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

Development Background

NSK has researched the trends of machine tool fairs for many years and developed various types of ball screws for machine tools, based on this ongoing research. Typical examples of these developments include the high-speed, low-noise ball screws for reducing noise and vibration in high-speed operating conditions and the shaft and/or nut cooling ball screws that internally circulate cooling liquid. These and other ball screw products are used widely in the latest machine tools.

In recent years, stricter demands have appeared in the machine tool market. There is increased demand for eliminating any cooling device, which is designed to reduce the temperature rise of the ball screw itself during high-speed operations. In addition, there is another demand to minimize ball screw motion errors to achieve higher integrity on the machined surface.

In response to these needs for higher performance, NSK has created, through its new, high-performance technology, ball screws for machine tools that have been optimized in terms of design and manufacturing technology to create a better balance in preload, stiffness, heat generation and temperature rise. These new ball screws lead to higher positioning accuracy on machine tools by reducing heat generation and motion errors.

NSK's high-performance ball screws for machine tools will provide new solutions for a wide variety of machine tools such as NC lathes, machining centers and grinding machines.

New Technology Features

1. Reducing the temperature rise by 20% based on a ball screw design that reduces heat generation and maintains the stiffness consistency of the ball screws
NSK has optimized torque, while maintaining the stiffness of the ball screw. This contributes to about a 20% reduction in the amount of heat generated.
2. Improving the positioning accuracy on machine tools
NSK has reduced the amount of motion errors due to ball screw nut location differences. This leads to higher surface integrity on the workpiece, which is finished with machine tools.
Stricter Demands in the Machine Tool Market
Development Concept for High-Performance Ball Screws for Machine Tools
Reduction of Heat Generation
Reduction of Motion Errors