Press Release

NSK Develops Ball Screws for Next-Generation High-Accuracy Machine Tools

  • Reduced motion errors help improve machine tool productivity through higher quality surface finish
  • Eliminates or reduces time needed for burnishing/polishing

NSK has developed new ball screws that contribute to achieving higher surface finish quality for high-accuracy machine tools used in die and mold machining and other applications. The new product embodies ongoing NSK research and development into improving machining surface quality, thereby eliminating or reducing the time needed for burnishing/polishing work while also reducing the amount of drive torque.

NSK will continue to contribute to the elimination or reduction of surface finishing processes by improving the surface quality achieved in machining, and to achieving energy savings by reducing drive torque.

The new ball screws will be exhibited at “JIMTOF 2022 The 31st Japan International Machine Tool Fair” to be held from November 8-13, 2022.

NSK plans to start taking orders in select regions from April 2023, followed shortly by a global rollout. NSK aims to achieve sales of 100 million yen by 2024 of ball screws adopting this technology.

Photo: Ballbar testing. A measurement method used to evaluate the accuracy of machine tool motion.
Photo: Ballbar testing.
A measurement method used to evaluate the accuracy of machine tool motion.


In recent years, machine tools such as 5-axis milling machines have been demanding higher accuracy to produce higher quality die/mold surfaces, and the ball screws used in these machines must further improve their motion accuracy.

When a ball screw reverses direction, sudden fluctuations in friction cause "quadrant glitch" motion errors with two peaks, leaving streak marks on the machined surface and reducing surface quality. Numerous studies have been conducted on quadrant glitches, and the first peak can be corrected through numerical control (software-based servo controller compensation) of machine tools. However, it is more difficult to fully compensate for the second peak due to the combined effects of more factors compared to the first peak, and the machining industry is seeking a solution to this problem.


Using NSK Real Digital Twin simulation and friction analysis, we have developed a new ball screw with an optimized internal design by understanding the underlying mechanism of the friction fluctuations in ball screws that causes quadrant glitches.

1. Stable drive torque during reversals eliminates a quality roadblock
Reduced friction fluctuations when the ball screw reverses direction of motion, thereby improving motion accuracy and reducing quadrant glitch motion errors to nearly eliminate the second peak.
2. Reduced friction fluctuations
Friction fluctuations have been reduced by up to 20% contributing to reducing the height of the first peak.
3. Compatible with existing mountings
Mountings are fully interchangeable with those of conventional products, allowing ball screws with quadrant glitch control to be used without costly equipment changes.

Relationship between motion error and frictional torque when reversing the direction of motion

Motion error and drive torque when reversing direction

Motion error and drive torque when reversing direction
Motion error during circular interpolation machining
(with servo controller compensation)

Motion error during circular interpolation machining (with servo controller compensation)
Enlarged view of machined surface (simulated image)

Enlarged view of machined surface (simulated image)


  • The combination of NSK's new product and software servo controller compensation can significantly improve the quality of the machined surface.
  • The elimination of the need to compensate for the second peak facilitates adjustments (parameters, etc.) of the machine tool.
  • The improved surface quality eliminates or reduces the need for the previously required burnishing/polishing processes, reducing lead times and energy consumption.
  • Reduced drive torque contributes to energy savings in machine tools.


  • Shaft Diameter: 25-63mm
  • Lead: 5-30mm (Lead / Shaft Diameter ≤ 1/2)
  • Preload Type: Offset preload (Z preload), Double nut preload (D preload), Spring type double nut preload (J preload)

About NSK

NSK began its journey manufacturing the first bearings in Japan in 1916, and has since developed into a global organization researching, designing, and manufacturing Motion & Control™ solutions essential for mobility and industrial applications. NSK is the top supplier of bearings in Japan and is the third largest supplier in the world by market share.

Our responsive products and technologies enhance automotive performance and industrial productivity while reducing energy consumption to unprecedented low levels. In the early 1960s, we set our sights outside Japan and have established over 200 business locations in 30 countries alongside a vast network of joint ventures and partnerships in all corners of the world.

NSK Corporate Philosophy

  • Shaft diameter: 25-63mm
  • Lead: 5-30mm
  • Preload configuration: Offset preload (Z preload), double nut preload (D preload), spring type double nut preload (J preload)