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Introduction

A worldwide manufacturer of automotive components was having significant unplanned stoppages due to the failure of the Ball Screws in the Machining Center. This had a major effect on the manufacturing output resulting increased costs and reduced machine reliability. The average life of the Ball Screws was about 6 months. NSK analysed three of the failed Ball Screws to determinate the main reason of the failure. NSK's Technical Department developed a special design to improve all the technical characteristics, especially the high-performance sealing design. Two Ball Screws were installed in the most critical points in the plant. This was successful and led to a cost saving and reduced machine downtime and a massive increase in lifetime.

Key Facts

  • Machine centre with very arduous working conditions
  • Malfunction of the Ball Screws due to high loading and agressive environment
  • NSK Solution: High-performance seals and high-speed/high-load Ball Screws
  • Nut design Ball Screws to maintain better stiffness and improved quality
  • Increased lifetime by 6 times and still continue working
  • Reduced production downtime and material costs
  • Machining Centre
  • Ball Screw with High-performance X1 Seal Design

Value Proposals

  • Plant survey to inspect the machine environment and working conditions by the NSK Engineers
  • Analyse three Ball Screws to observe the running paths and lubrication conditions
  • NSK Technical Department designed a special Ball Screw that could be assembled without any change from customer's side

Product Features

  • High-performance seal design to work in a hard environment
  • Decrease in the operating temperature and wear (precision and preload)
  • Increase of the lifespan, due to the greater load capacity and the lower preload per ball
  • Reduction of the torque required, due to a lower degree of preload, with a corresponding reduction of the energy consumption of the machine
  • K1 lubrication system included for reduced maintenance
  • Substantially longer grease life
  • Optimum lubrication even with high loads and hard operating conditions
  • No contamination of cutting/cooling liquid with grease

Cost Saving Breakdown

Before Cost p.a. NSK Solution Cost p.a.
Costs for Ball Screws x 2 machines € 8.400 Costs for Ball Screws x 2 machines € 4.000
Production costs: 6 hours/stop x 12 stops x 360 pieces/hour x 10€/piece € 259.200 No failures in 36 months € 0
4 hours for each Ball Screw x 50€/hour x 14 changes € 2.800 4 hours for each Ball Screw x 50€/hour x 2 changes € 400
Total Costs € 270.400 € 4.400

Reference:SS-E-7028