NSK Develops “NSK Feed Drive Adjuster”
NSK Feed Drive Adjuster enables advanced automation of machine tools and reduces environmental impact
NSK announced today that it has developed the NSK Feed Drive Adjuster, a ball screw feed drive accessory that benefits performance and ease of handling and automation of feed drives in machine tools and other production equipment.
The NSK Feed Drive Adjuster will be exhibited at the 31st Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF 2022) to be held from November 8-13, 2022. NSK will continue to develop and propose new solutions toward supporting the future of machine tools.
In the field of manufacturing, where a variety of production equipment is used, efforts are underway to realize a sustainable society that is carbon neutral and zero-emission oriented, as well as highly automated and autonomous through the use of big data, backed by the emergence of digital technology.
In order to improve machining accuracy and productivity, machine tools such as machining centers have long been subjected to various design measures and on-site adjustments by skilled technicians to reduce the effects of machine deformation. In recent years, machine tool builders are improving ease of operation and reducing the necessity for specialized technical and skilled labor through the use of rapidly evolving digital technology and data.
The NSK Feed Drive Adjuster minimizes variation (deterioration) in machining performance caused by elongation of the ball screw shaft due to temperature rise in the machine tool feed drive system.
Normally, when the elongation of a screw shaft is significant, it is addressed by releasing axial displacement on one side of the mechanism supporting the screw shaft in order to prevent abnormalities or failure in the feed drive system. However, this reduces ability to bear axial loads and prevents the machine tool from maintaining effective support rigidity (stiffness), affecting the accuracy and quality of machining.
To address this issue, NSK developed the NSK Feed Drive Adjuster to maintain rigidity (stiffness) and dynamic characteristics in the support bearings on one side, while tracking axial displacement. This minimizes changes in rigidity (stiffness) even when the feed drive system is affected by environmental or operational factors, such as heat generation, and maintains the ability to effectively support axial loads, thereby reducing variation (deterioration) in machining accuracy, quality, and productivity.
By applying the NSK Feed Drive Adjuster technology to ball screw feed drive systems, the following effects can be expected.
Continuously maintaining the rigidity (stiffness) of the ball screw feed drive system improves machining accuracy, quality, and productivity.
Enables designing high performance ball screw feed drive system supports without specialized knowledge.
Eliminates need for specialized technical skills in fine-tuning control equipment and changing feed rates to match changes in machining conditions.
Reduces lost time and environmental impact by reducing or eliminating the need for machine warm-up routines and additional cooling procedures.
Realizes optimized coordination of ball screw feed drive system and numerical control system
Further improves controllability when combined with NSK ball screws.
In addition, the NSK Feed Drive Adjuster can be used even without electricity (or any energy supply), and can be installed on existing machine tools, contributing to standardization of designs for advanced automation and reduction of environmental impact.
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