Worn Ball Screws and Laser CNC Machine Cut Issues
Look at the test cuts to the left. Does anything look familiar? Do you see similar issues from your laser CNC machine?
The far left image shows what we refer to as the “jiggly-squigglies” – wavy lines, corners and edges that prevent you from cutting a quality part. What causes this?
Most laser CNC machines tend to get loose with age and production hours. You can see cut issues on lasers with only 4,000 to 6,000 service hours on them. Problems may appear as holes out of round, or the jiggly-squigglies. This is not usually a machinery quality problem, however. More often than not, a worn ball screw assembly is to blame.
Fine dust from cutting combined with lubricants (grease/oil) forms a grinding paste that causes wear on the ball screw assembly. This can wreck havoc, resulting in cut accuracy issues and reduced feed rates. Your production turnaround time can suffer, or you may not even be able to cut a quality part!
But fear not – laser CNC machine cut issues can be fixed!
Now, notice the part on the right. The test cut is dramatically improved following ball screw service. You can see cut accuracy is restored.
A clean and flush service can prevent many types of cut issues, including those seen above. Depending on how long and how often you run your laser CNC machine, you might need service every 1-2 years. A service professional cleans out any excessive build up is cleaned out, and inspects all bearings for wear. The ball bearing set will be replaced if there is excessive “play,” or wear. Manufacturers may have you believe that a new ball screw assembly is needed. However, 9 times out of 10 this type of repair corrects the cut issue and brings accuracy back within tolerance.
If your laser is experiencing the jiggly-squigglies, give us a call at (888) 316-2126 to see how we can help.
(Image and content used with permission.)