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Low Cost Automation Tutorial

#266 Ball Screws -1: History

Category : Linear Motion Components
December 9, 2016

The increasing demand for making the device faster, more accurate, more durable and more reliable has resulted in the rapid spread of ball screws. [Fig.1] shows the "Amount of Sales and Trend in Shipment of Ball Screws, January 2006" published by Japan Machine Tool Builders' Association. You can see from this graph that the amount of sales and quantity has almost doubled in the two-year period. From #266, we will look at the ball screws from the basics to advanced knowledge.

[Fig.1] Amount of sales and trend in shipment of ball screws

(1)History of ball screws

-In the United States, the basic structure of a ball screw was patented in 1874 as a linear feed mechanism built into press machines. (See [Fig.2].)
-The actual use of ball screw products started when the US automotive manufacturers adopted ball screws into their steering parts in the 1950s. [Fig.3] is a structural example of a ball screw mechanism adopted for the steering device installed in the back of the handle shaft.

[Fig.2] US-patented ball screw mechanism. [Fig.3] Application example of steering device