I had a new ballscrew installed in my machine two years ago and although it is positioning OK it is starting to make a noise again. How long should a ballscrew last in a turning center?
It is not unusual for a ballscrew to still be functioning efficiently after 20 years of continuous use. If a high quality precision ball screw is well maintained, is supplied with adequate lubricant of a suitable grade and doesn't suffer mis-treatment, then it should outlive the life of the machine it is in. The problem is that very few ballscrews avoid the vigor's of abuse, tight production schedules and poor maintenance, that is why Express Ball Screw Repair is in business.
Aside from machines operating in extremely contaminated conditions, the turning center is probably the worst culprit for destroying ball screws. Some of the more powerful machines in the 10-12 inch chuck range sport 50 and 60 horse power spindle motors that when turning at top spindle rpm store an enormous amount of kinetic energy. When this energy is suddenly released as happens when a tool rapids into the chuck, it is not difficult to appreciate the damage that can be caused to a machines components. This is why an otherwise premium quality ballscrew is likely to have a shortened life in a turning center.