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Home Bridgeport Machine Rebuilders Blog Bridgeport Mills Ball screw kits for Bridgeport milling machines

Ball screw kits for Bridgeport milling machines

Ball Screw Kit for Bridgeport millsEvery Bridgeport mill rebuild has the option to upgrade to a Precision Ball Screw kit, but only 1 in 6 will purchase the upgrade, according to Bridgeport Machine Rebuilders.  The initial cost will typically scare off a Purchasing Agent, Maintenance Manager, or Machine Shop Supervisor.  But if those ball screws will last longer and be much more accurate over the life of "multiple" acme screws, does it make sense to add this option to your Bridgeport mill rebuild?

Let’s dig a little deeper into this and see if a precision ball screw upgrade makes sense.

What is a Ball Screw?

Ball Screw - How it worksA ball bearing screw is just that: a screw which runs on ball bearings.  The screw and nut have matching helical grooves or races, and the ball bearings recirculate in these races.  There is physical contact between the screw and the nut.  As the screw or nut rotates, and the rolling balls reach the trailing end of the nut, they are deflected or guided from this “pitch” contact by means of a return tube and returned to the leading end of the circuit. There, the cycle resumes and the balls recirculate continuously.

So in layman’s terms: a ball screw has ball bearings that provide a smooth and easy rotation and/or movement, while basically limiting or removing friction that causes wear on the screw.  Or something like that.

Let’s focus on the Benefits:

Limited Wear – Because of the rolling contact, wear is far less than that of sliding contact.  The end result, deterioration of accuracy is extremely low over the life of the ball screw.

Ball Screw - Reduced FrictionLess Force – Since friction loss is extremely low, the amount of force used to rotate the screw shaft is as low as 1/3 of that needed for the acme thread lead screw.

In a nutshell: Your ball screw will have limited wear over the life of the ball screw and will maintain a high level of accuracy.

The following formula proves this…….we think?

Ball Screw Life Expectancy 

So if your application calls for higher accuracy and you want to limit maintenance/downtime costs in the future (when your acme screws need to be replaced), then ball screws may just be the ticket for your Bridgeport mill.


Rebuilt Mills for Sale

We sell Rebuilt Bridgeport Mills for approximately 50-60% of a new Bridgeport mill

We also offer an opportunity to trade-in your well used Bridgeport mill with a purchase of a rebuilt Bridgeport mill. Our rebuilt machines are guaranteed for a period of 1 Year, under normal use and proper maintenance.

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