Lead Screw applications for medical devices and laboratory automation
As medical diagnostics, devices, and laboratories have become more reliant on automation and laboratory processing, a need has grown for more refined and dynamic linear motion systems. PBC Linear has emerged as a leader in advanced lead screw systems, providing higher quality screws with tighter tolerances, and a better overall product solution to the standard belt drives. Depending on the application, our lead screws can provide an appropriate combination of accuracy, positional repeatability, and consistent linear motion speeds that meet application requirements, and ultimately help to balance cost with overall effectiveness.
First, it is important to understand the type of application that you’re going to build on. We break these down into three main categories within the medical genre: precision, transport, and set-up applications. Each of these application categories, as further explained below, has its own unique requirements to operate successfully in medical environments. The value to OEMs, medical institutions, and ultimately patients depends on how lead screw systems are selected, implemented, and eventually how they can dramatically improve the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) within these medical devices and automated systems.
Before we dive deeper into high-precision applications, it is best to first define how precision is quantified with regards to lead screws. As a general industry rule, lead screw accuracy is defined using a 300 mm (V=300) or 12-inch length of lead screw. This method works fine for lengths that are over 300 mm, however, this does not provide accurate tolerances for smaller travel applications. For more precise needs under the 300 mm threshold, the standard metric by which miniature screws are rated has become lead accuracy per-revolution (V2∏). This is especially true with applications that demand very low increments of travel, with only a slight fraction of a revolution.