New Opportunities Emerge with Lead Screw Innovation

Christopher Nook by Christopher Nook

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Acme Screws, Lead Screws

Today, high precision lead and acme screws offer the latest technology for motion control with many opportunities, such as;

Today, high precision lead and acme screws offer the latest technology for motion control with many opportunities, such as;

  • Miniaturization and precision
  • More widely used in automated systems
  • Product developments with nanotechnology
  • Advancements in linear to rotary conversion
  • Design customization

Miniaturization and Precision

Miniature screws are attractive because of their ability to reduce power consumption and weight reduction without hindering precision, performance and reliability. Miniaturization within many different markets has opened up new opportunities for lead screws to power applications such as: insulin pumps, photonics, auto-focusing optics, medical automation equipment and more. The miniaturization of applications and linear screw products was developed in response to emerging demands for miniaturized mechatronic systems in many different markets.

Increased precision and accuracy systems have also stimulated advances and improvements in automated guidance systems. From highly complex medical, military and semiconductor applications to your simplest desktop automation systems; high accuracy screws provide precise positional accuracy.

Projected through 2015, the medical and diagnostics industries are the fastest growing markets for miniature precision screws. The automotive industry is also poised to offer new opportunities for the integration and requirement of precision lead screws.

Wider Use in Automated Systems

Probably the biggest factor influencing innovation within screw manufacturing is the potential and need for these essential components to be integrated into automated machinery. 


Some of the factors driving the increased needs for automated systems are:  

  • Increasing labor costs
  • Precision
  • Safety
  • Less human error
  • Repetition
  • Accuracy
  • Efficiency
  • Adaptability
  • No maintenance

Product Developments with Nanotechnology

New opportunities emerge with lead screw nanotechnology as engineers continue to develop new materials and coatings that have better operational properties such as low friction and better wear. These innovations will help to increase the life of screws and screw assemblies within industries that have high temperature and high humidity environmental demands.

Advancements in Linear to Rotary Conversion

Advanced precision screw manufacturing will improve linear to rotary conversion. This is important in applications that do not utilize electrical power. 

Design Customization

Having the ability to customize screw designs makes lead and acme screws an even more attractive asset to linear motion. For over four decades, Helix has manufactured hundreds of custom screw diameters and leads for customers who require non-catalog sizes. We are also experts in thread rolling non-standard materials and we can produce screws from aluminum, high-carbon steel, titanium, 300 and 400 series stainless steels, plastics and special chemistry alloys.

The Helix Advantage

New opportunities will continue to emerge as lead screw technology continues to advance and strategically align with market demands. Helix services the expanding and evolving customer-driven market for precision linear motion products. When you need Acme, Trapezoidal, or Speedy® (high lead) lead screws with a precision low backlash nut, or a state-of-the-art anti-backlash design, we deliver the highest quality and exceptional value to our customers.


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