Solutions for avoiding thermally induced dimensional deviations of workpieces have become more crucial than ever for the machine tool building industry. Thermal drift is primarily caused by feed axes on the basis of recirculating ball screws. The temperature distribution along ball screws can change very rapidly by feed rates and moving forces.
Machine tool builders and users have options for combating thermal and other discrepancies. Active cooling, symmetrically designed machine structures and temperature measurement are common practice today. But there’s another discussion too, one of feedback. The types of encoders and their feedback loop with the control can actually either mask or reveal distortion, which can be the difference between an on-spec part and extra finishing.