Stair Climber Maintenance Tip - Ball Screw Lubrication

Posted by Contributing Editor on Wed, Aug 06, 2014

oil can

Little things can help a lot, like choosing the right oil and grease lubrication for your PowerMate® ball screw technology. To ensure the maximum benefit of your PowerMate® stair climbing and LiftGate equipment, correctly complete the minor routine scheduled maintenance, which can help you realize: the lowest total cost of ownership, improve your PowerMate® experience, and maximize your return on investment (R.O.I.)!

PowerMate® Ball Screw Technology

PowerMate Drive Screw

Keep you ball screw assembly thoroughly clean before lubricating and re-lubricating. The objective is to keep the ball screw assembly and drive screw clear of any debris that may increase friction, torque, or decrease efficiency that could have a negative impact on the life of the assembly.

In order to achieve this, the use of a light weight, three in one machine oil, like you would use for sewing machines, is recommended. Today there are many lubricant products on the market that are ideal and offer an operating range of -65ºF to 375ºF or -54ºC to 190ºC.

The ball screw manufacturer cautions not to use penetrating lubricants or other lubricants that contain either molydisulfide or graphite. Further, the manufacturer also warns that failure to regularly lubricate the ball screw assembly can result in as much as a 90% reduction in the potential life of the assembly - it is that important!

When applying or reapplying lubricant, make sure to wipe the assembly down thoroughly with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth approximately every 40 hours of use. For most PowerMate® users that is about once every two weeks. Lubricant can be applied generously so that a light film covers the entire drive screw. If your PowerMate® equipment is exposed to a dirty work environment, you may have to clean and lubricate your PowerMate® more frequently. If the operator notices the machine is not running smoothly throughout the entire stroke, or a visual inspection reveals signs of contaminants or debris, it is time to clean and lubricate the ball screw assembly.

When applying the lubricating oil, cycle the ball nut along the drive screw by “opening and closing” the PowerMate® stair climber several times.

If you choose to use cleaning fluid or solvent to remove excess dirt from the ball grooves, remember to flush the ball grooves thoroughly before cleaning and re-lubricating.

 Ball Screw Assembly

Like any tool or piece of equipment, take care of it and it will take care of you for many years to come! With care and minor routine maintenance your PowerMate® can last for years and years.  L P International Inc. has been in the business of building and distributing PowerMate® stair climbing and LiftGate products for over 35 years.

LPM-PA049652 PowerMate Blog CTA 2014/04/03d to schedule an appointment for service or re-certification, or to inquire about a “do it yourself” Preventative Maintenance Kit from PowerMate® today!

Tags: lifting dolly, training, ball screw assembly, maintenance, LiftGates, powermate, stair climber