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Flow Systems Waterjet Overview

Published in Galleries on 3/01/2018 by Ballscrew Guys



Y-Axis service and inspection. While there are protective covers for this axis, the garnet based abrasive material gets everywhere. Finding its way into the bearing systems all throughout the machine. This must be cleaned out periodically, or bearing raceways and components will get destroyed.


The X-Axis on Flow Systems Water Jets are typically the most problematic of all the axis’ on the machine. Because the Y-Axis and cutting head are on a flying arm gantry, only supported and suspended on a single offset side of the machine. Because to this, the farther the cutting head is away from the X-Axis, the more looseness in the system shows up. Effects of bearing wear in the Linear Way Guide (LWG) system and the X-Axis Ball Screw are amplified because of gantry arm wiggle. Because of this, simply refurbishing the X-Axis Ballscrew is not enough to correct X-Axis looseness. The LWG Slider blocks will often need to be refurbished at the same time.

Correct Looseness

To correct the X-Axis looseness on the Flow Systems Water Jets, the Linear Way Guide Bearing Blocks or Sliders need to be cleaned out of old grease mixed with abrasive cutting media. These blocks are located under the protective X-Axis covers. So their lube fittings are often ignored or missed during the regular Preventative Maintenance of the machine. Because the entire cutting Gantry rolls with offset force on only four of these blocks, wear from lack of lubrication comes quickly. Not just to the bearings inside of the blocks themselves, but wearing down the bearing tracks on the guide rails themselves. Ballscrewguys removes each of these bearing blocks and completely cleans them out. Measuring the wear on the old balls. We then repack your bearing block sliders with oversized ball bearings. Eliminating the slider to rail looseness, while matching the new worn track radius of the guide rail. Making an essentially like new sliding systems without the cost of new guide blocks and rails.

Belt Drive System

The X-Axis Ballscrew is normally on a fixed ball screw with a rotation bearing and belt drive system. In most cases the rotation bearing is a German sealed type made by INA. Very seldom does this bearing need service, and work on this assembly is not included in the standard X-Axis refurbishment pricing. The drive belt is a fairly standard item. We recommend replacement when the X-Axis is rebuilt. At the very least installing a new belt on the end of the screw, making replacement fast and easy should the old belt break.

Y-Axis Direct Drive

The Y-Axis often requires accurizing along with the X-Axis. Unlike the X-Axis which typically is belt driven rotation bearing style ball nut on a fixed ballscrew, the Y-Axis will be a direct drive system connected to the motor with a spinning screw. To rebuild the Rexroth style Ballscrews, the entire ball nut has to be wound off the end of the ball screw shaft.

Y-Axis End Bearings

This is a Y-Axis end bearing assembly from a Flow Systems Waterjet. The ball bearings were severely worn due to frequent contamination from the Garnet abrasive used in the cutting process. The invasive nature of this media is the main problem in all the motion systems of the machine. End bearing replacement is strongly recommended to accompany Y-Axis ball screw service, ideally a pair of end bearing parts should be ordered so that they will arrive before service is scheduled. The dimensions of these are relatively common. Cheaper sealed versions are typically available from local bearing supply places. However, they will often not be to Flow System’s exact specifications and might not last as long.

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