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There is a grinding noise when the slide is in rapid feed and it seems to be coming from the ballscrew. I would hate to purchase a new unit only to find it was not causing the noise. What do you suggest?
It can be difficult to determine exactly where on a machine a particular noise originates because of a machine base's hollow section casting and natural resonance. Ball screw noises are particularly elusive because the screw itself can act like a guitar string causing noises to be transferred from one place to another. Faulty servo drive motors will often exhibit a growling or grinding noise when the servo control is experiencing a problem or there is arcing in a DC servo motor. If your machine has a DC servo motor, then the first thing to check is the condition of the brushes and the amount of carbon dust inside the motor. If the brushes are worn then dust from them will cause severe arcing and motor instability. If arcing is a problem, it is unlikely to be remedied by a simple cleaning and the motor will usually need to be cleaned and baked at a professional motor repair shop.
As already stated, it can be difficult to locate the cause of sounds like you describe, it could be from thrust or support bearings, the motor to ball screw drive mechanism or even the ball screw itself. The only way to be sure that it is not the ballscrew is to remove it for inspection.