Lead Screw Accuracy for Liquid Dispensing and Fluid Management Applications

Christopher Nook by Christopher Nook

Helix Linear Technologies designs lead screws, custom machined and molded nuts and linear actuators to suit specific application loads, life, accuracy, and other performance requirements for use in medical fluid management.


Clinical medical automation and laboratory automation go hand-in-hand with the linear motion industry. In the current pandemic landscape, precision lead screw and nut assemblies combined with linear actuators play a crucial role in improving clinical and laboratory medical device fluid handling efficiency, speed, and reliability. Automated liquid handlers also ensure consistency, accuracy, and safety by eliminating variations in processes and timing that are typical in manual dispensing/sample-handling methods. Helix Linear Technologies engineers and manufactures high-accuracy linear motion components for a broad spectrum of medical equipment, including syringe pumps, insulin pumps, infusion pumps, liquid drug delivery, laboratory pipetting automation, and other Gantry (Cartesian) robotics used for fluid handling, sample extraction, and liquid dispensing.

In liquid dispensing and fluid management applications, especially piston pump applications, lead screw assembly accuracy offers high resolution for metering on a milliliter and microliter scale. The precision screw rolling process at Helix Linear Technologies provides industry-leading linear accuracy at fractions of a revolution with lead screw diameters as small as 2 mm. Our in-house rolling die design and process controls result in high accuracy within a revolution (thread drunkenness) and reduced once per revolution errors. Helix Linear Technologies also uses an in-feed rolling process that allows threads to be rolled on a select portion of the lead screw while maintaining end features that can be machined to your drawing or specifications to accommodate larger bearings, gears, and other means to support and drive the lead screws. 


Custom Nut Capabilities to Meet Your Unique Medical Fluid Management Needs

Helix Linear Technologies designs custom machined and molded nuts to suit specific application loads, life, accuracy, and other performance requirements for use in medical fluid management. Based on your application environment, material selection factors include chemical resistivity, temperature, and the need for sterilization. Specially engineered features, like quick-release nuts, can allow the user to disengage the nut from the leadscrew, moving it back to the original start position. Quick-release nuts can utilize various split, hinged, clamshell, half nuts, or cam style mechanisms to meet the specific functionality for the application and ergonomic requirements of the user.  Helix Linear produces anti-backlash nuts with wear-compensating technology and custom mounting features to fit the application. We can often manufacture the nut to incorporate the part that the nut is being attached to, resulting in a reduction of components and eliminating assembly errors related to stack-up of tolerances.  


Advantages of Helix Linear Lead Screw Assemblies and Linear Actuators in Medical Fluid Handling Applications

  • Precision thread rolling process providing high linear accuracy up to .0001"/inch
  • High lead angle thread (multi-start) for faster speeds
  • Lead screw diameters as small as 2 mm
  • No lubrication required, ideal for sterile or clean environments
  • Low or no maintenance
  • Longer product life 
  • Quiet operation
  • Specialty nuts engineered to fit your application needs
  • Value-added assemblies and sub-assemblies
  • Component reduction and reduced-space designs
  • Anti-backlash assemblies.
  • High bi-directional repeatability.
  • In-house custom thread die design and manufacturing
  • Quick prototyping

Our engineering team of medical linear motion experts is here to assist you every step of the way -- from concept to testing to production. Contact us today to optimize your machine's performance and life cycle by including lead screw assemblies and linear actuators from Helix Linear Technologies.


 Contact Our Medical Linear Motion Project Engineers >


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Additional Reading

Maintain Syringe Pump Precision at Lower Cost with Lead Screws

Case Study: Maintaining Syringe Pimp Precision