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Miniature metric ball screws provide high load capacity in a small footprint  

The ball return system delivers a smaller assembly with higher load handling capacity

Thomson Industries has announced the availability of new German-engineered and manufactured miniature precision ball screw sizes that provide best-in-class load capacity in a small footprint. The Thomson miniature metric ball screw line uses a unique multi-start ball return design that maximises support for higher loads. This design provides precise, smooth, and quiet operation for applications requiring high precision and load handling in confined spaces.

Using more balls enables higher loads to be supported. Thomson miniature metric ball screws accomplish this with a unique multi-liner return system that maximises the number of circuits and loaded balls in the nut. 

A miniature metric system with a multi-liner return system, for example, deploys 168 balls in eight circuits to support 7.6 kN of static load, as compared to a single-liner design, which would use 84 balls in four circuits to support only 4.2 kN. Maximising the number of balls within a single nut also extends the life of the system by spreading the load across multiple points. Furthermore, the Thomson multi-liner return system floats axially to compensate for misalignment.


Thomson miniature metric ball screws are suitable for designers who specify linear motion components with minimal space requirements. Common applications include:

Diagnostic and life science instruments, such as chemistry analysers

Test and measurement equipment, such as torque testers

Fluid pumping, such as medical infusion pumps

Robotics and pick and place equipment, such as engraving, scanning and printing machines


New Thomson miniature metric ball screws with the multi-liner ball return system are now available in 8 x 2.5, 8 x 5, 10 x 2, 10 x 3, and 12 x 2mm diameters. Additional size options are currently under development. Mounting interface options include threaded, flanged or cylindrical.

All options feature carbon steel construction, high-performance repeatability (0.05mm backlash), and ± 52µm/300mm standard lead accuracy (T7). Miniature metric ball screws can also be ordered with higher lead accuracy, preloading and custom coatings such as thin dense chrome and black oxide coating.

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