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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2019, Article ID 7497363, 12 pages
Research Article

Ball Screw Fault Detection and Location Based on Outlier and Instantaneous Rotational Frequency Estimation

1Engineering Research Center of Advanced Driving Energy-saving Technology, Ministry of Education, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
2School of Mechanical Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
3School of Information Science and Technology, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Liang Guo; nc.ude.utjws@gnailoug

Received 12 March 2019; Revised 13 May 2019; Accepted 18 June 2019; Published 10 July 2019

Academic Editor: Emiliano Mucchi

Copyright © 2019 Liang Guo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ball screw, as a crucial component, is widely used in various rotating machines. Its health condition significantly influences the efficiency and position precision of rotating machines. Therefore, it is important to accurately detect faults and estimate fault location in a ball screw system to make sure that the ball screw system runs safely and effectively. However, there are few research studies concerning the topic. The aim of this paper is to fill the gap. In this paper, we propose a method to automatically detect and locate faults in a ball screw system. The proposed method mainly consists of two steps: fault time estimation and instantaneous rotational frequency extraction. In the first step, a statistics-based outlier detection method is proposed to involve the fault information mixing in vibration signals and estimate the fault time. In the second step, a parameterized time-frequency analysis method is utilized to extract the instantaneous rotational frequency of the ball screw system. Once the fault time and instantaneous rotational frequency are estimated, the fault location in a ball screw system is calculated through an integral operation. In order to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method, two fault location experiments under the constant and varying speed conditions are conducted in a ball screw failure simulation testbed. The results demonstrate that the proposed method is able to accurately detect the faults in a ball screw system and estimate the fault location within an error of 22%.