Drives and Controls Magazine
Linear guides offer ‘the world's highest load rating’
Published:  11 June, 2014

The Japanese bearing-maker NSK has developed a range of linear guides that, it claims, have the world’s highest load ratings and will last twice as long as conventional guides. It has achieved this by developing a novel ball groove shape that optimises the contact surface pressure distribution, resulting in a significant improvement in operating lives.

Linear guides are used in variety of applications, including robots, machine tools and other production equipment. To improve productivity and extend maintenance intervals, they need to last a long time. The guides support loads through a contact mechanism between balls and the ball grooves. The technology used to produce the grooves thus determines the guides’ lives.

NSK says that the new ball groove shape in its NH and NS series linear guides achieves more than twice the life and 1.3 times the dynamic load rating compared to its conventional LH and LS series products. And because the new guides are compact and have long lives, it is possible to use smaller devices.

These new guides have the same installation dimensions as the LH and LS products, allowing them to be used as direct replacements without changing application designs. In addition, NSK’s K1 lubrication system, which provides maintenance-free operation for extended periods, can be used with the new guides.

NSK says that its new linear guides will last twice as long as conventional designs

NSK is launching the NH and NS series linear guides in July 2014 and hopes that they will achieve global sales worth 2.5 billion yen ($24.4m) in 2015.