Thomson Super Smart Ball Bushing Linear bearings, already available in U.S. Inch and European Metric models, are now available in Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) sizes. This advanced bearing technology provides up to six times the load capacity or 216 times the travel life of conventional linear bearings. As a result, OEMs who specify Super Smart Ball Bushing bearings can minimize machine downtime and reduce machine costs through the use of smaller, more reliable and less expensive bearings and 60 Case LinearRace shafts.
"Super Smart Ball Bushing bearings represent a true breakthrough in linear motion technology, with features and capabilities that are unmatched in conventional linear bearing technology," says Al Ng, director, engineering—linear bearings & guides. "For example, they feature universal self-aligning bearing plates that are extremely forgiving of misaligned housing bores and shaft deflection, and promote uniform ball loading over the entire length of the bearing plate and optimized distribution of the load between ball tracks. This maximizes bearing life and eliminates the need for derating factors commonly required for linear guides."
Super Smart Ball Bushing bearings have coefficients of friction as low as 0.001 for ultra-smooth operation, and deliver reliable performance at steady state speeds up to 3 m/s and acceleration up to 150 m/s2. Double lip integral wipers keep contaminants out and lubrication in, further maximizing bearing life. Additionally, combining Super Smart Ball Bushing bearings with Thomson 60 Case LinearRace shafting improves shafting life by a factor of five when compared with the use of conventional shafts and Super Ball Bushing bearings.
"In addition to the obvious benefits such as superior load capacity or travel life, using smarter technology can have a dramatic impact on overall costs by enabling machine builders to use smaller and less expensive drive motors, belts, gears and ball screws than is possible for OEMs who use high-friction, plain bushings," explains Ng.
Thomson offers numerous resources to help machine builders specify the optimum linear bearing and shafting for a given application, including a linear bearings product selector and interactive 3D models as well as a LinearRace shafting product selector and configuration tool.