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Optimizing Performance

  • From the thousands of choices, which rail and carriage options
    should you consider for your specific application?
  • Finding the right linear guide for a specific application can be challenging.
    We suggest you contact our application engineers and authorized distributors or
    check out resources in this website. For a link to additional catalog information,
    fill out our Application Analyzer.

  • How can bearing preload impact maximum application yield and machine life?
  • The higher rigidity obtained with preload can improve yield and accuracy; however, this could also shorten the machine life.

  • How can you accurately predict the effect of load orientation on maximum load capacity?
  • Round rail is highly impacted by load orientation, while Profile rail has less sensitivity to orientation. Check out the polar load capacity charts in Round rail catalog – just fill out the Application Analyzer for link to our online catalog.

Balancing Installed Costs

  • How do you control installed costs for a given accuracy requirement?
  • Don’t overspend by defining higher accuracy than is required for your application. For example, a round rail may do the job in applications often specified to use square rail. Contact our application engineers to you ensure you don’t over design for your application.

  • What’s the best way to balance load capacity vs. machine life?
  • The higher the load, the shorter the life for a given capacity bearing. By choosing a different bearing you can positively impact/balance that relationship to suit your application. The geometric envelope is also important, which limits the choice of possible bearings for the application. Equations can be found in our catalog that describe the relationship between load capacity and travel life – just fill out the Application Analyzer for a link to our online catalog.

  • How does the mounting surface choice impact installation time and total machine cost?
  • The more accuracy you need, the more time and expense will be required to prepare the mounting surface. Choosing round rail over profile rail can significantly reduce the need for expensive mounting surface preparation. Make sure to specify only the accuracy and rigidity needed for your application to limit your costs.

Extending Machine Life

  • What environmental factors impact linear guides and eventually machine life?
  • An environment’s corrosiveness, humidity level, contaminants, airborne particulates, chemical compatibility, unpredicted (variable) impact loads, wash down, and many and many other factors should all be considered when determining the speed, accuracy, acceleration and travel distance of your linear guide. Know the environment well and consult with experts to predict the impact of your application’s environment.

  • What component trade-offs can have the greatest affect on machine life?
  • Multiple component choices can, at varying cost, carry the same load. You can balance cost against travel life, depending on the specific needs of your application. Again, don’t over design your machine, consult with the linear guide experts at Thomson.

  • How do you prevent premature wear from misalignment of the rail system and drive screw?
  • Obtaining proper alignment is essential for preventing premature wear. Proper alignment is achieved as the result of either of the following two methods:
    1. Design an inherently aligned system by controlling tolerances that rigidly locate the components.
    2. Address alignment during the assembly process by following good installation guidelines.
  • For either option, be sure to contact our application engineers or refer to our catalog for additional information. For access to our online catalog, just fill out the Application Analyzer.

Use the Application Analyzer