Linear bearings offer higher performance and lower noise

Paul Boughton

Thomson's high-performance Thomson 500 series profile rails now come as standard with an enhanced carriage design that delivers 66 per cent smoother operation with up to 50 per cent lower drag than previous models. Additionally, a ball spacer carriage option is available to reduce carriage running noise by up to 6dB. Moreover, these enhanced models are 100 per cent interchangeable with previous Thomson 500 series carriages and rails.

According to Thomson, the new design optimises the surface interfaces between steel and plastic transition areas along the ball bearing circulation path for more precise operation. New standard end seals provide twice the protection from contaminants compared to competitive products, with optional low-drag end seals for lower-friction requirements. Additionally, new optional 440B stainless carriages and rails deliver corrosion-resistant operation for applications such as medical, electronic assembly, semiconductor, and food and beverage applications.

Tom Dwyer, the business unit manager for Thomson Profile Rail Bearings, comments: "Thomson 500 series profile rails have four longitudinal seals per carriage to provide much better contaminant protection than competitive designs that typically have just two longitudinal seals. An additional lubrication reservoir enables longer running time between servicing, while easy-change end caps and seals can be replaced in seconds to help maximise machine uptime."

The optional noise-reducing ball spacer carriage is available for 500 series profile rails in sizes 20, 25, 30, 35 and 45. The noise reduction is achieved by inserting plastic discs between the ball bearings, thereby preventing the balls from contacting each other or bumping into the ball track. All external carriage dimensions are exactly the same, making it a simple drop-in replacement for current ball carriages.

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