Wire race bearings with direct drive combine light weight and high dynamics

Jon Lawson

Franke wire race bearings are modular. The range extends from the pure bearing element consisting of raceways and rolling elements to complete systems with integrated drive and control units.

The trick: by using aluminium components, lightweight construction and dynamics are combined in an ideal way.

The principle is ingenious: With wire race bearings the rolling elements do not run directly in raceways of the mating structure but on special race rings made of hardened wire which are inserted into surrounding structures.

Through this constructive trick Franke wire race bearings allow the individual design of the mating structure and a free choice of material of the housing parts. This makes it possible, to manufacture the housing parts of the bearing tailored to the requirements of the application. It also allows the customer to use alternative materials such as aluminium or even plastic or carbon for the production of the enclosing structure.

Customers receive pre-finished systems with a high potential for savings in weight and drive energy.

In its highest configuration level Franke Wire race bearings are available as complete systems consisting of bearing, drive and control.

The motor is integrated directly into the housing. The static bearing part carries the stator, the moving part works as the rotor of the electric drive.

There are no additional components needed to mechanically set the bearing in transition which increases the efficiency of the system. Through the use of housing parts made of aluminium, the weight of the motor can be more than compensated.

A lightweight Franke bearing with direct drive is therefore still much lighter than a conventional steel bearing without drive. The small masses to be moved also ensure that the engine can be designed smaller and will operate with higher dynamics and speed. These are important benefits for example in applications such as indexing tables or e-mobility.

In mass production they are already installed in high-end CT-scanners. Further applications are filling stations, pick-and-place machines for PCB assembly and initial prototypes of electric vehicles.

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