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LINEAR MOTION


FEATURE


SELECTING REPLACEMENT LINEAR SYSTEMS


Bob Love, Schaeffler UK, outlines the top five points that engineers, maintenance technicians and service providers should consider when replacing linear profile rail systems in existing machinery


hen a linear system has reached the end of its useful life, often the easiest thing to do is to replace it with a like-for-like linear system from the original equipment supplier. However, this may not necessarily be the best choice for your machine or your business. Replacing a linear system with a product from an alternative supplier could be more beneficial. When a supplier receives a linear system enquiry for replacing existing used product, certain factors need careful consideration:


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1. SIZE AND LENGTH It is important to provide the linear supplier with accurate information on the size and length of the rails and carriages, as well as the type of carriage (ball or roller). Do not simply rely on the markings. If the rails are butt jointed, joint positions should also be indicated.


2. RAIL END DIMENSIONS Rail end dimensions should be provided. These include whether the dimensions are symmetrical or non- symmetrical, as well as the centreline of the first and last hole to the end of the rail.


3. NUMBER OF CARRIAGES PER RAIL AND DESIGN STYLE The number of carriages per rail and the design style are also important.


Typically, the design style of the carriages is either rectangular or flanged but other more obscure styles do exist.


4. NUMBER OF RAIL SETS, IN PARALLEL, IN THE MACHINE The number of rail sets, in parallel, needs to be provided, e.g. two parallel rails per set.


5. TYPE OF MACHINE The type of machine being maintained is important to the support staff when selecting your precise product, because much information can be included from knowing the base application. Providing a photograph of the application to the linear supplier can also prove very useful. In addition, depending on the machine type and operating environment, various options are specified for the linear system - such as coatings or special lubricant, seal kits, or lubrication accessories for specific conditions From this base data, a reliable


selection of a replacement linear system can be made by a reputable supplier, with qualified and trained support staff. Receiving the right replacement linear system will enhance the machine’s life and reduce the total cost of ownership.


Schaeffler www.schaeffler.com


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