Thomson Industries, Inc. has added a real-time special machining configuration capability to its online shaft selector tool. The new functionality lets customers reduce the time spent in customizing round rail shafting for their application needs to mere minutes instead of hours or even days.
Typically, a customer uses the Thomson shaft selector to specify materials, size or other standard characteristics for their round rails, but if they needed any special machining such as threads, reductions, ring grooves or radial holes, they would have to submit a drawing or configure the shaft in a one-on-one session with a sales engineer.
With the online tool’s new add-on feature, customers can configure their shaft’s special machining themselves, interacting with a 2D drawing that updates in real time to reflect how configuration changes impact the design, pricing and lead time. It also avoids compatibility errors, such as spacing conflicts or a radial hole that is too large for the specified diameter, displaying only those options that fit the specified configurations.
“This tool is especially useful to the job shop or machine builders often looking for smaller quantities quickly,” said Charles Isaac, Product Line Manager – Linear Bearings & Guides at Thomson. “They might be redesigning a piece of equipment or entering an early prototype phase. They save time by eliminating the back-and-forth questions that are typically necessary for custom work and could save money by seeing in real time the pricing impact of over-specifying.”
Users access the special machining add-on through the Thomson online shaft selector tool. Once they select the shaft type and material, the special machining link appears alongside the list of recommended part numbers. The configuration tool focuses on the most common customization options available from Thomson, which can be selected for both ends as well as the middle of the shaft.
“With the tool add-on, customers produce a 2D drawing that features all of the pertinent dimensions and tolerances, which they can print out, share or download,” Charles added. “They also have the option to purchase the configured shaft right from the tool interface.”
The Thomson round rail shaft selector tool for ball screws can be found at https://www.thomsonlinear.com/en/products/shafting#products. For any special machining options not shown in the shaft selector tool, customers can work directly with a Thomson application engineer via phone, email or online chat to quickly configure an ideal solution.