With the range of technologies, designs, and options available for linear motion components, ploughing through the alternatives and making the best decision takes more time and resources than many designers and engineers are able to expend on any individual component. Looking back at the top 10 most-read Linear Motion Tips articles of 2015 confirms this situation.
From primers on common terms and concepts, to comparisons of alternative products for a given application, the articles our readers were most interested in this year were the ones that explain, inform, and educate. If you missed any of these popular posts from 2015, here’s your chance to catch up. And if there’s a topic or product you’d like to see us cover in 2016, please let us know in the comments.
Preload can be a complex concept. This article explains how preload is achieved in both linear guides and in ball screws, and spells out the conditions when adding preload is beneficial, and when it can be detrimental.
Alex Thell, Mechanical Engineer at Nexen group, describes how rail brakes work and how to make the best choice for the application, including calculations for maximum holding force and for distance traveled during an emergency stop.
Ball and lead screws are often used in vertical applications, and their tendencies to back drive differ based on their construction. This post shows how to calculate the back drive torque of a screw and compare it with the friction forces in the assembly, to determine if the screw will hold the load during a power-off condition.
This article explains the concept behind Root Mean Square torque and its importance in avoiding thermal overload of a motor.
Planetary roller screws are a unique type of screw assembly that offer advantages in load capacity over ball screws and in ease of use over hydraulic cylinders. This post analyzes the construction of planetary roller screws and their benefits.
Robert Lipsett, Site Leader and Engineering Manager at Thomson Industries, makes a thorough and balanced comparison of lead screws and ball screws, pointing out the benefits and drawbacks of each for various application requirements.
Circuits, turns, lead, pitch, starts…Ball screw terminology can be confusing, and many terms are regularly misapplied. In this post, we define the most commonly misused terms and show how they are (or are not) related.
Servo motor sizing is often done with the help of a manufacturer’s sizing program, but it’s important to understand the three most critical factors—speed, torque, and inertia—to ensure you select the best-fit motor for the application.
Christopher Hetzer, CEO of Gilman USA, explains the construction and manufacturing of various types of dovetail slides, along with instructions and tips for their selection and operation.
The most commonly recognized robots are SCARA and 6-axis types, but Cartesian robots are actually the most widely-deployed types in industrial applications. This article points out the criteria that call for going one step further—from Cartesian robot to gantry robot—for longer strokes and higher speeds.