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May 2018

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Linear Bearing CAD Models and More on the Fly

NB Linear Mobile app home screen

NB Linear Mobile app "search" screen

After "buy" is selected, enter the part number or series name in the search icon in the top menu, then the CAD 2-D or 3-D model can be instantly download. Its PDF spec sheet can be selected. It can be added to favorites and shared.

Two linear ball screw actuators

The CAD model of a linear ball screw actuator

A product's CAD is downloaded in seconds in the engineer's required native and neutral formats.

"Made by" screen

"The linear motion control industry is being revolutionized by mobile app capabilities," said an NB Corporation of America spokesperson. "Mobile apps put products and specification information at an engineer's fingertips, interchange one manufacturer's component for another's in a design and download CAD models right onto the phone or tablet in seconds, whereas the average time to download a CAD model on a computer is 15 minutes."

Using mobile apps, engineers can brainstorm anywhere a meeting is called. Trade show presentations can be customized to a visitor's needs, and spec sheets and CAD can be quickly downloaded, printed and emailed.

Although a design engineer may be designing on one or multiple computer screens, smartphones are being used in motion control design to speed the incorporation of components into the design process. "Whether engineers know what component they need and just require the CAD model, or need to look up a linear guide, slide or ball spline in a catalogue, now they can do it easier and faster from a mobile app than from a website," said the spokesperson.

From an app, engineers can interchange one manufacturer's component for another's by entering the product number of the linear bearing into the interchange function, resulting in another manufacturer's comparable product number.

Downloading CAD is quick and instantly usable because it is in the native CAD format desired. So, in addition to the end user not having to either recreate the 3-D model manually or start by looking at a 2-D drawing, he/she will not get a format that is not compatible with their system. Typically, the apps have over 20 native and neutral formats available.

On at least one mobile app there is a rated life calculator. It calculates the life of a specific product that the viewer has identified, such as one from NB's Slide Guide series. Users can print or email the results in a PDF format.

Why Mobile is so Fast

Dan Koivisto, a technical consultant for CADENAS PARTsolutions, a software developer and online CAD catalog provider, describes creating the CAD catalog for just such an app. "We are the engine behind the CAD but we do not have static CAD models stored. We create them on the fly, as configured and requested by the customer. This approach is very `lightweight' and versatile, which is how they are so accessible via mobile devices and email. This is how NB Linear, Nippon Bearing's app, is able to provide instant 3-D previews and instant downloads in hundreds of 2-D and 3-D formats."

Typically, engineers will figure out what part they want aided by the app, check specifications, download the CAD model and email it to their computer. They will then call or email the manufacturer to actually order it. The manufacturer forwards the order to a local distributor for quick fulfillment. If the engineers have questions, the app emails the manufacturer while they are still on it.

Finding the Right Product

On the NB Linear Mobile app, users identify what product is needed by choosing a product type and clicking on "Buy NB Products." This directs them to a listing of specific part numbers, or if they have a product part number, they can enter the part number or series name in the search icon on top menu. From there they can download its CAD, spec sheet, add to favorites or add it to the cart.

To find NB's product that will be interchangeable with a different manufacturers' product, NB Linear Mobile app lets users choose from various different manufacturers. From the menu bar, select "Product Interchange." Choose a manufacturer and enter a part number and click "Go." Users can then download the part's spec sheet or CAD. Once the NB part number is identified and entered into the CAD download function, the eCAT Viewer by Cadenas launches and can be configured and emailed in seconds.

Benefits to Sales Engineers and Distributors

Brian Pinkham, NB Corporation's National Sales Manager, noted that some distributors do not even use NB's website any more. They just use the NB Linear Mobile app because it is just so much quicker.

If a distributor is using it, they already know what they are looking for. The customer can tell the distributor a part number from another company and the distributor can, for instance, use the Interchange Function to get an NB part number. He can immediately interchange on the app and send the customer a CAD within five minutes.

Other Functions

NB Linear Mobile app has the latest News and Exhibition Schedule, which can be announced via push notifications. Tradeshow schedules can be added to the calendar in mobile devices. Products can be added to the Favorite Product List from product search and product interchange.

For more information contact:

NB Corporation of America

930 Muirfield Dr.

Hanover Park, IL 60133


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