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Precision Ball Splines for Rotary and Linear Motion Integration

Thomson precision ball splines facilitate rotary and linear motion on the same shaft.

Thomson Industries, Inc. offers a line of precision ball splines that enable robust delivery of rotary and linear motion on a single shaft. These new components give designers more flexibility to compress an assembly, extend a stroke, distribute a load or otherwise meet modern automation demands.

"Ball splines have provided an elegant, single shaft solution for integrating rotary and linear motion on a single shaft assembly but did require some extra effort and lost some ground to pre-packaged, multishaft solutions. Meeting today's industrial automation demands, however, requires more design flexibility than pre-packaged assemblies can provide, and we are proud to be offering machine builders this new family of ball splines for high-precision applications," said Charles Isaac, Global Product Line Manager-Linear Bearings and Guides at Thomson.

Ball splines exploit the low-friction torque transmission capabilities of rolling balls and augment that by adding one or more axial grooves, also known as splines, along the assembly shaft. That opens a low-friction path through which the balls move to facilitate low-friction axial displacement, while also transmitting torque.

The new line of Thomson high-precision ball splines is suited for high-speed operation in compact spaces such as laboratory automation or semiconductor pick & place assembly. They can automate functions that a human might otherwise perform, like opening the cover of a sample jar and pouring it in a test tube. And they are especially cost-effective in industrial robotic applications that require high-speed, precise integration of rotary and linear motion without the wide freedom of movement of robots.

Thomson precision ball splines are available immediately in lengths up to 300 mm; diameters between 6 mm and 30 mm standard. Larger diameters of 40 mm and 50 mm are available upon request. They can handle loads up to 1,000,000 Nm, speeds up to 10,000 RPM and with precision of ± 17 microns with or without flanges. Thomson also has extensive customization capabilities to tap holes, add step-down assembly for a radial bearing, build in coaxial holds or provide just about any modifications a user may needed to integrate the ball spline unit into their machine.

For more information contact:

Thomson Industries, Inc.

1500 Mittel Blvd.

Wood Dale, IL 60191-1073


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