ISUTAMI BEARINGS
en
Robotics and automation bearings introduction
ISUTAMI BEARINGS

Robotics and automation bearings introduction

The use of robotics and automation continues to grow more prevalent across industries, particularly in manufacturing, as companies are realizing the full potential of its ability to reduce costs, boost production and deliver greater efficiency and competitiveness.

Typical industrial robotic applications include welding, painting, assembly, product inspection and testing. As the technology has progressed, automation has demonstrated exponential improvements in endurance, speed and precision, with more sensitive applications in medical and other high-tech sectors becoming common.

With highly choreographed, programmed movement on two or more axes, bearings play a major role in the motion control aspect of this technology. The use of high-precision bearings are an integral consideration for those tasked with designing and maintaining these applications. Bearing life and performance demand that the correct type, material and lubrication are specified.

Single-row deep groove ball bearings, with sizes ranging from miniature to extra-large, are generally the go-to bearing choice for the majority of robotic and automation applications. Thin section bearings are often designed into robot arm joints due to their low mass, space-saving construction and high-speed capability.

Roller bearings are usually the first choice for heavy-duty requirements. Slewing rings are a common selection for the main rotation and associated lift equipment. Hybrid (ceramic balls with stainless steel rings) and full-ceramic bearings are an excellent alternative for operation in a vacuum or other inhospitable environments.

The hazardous environments to which robotic applications are often subjected demand proper contamination protection in order to prevent debris of all types, shapes and sizes from entering the bearing and causing irreparable damage or premature failure.

There are many bearing closure types available, each with their own set of advantages. Regardless of the style, closures extend bearing life by preventing contaminants from reaching critical surfaces inside the bearing and help retain lubricant in the bearing.

Metallic shields make no direct contact with the inner ring, which minimizes rotational torque and helps maximize operating speed. Molded rubber seals (typically made from trusted Buna-N material) make contact with the inner ring, which provides better protection in more contaminated environments compared to metal shields, but would also increase startup and running torque due to seal resistance.

Seals might also decrease maximum rotational speed against desired rpm level, which must be taken into consideration. Depending on the bearing type, combination style seals/shields may be available for extra protection.

With excellent resistance against exposure to certain chemicals, glass reinforced PTFE seals may be a preferred choice, as it also allows higher running speed and less torque resistance compared to rubber seals.

The operating environment, applied load and intended motion profile may also influence the selected bearing material. For harsh or corrosive environments, typical in medical, food service and chemical processing applications, 440C stainless steel is often specified for the rings and balls instead of standard hard chrome steel material.

Proper bearing lubrication is another important consideration in optimizing performance and extending the life of the bearing. For example, in food and beverage processing environments, strict regulatory guidelines often dictate the use of H1 food-grade lubricants – which typically have synthetic, hydrocarbon base oils with urea, polyurea or aluminum complex thickeners – due to the possibility of incidental contact.

The critical functions of the lubricant is to minimize frictional resistance and wear of the moving parts, which are (in the case of bearings) the balls or rollers and the ring raceways. A lubricant that is designed for specific operating conditions will provide a proper load-bearing, wear protective film. The ideal condition maintains separation of these frictional surfaces by this film. Moreover, the lubricant will allow for heat dissipation and overall bearing thermal stability. The proper lubricant selection will avoid rapid deterioration over time as well as offer protection against corrosion, moisture and contaminant ingress.
Related News
  • Installation Of Deep Groove Ball Bearings

    Installation Of Deep Groove Ball Bearings

    February 26, 2019Preload RequirementsFor the required precision deep groove ball bearing drive, such as deep groove ball bearing spindle, there are often preload requirements. These deep groove ball bearing preload ar...view
  • Method for distinguishing the quality of a bearing

    Method for distinguishing the quality of a bearing

    July 28, 2019Here are a few common ways to identify the quality of a bearing:1. Is there any turbid oil on the surface?Since the current domestic anti-rust technology is not particularly good at home, it is easy t...view
  • How to maintain the outer spherical bearing

    How to maintain the outer spherical bearing

    October 1, 2019In general, a outer spherical bearing with will heat up after it starts running, and after a period of time, it is at a lower temperature (usually 10 to 40 °C higher than room temperature). The norma...view
  • Motion Trends: Linear bearings help some CNC machine builders trim cost

    Motion Trends: Linear bearings help some CNC machine builders trim cost

    April 14, 2019BY LISA EITEL Axes on CNC machines to allow spindle movements are mission critical — requiring high accuracy. But doors and other linear axes have different design requirements — with forgiveness an...view
  • Failure form of GCr15 bearing steel

    Failure form of GCr15 bearing steel

    October 13, 2019Bearing steel under the combined effect of complex factors, the bearing is destroyed after a considerable period of operation.ISUTAMI believes that there are two main forms of destruction:One is conta...view
  • How to identify the quality of rolling bearings?

    How to identify the quality of rolling bearings?

    July 28, 2019(1) Identification of radial ball bearingsFor a radial ball bearing with normal technical state, the inner and outer ring raceways shall be free of flaking and severe wear marks, and shall be a bright...view
  • TEL:+86-574-6399-8066
  • FAX:+86-574-6399 8025
  • EMAIL: sales@isutami.com
  • ADDRESS:No.500, North 3rd Ring Road West, Cixi, Ningbo, 315300, China