Ball bearings are probably the most widely used components in machines after gears. They provide a way to minimize friction while providing precise rotary motion and stiffness. Ball bearings are everywhere.
But a bearing does not work alone, you need a way to clamp it to your mechanism, a preloading system and the integration of additional functions might require few more parts. Not only these parts have a cost, but you have to spend some time on the assembly which is a recurring cost.
Let’s take a very simple and widely recurrent example: An idler pulley for a belt or string. The idler mechanism is composed of a pulley, a bearing, a shaft, a washer and a screw. 5 components.
During the assembly, the operator has to press the bearing in the pulley, apply Loctite to the screw very carefully not to contaminate the bearing, and finally clamp the screw to a given torque using a torque wrench. As you can understand, not only this takes some time, but also introduces risks during the assembly.
Did you know that you could use a custom bearing that integrates all these parts together?
Here is a recent example using nearly the same concept:
From a design perspective, it will take less time for an engineer to integrate such a simple part. Talking about simplicity, this ball bearing will be more reliable that the previous system due to lower parts count. Assembly is faster, precision is higher, and risk is lower.
Overall, the recurring cost for the feature is reduced by using a custom made bearings and reliability is improved.
On top of geometry, using a custom made bearing means you are in control of the materials. Can’t lubricate? High temperatures? Chemical environment? Foodstuff? Electrical isolation required? Using engineering plastics like PEEK, ceramics, glass and composite material are options to add functionalities to your design.
Are you using or planning to use bearings in your mechanism but you are short of ideas regarding the way to fit multiple features and parts into a single bearing?
Here are few use cases:
Sprocket integrated within a ball bearing:
Helical spur gear integrated within a ball bearing:
String groove integrated on ball bearing:
Clamping screw integrated on the inner race of the ball bearing for a roller mechanism:
Most bearing suppliers are only able to machine standard ball bearings.
Adamant Precision supplies stock and custom bearings and gears to suit your designs. If you think you could benefit from such custom components or if you want to learn more please visit our website and get in touch
Adamant Precision can also support you in the design of such bearings and gears, please get in touch through our website if interested.
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