Precision bearings help robots become a reality

From production equipment and packaging machinery to hospital operating rooms, robots (some of which use EZO brand bearings) are performing increasingly complex and precise tasks faster and easier than ever before. Complex surgeries can now be performed with significantly less impact on patients and shorter recovery times.


On the factory floor, collaborative robots and automated guided vehicles are breaking down the shackles that have traditionally limited automation and starting to work alongside people outdoors. For example, robotic exoskeletons enable warehouse workers to easily lift heavier loads and social care workers to Lifting people in need of care significantly reduces the risk of injury. In the food industry, robots are now used in production environments, as well as for packaging and palletizing, which represents a real development for the industry.


Advances in motor, bearing, actuator and sensor technology, as well as software and communications, have made these developments possible. Chrome steel hybrid bearings, ceramic bearings and slewing bearings are all common in robotic applications, but SMB Bearings customers most often choose thin-section bearings. .


Thin-section bearings provide higher speeds, greater efficiency and high levels of accuracy while reducing friction and increasing design flexibility. Since the inner and outer rings have little difference in size, they also reduce application complexity. The weight and size make it the best choice for robots.


However, because thin-section bearings are so thin, installers must pay special attention to the roundness of the rings. If you operate a thin-section bearing without any lubricant and rotate the inner ring, gently squeezing the outer ring between your fingers and thumb will cause the bearing to Stopped in orbit, the manufacturing process must therefore be very precise to ensure maximum roundness of the two ferrules, as well as good noise levels from the bearing itself. This usually requires fine grinding and machining, supplemented by high quality workmanship and raw materials. If the ferrule is not fully formed, even small deviations can prevent the bearing from running smoothly, causing excessive noise.


When using thin-section bearings, you should choose a low-torque, free-turning and low-noise grease, such as the standard grease used in EZO bearings sold by SMB Bearings in the UK. Greases that are too hard will not produce the best results because It may increase bearing torque to levels that are unacceptable for thin-section bearings.


Greases with a wide temperature range (perhaps -40 to 150°C) are most suitable, allowing the robot to function properly in a variety of applications. It is also important to choose a food-grade grease if the robot is to be used in food or beverage production or packaging. . Choosing the right grease can reduce the power consumption and long-term maintenance costs of the machine itself, which is also one of the factors affecting the overall speed of the robotic arm.