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Low Cost Automation Tutorial

#071 Sliding Guides - 1: Introducing Various Sliding Guides

Category : Linear Motion Components
April 8, 2011

The sliding guides are fundamentally comprised of guides (also called the shafts, rails) that constrict the motion trajectories and moving members (also called the bearings), and the following characteristics are required.

1. Support the moving loads.
2. Small and stable moving force.
3. Provide assured long term stable accuracies under high speed/acceleration operations.

The items 1 and 2 above are static performances (not associated with motion), and 3 is a dynamic performance (associated with motion). Sliding guide selection and structural designing will require basic knowledge shown below.


Here, representative linear sliding guides, rotary guides, and curve guides are explained.

(1) Linear Sliding Guides

Linear sliding guide is a mechanism allowing linear movements with accuracy and with little friction of linear motion units such as air cylinder driven units.

Linear Sliding Guide TypesCharacteristicsMISUMI FA Catalog Products
Linear Guides with Round Shafts ([Fig] a, b)
-Single shaft config. if rotation regulation not needed
-Large DIA guides for load support
-Friction reduction mechanism can be added
-Linear Bushings
-Oil-free Bushings
-Jig Bushings
-Miniature Ball Guide Sets
Linear Motion (LM) Guides (Guides) ([Fig] c)
-Selectable performance criteria: Friction reduction, High rigidity, High accuracy
-Linear Guides
-Slide Way
-Slide Tables
Gib Guides (Flat gibs, Triangle rails) ([Fig] d, e)
-Wide variety of performance levels such as low cost and ultra high performance (#) achievable due to low parts counts.
-Linear Guides
-Guide Rails (#: Air bearings, etc.)

(2) Rotary Guides

Similar thoughts as above are also applicable to rotary shaft guides (ball bearings). Inertia applicable on linear motion does not apply to rotary motion, and advanced ball bearing technologies are used to obtain high speed guiding characteristics.

(3) Curve Guides

For curve (circular-arc, etc.) guides, linear motion guides formed into curvature driven by motors and ultrasonic motors are used.