Simplicity Bearings Help ADI Make De-Burring Unit

Advance Design Industries (ADI) in Sheffield Village, Ohio, has used PBC Linear's Simplicity bearings in a de-burring system that removes burrs from hobbed gears. The de-burring system was made using a series of drive platforms, a robot with grinding-tool attachment and brushing stations.

To accurately and repeatedly position the various stations in a multitude of pre-programmed locations, ADI required a linear motion system that could endure the contaminated environment and heavy loads of the application. To accomplish this, it turned to PBC Linear products. For the de-burring system to succeed, ADI required a linear-motion technology that could perform less than 50,000lbs (22,680kg) of load in a dirty, industrial machine-tool work area. De-burring is the process of removing burrs, or excess protruding material, from large gears (70-120in [1778-3048mm] in diameter).

Eventually these gears will be utilised as the driving mechanism for applications such as crane turn tables and energy-efficient wind turbines. The de-burring machine rotates the gear through the robotic grinding station, then through each brushing station for an assured and smooth end-product. Excess material that isn't removed could result in noise, binding and installation problems. Three drive platforms as well as the robot and brush stations, riding on the PBC linear bearing system, adjust to the locations for various sizes of geared rings.

An immense load (50,000lbs) and harsh environment restricted what technology ADI could use for linear motion. Ball-bearing systems would deteriorate with vibration and spall shafting under the heavy load. Excess dirt, dust and particulate can collect in the ball cages, resulting in stalling and catastrophic failure. The drive platforms, though very important to adjust for different gear sizes, are seldom used for day-to-day functions; this means they require a linear system that needs little lubrication but still provides smooth and reliable performance when needed.

For this application, ADI favoured plane bearing technology due to its ability to thrive in contaminated environments and sustain even disbursement of forces against the small point of contact provided by ball-bearings. Additionally, the bearings need to prevent stick-slip, a common problem to bearing systems that are not routinely in motion. As a result of previous application success, performance and cost efficiency, ADI decided to implement Simplicity bearings as the linear-motion system for all stations of the de-burring machine.

Simplicity self-lubricating linear plane bearings require little to no upkeep maintenance, excel in harsh environments and handle heavy-load applications. This is due to the bearings' design and Frelongold liner. Simplicity bearings can run for years under constant or intermittent use. The low friction self-lubricating system requires no additional grease or oil (as long as application is within design criteria). Frelongold can also handle up to 20 times the load of a traditional ball-bearing.

The Simplicity bearing wipes all dirt, dust and grime clean off the shaft - providing a reliable, smooth and long-lasting linear-motion system. Simplicity bearing/shafting assemblies were installed into the system's drive platforms and robot and brushing stations. Testing was conducted over a period of two months, with the bearings performing without failure. ADI is now looking into manufacturing additional gear de-burring systems guided by Simplicity technology.


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