PARCO’S LINEAR MOTION SOLUTIONS | ALUMINUM T-SLOT
Linear Motion Solutions Using T-Slot Aluminum
The shortest path between two points is a straight line. In the automation industry, this is achieved through a linear motion system. Most systems are custom-made with t-slot aluminum profiles along with dynamic components. T-slot provides a level of support, guidance, modularity, and durability that other materials can’t offer. At Parco, we offer a multitude of t-slot and components to help design your linear motion system. We will work with our equipment and our technical partners to assist you in building your industrial linear motion, conveyor or robotic solution that is efficient, lean, and meets your industry requirements.
Linear Motion Foundation and Guides
Typically, you have a mounting surface of base profiles that allows the system to rest on end supports. Guidance is achieved through either ball guides, wheels, or slides/prisms.
Ball guides: These guides have high stiffness and tend to carry the heaviest loads. These types of guides move with little friction and come in either single or dual rail configurations.
Wheel guides: Like ball guides, have high stiffness and can travel quickly with low friction. With wheel guides, shock damage is possible.
Slide or prism guides: These guides run on the profile’s surface with polymer bushings. This allows for quiet motion, and the ability to withstand high shock loads and environments where dirt, oil, dust, or chemicals are present.
Linear Motion Drive Technologies
Belts, leadscrew, and ball-screws are the common drive technologies used in linear motion systems. Below we will explain them further for you.
In a ball-screw drive, ball bearings move along grooves in a threaded shaft, the ball screw, and turn through a ball nut. Since the bearings share the load, ball-screw drives have relatively high thrust capacity. With ball-screw drives and t-slot, there is total accuracy because the profiles are machined precisely to specifications.
Leadscrew drives cannot match the accuracy of ball-screw drives; however, their quietness and repetition capability are very useful in transport cycles. They are used in low to medium-duty applications that require transport.
For high-throughput transport applications, belt drives are utilized. Their speed and velocity allow them to move quickly. Typical velocity can be measured with belt drives up to 10 meters per sec. Acceleration can go up to 40 meters per second squared.
Ultimately, you can make various combinations of the above, but not every setup will make sense. Most practical applications will utilize one of the following:
- Leadscrews driving ball or slide guides
- Ball-screws paired with ball or slide guides
- Belts driving slide, ball or wheel guides
Lubrication and Seals
Most guide and drive systems will require lubrication. There are several ways to achieve this and reduce preventative maintenance in the future. One way to do this is by incorporating a lubrication system. As mentioned above, prism guides have a polymer that has inherent lubrication, therefore making them maintenance-free.
Seals are useful with t-slot as they keep lubrication and contaminants out. From magnetic seals to plastic cover bands, sealing technology is easily implemented with t-slot profiles.
Motor Mount Options
With mounting options, it is imperative that the motor housing and coupling mate properly to the motor flange, pilot, and shaft. Most motor dimensions meet NEMA standards, thereby making them easy to mount in any application.
This essential component can either be stepper, servo, or induction. Different applications will have different motor requirements. For linear actuation, there are two motor mounting options: inline or reverse parallel.
Inline: This mount option allows for the motor to sit in line with the actuator with a spider or rigid coupler and a servo that connects to the actuator’s driveshaft. This mount configuration is longer than the reverse parallel but offers less height.
Reverse Parallel: This mount option has the motor parallel to the actuator and coupled to the actuator drive shaft by way of gears, belts, or pulleys. This mounting option takes up less space than an inline option and provides more flexibility.
Parco Linear Motion Systems with T-Slot
At Parco, we offer t-slot and components to help design a linear motion system. Some of our components include:
We can also provide free design and advice for your application. The following will be helpful for us to help you get started.
- Establish system orientation
- Set positioning requirements
- Inform us of environmental conditions
- Supply load and applied force
- Set up move profile
- Select options
With the above information, we can help design a linear motion system that will suit your requirements and needs. We provide various robotic and automated solutions to various industries. If you would like to learn more about how we can help design a system for you, feel free to contact us.