Design time can be reduced while ensuring durability and high performance.

Configured Linear Motion Systems

It is also important, all through the process, to consider whether it might make more sense to purchase a configured linear motion system rather than to design and assemble your own. In this case, you would provide the requirements of the application to a linear motion integrator such as the mounting configuration, positioning requirements, environmental conditions, loading conditions, move requirements, and any special considerations. The integrator would then typically utilize a Web-based sizing and selection system to design and configure a custom linear motion system based on your input. The integrator can often provide a quote and CAD file of the proposed design within 24 hours of your request. The cost of such a system will be less than the cost of the individual components, in most cases.

This approach can typically reduce engineering time and assembly cost by 90% or more and can often provide a savings in material cost of 20 to 30%. Most important, by reducing the time spent on designing linear motion systems, your engineers will spend less time working in an area outside of their core competencies, and more time focusing on what they do best — overall system integration.

In summary, take advantage of all useful resources to save design time. Don’t overlook the ability of linear motion vendors to provide configured linear motion assemblies that can help you reduce engineering and assembly costs. Evaluate the alternatives of purchasing components versus modules, versus complete systems in terms of their impact on design and assembly time. Use, to your advantage, all available design tools such as charts, formulas, online selection systems, and 3D models. Finally, engage technical support to leverage their product expertise in standard, modified standard, and specialty solutions. Be sure to confirm that the vendor has design verification/testing/analysis data to back design claims and design positions. This approach can reduce design time to a minimum while ensuring that linear motion systems meet performance and durability requirements.

This article was written by Al Ng, Director of Engineering - Rails, Guides & Components – at Thomson Industries, Inc., Wood Dale, IL. For more information, Click Here.

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