Recirculating ball guides or rails with bearings? The answer depends on the application and the advantages that the two products can offer.

Recirculating ball guides are certainly the most common type of linear rails, and are used in a wide range of applications. This technology offers many advantages in terms of load capacity, precision and moment control. However, in some conditions and applications, their strong points can become limits. In these cases, it is preferable to use other solutions, such as Compact Rail, linear guides with bearings and induction hardened and ground raceways. Compact Rail is fast and quiet, and allows for deviations in parallelism and height offset.


CompactRail_T_U_EN.jpgRecirculating ball guides are high precision products and can manage heavy loads in all directions. However, to obtain these results, these rails must be mounted parallel with great accuracy. When the assembly surfaces are not perfectly precise, the assembly can become both time consuming and costly. Problems with parallelism cause excessive wear which dramatically reduce the life span. In these cases, Compact Rail can become an efficient solution, as it allows deviations in parallelism and height offset and reduces the assembly time. Other important advantage is that the base surfaces usually do not need any machining.

CompactRail_K_U_EN.jpgCompact Rail consists of three product series; fixed, compensating and angle bearing rails. The use of fixed bearing and compensating bearing rail (T+U-system) solve the problem of aligning two assembly surfaces. Compact Rail compensate for axial movement of a slider of up to 4 mm for parallel misalignments.

In a similar way can a combination of compensating rail and floating rail (K+U system) manage both parallel deviations and angular errors up to 2°.


Another advantage with Compact Rail is that it can handle environments where dirt and impurities occur, which is a problem for other types of linear rails. Debris and impurities become an obstacle for some rail types and prevent the sliders to operate easily. Compact Rail has raceway cleaners on both sides of the slider which enables the slide to work efficiently even with impurities in the raceways.

A common problem in a wide range of applications is corrosion, particularly in environments with high humidity or refrigerant liquids. One example is applications outdoors. Another is applications where the components are exposed to corrosive liquids, detergents or frequent cleaning, such as machines and automation systems for the food or pharmaceutical industries.

Compact Rail is available with different surface treatments to manage most environments, no matter how demanding they are. Options with approval for use in the food industry, are also available.


Adjust_CompactRail.jpgMore often than ever, production and industrial environments are the first to demand silent handling systems. It is a fundamental requirement for compliance with noise control regulations and to guarantee a healthy and functional workplace. There are also sectors, such as healthcare, where it is very important to avoid disturbances of the patients. Compact Rail is the perfect choice for these applications since it guarantees a quiet and smooth operation.

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