Schaeffler is promoting its Linear Quick-Centre service for the rapid delivery of machined shafts and linear guidance systems to customers in the UK.
The Schaeffler Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of linear guidance systems and machined shafts. Globally, Schaeffler manufactures in excess of 10km of shafting for customers every day. John Loonam, Linear Product Specialist at Schaeffler (UK) Ltd, states: "The shafting comes off the linear production line in Germany continuously at walking pace, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
As a Group, Schaeffler offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of linear guidance products in the world. A wide range of linear shafting is available with or without related linear guides or bearings. Shafts are available as high-precision solid (one-piece), hollow or machined shafts made from quenched and tempered steel to rolling bearing quality.
Solid shafts can be supplied with outside diameters from 4mm up to 80mm with shaft tolerance to H6 (other tolerances are available on request). For mounting, solid shafts can be supplied with radial and axial threaded holes or manufactured to suit individual customer specifications.
Shafts made from standard CF53 are induction hardened and ground. Hollow shafts are only available in quenched and tempered steel. As an alternative to CF53, customers can request solid shafts with corrosion-resistant steels - for example, in X90CrMoV18 - which offers a surface hardness equivalent to that of stainless steel. These steels are suitable for food processing applications, medical equipment and semiconductor processing equipment.
A variety of coatings can be applied to solid and hollow shafts, including hard chrome plating, Schaeffler's Corrotect, Protect A and Protect B. Corrotect is resistant to neutral, organic fluids such as oil, brake fluid and petrol. It is also resistant to aqueous salt solutions in the pH range 5 to 10. Protect A is a thin layer of chromium plating with a pearl structure, which acts as an anti-wear layer even under mixed friction or slippage conditions. Protect B is a thin layer of corrosion-resistant chromium plating covered by a chromium mixed oxide, which supports the lubricant in high temperatures and aggressive environments.
Hollow shafts are available with outside diameters from 12mm up to 80mm, with shaft tolerances of H7. All coatings can be applied to hollow shafts, except X46 and X90.
Solid or hollow shafts can be supplied in lengths up to 6m, although longer lengths can be machined (butt-jointed) to specific customer requirements.
Schaeffler has a large stock of shafts available from its UK Linear Quick-Centre, which is located at the company's UK manufacturing plant in Llanelli, South Wales. This facility enables Schaeffler to offer UK customers rapid deliveries on linear systems, rails, shafts, cages and carriages, as well as customer-specific machined shafts.
John Loonam comments: "No other manufacturer of linear guides or bearings has a facility like this based in the UK. The Linear Quick-Centre has enabled Schaeffler to reduce UK customer lead times significantly over the past two years, especially on low-volume linear products and shafts. It means we can offer customers 48-hour emergency support on cut-to-length shafts. Custom, machined shafts are generally available on three- to five-day lead times."
The Linear Quick Centre can machine shafts up to 6m in length, with diameters between 5mm and 80mm. Monorails can also be machined up to 6m in length. Materials include induction-hardened steel, stainless steel and aluminium support rails.
Loonam continues: "We have invested in new machinery and more toolmakers, which gives us a highly-skilled, flexible workforce comprising 26 toolmakers – all apprenticeship-trained. This enables us to meet any customer request for machined shafts and linear components. We have a very well equipped toolroom with CNC machining centres, CNC lathes, CNC cylindrical grinding machines, turret mills, automatic cut-off machines, turret drills, deburring machines, centre lathes and face grinding machines. This enables us to machine complex shafts in-house and manufacture product designs to customer requirements."
Examples of rapid shaft deliveries from the Linear Quick-Centre include linear shafts with machined flats, grooves, drilled and tapped holes, or shafts manufactured to very close tolerances. Accessories such as mounting blocks, plain bushes, brackets and other fabricated items have also been supplied.
As well as shafts for linear motion, typical customer applications include hydraulic rods, spindles for fans, and drive shafts.
For more information on Schaeffler's range of shafts and linear guidance systems, call the Marketing Department on +44 (0)121 313 5870 and request a copy of the WF1 catalogue. Alternatively, email .