New linear motion technology for mining and oilfield machinery

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New linear motion technology for mining and oilfield machineryTHK, which describes itself as the world's largest dedicated developer and manufacturer of linear motion technology, is introducing its latest range of linear actuators and ballscrews for use in a wide range of mining and oilfield applications. In particular, the latest compact products have been designed to offer exceptionally high levels of positional accuracy and reliability, combined with heavy load bearing capacities and a long, maintenance-free working life.

Comprising a range of robust ballscrews - for particularly rugged applications - and heavy-duty linear guides, the new products are capable of providing smooth and quiet movement, while also being able to transport exceptionally high average dynamic loads with remarkably high levels of accuracy and precision.

In particular, the THK high-performance ballscrews, size-for-size, are claimed to be capable of transporting over twice the average dynamic load of competing devices and of producing double the typical maximum nut speed (the DN value). With load capacities of up to 3390kN and operating speeds of up to 130,000DN, the new ballscrews are especially suitable for applications that demand high-speed, precision movement of larger loads with requirements for long life.

Caged Ball technology

Many of these latest products feature THK's Caged Ball technology, together with a high-speed ball return system that eliminates ball-to-ball contact and ensures that all lubricants are retained; as a result, operation is smooth, silent and virtually maintenance free, with minimal frictional losses that help to cut energy consumption by as much as 33 per cent.

One innovative application concerns a bore hole testing device. The system works by lowering a testing pod down a borehole as a ballscrew actuates a securing fin that pushes against the borehole to secure the pod. The use of the ballscrew ensures exceptionally smooth movement and utilises the fact that the ballscrew can backdrive without any sticking, which could potentially cause major problems. Just as importantly, the ballscrews can operate effectively at depths of down to 40,000 feet and they are designed to withstand temperatures of up to 200degC.

Furthermore, THK's latest models have been constructed using stainless steel, which further protects the rugged units from any potential damage caused by moisture and dirt, in addition to ensuring excellent wear resistance.

A range of accessories is available to enhance the performance of the latest linear motion devices, including the QZ lubrication system that gives significantly extended maintenance intervals with reduced usage of lubricants, and contact scrapers for applications where an additional level of contamination control and protection is required.

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