HepcoMotion has published a new White Paper, Why Vee Guides are Often the Best Choice, which explains why Vee guides are frequently a better alternative to profile guides or ball rails utilising internally recirculating balls, particularly where harsh operating conditions are encountered.
The White Paper outlines the main arguments in favour of Vee guides (often referred to as Vee slides), as follows:
- Easier maintenance
- Often the bearings can be replaced on their own, not the entire linear system
- Simple incorporation of a rack-and-pinion drive because the rack can be machined integral with single- or double-edged rails
- Reliable operation in dusty or dirty environments because of the inherent wiping action between the Vee guide rail and the corresponding Vee bearing
- Only minimal lubrication is required between the Vee guide rail and the bearing, and some systems can be run dry (which is useful for some scientific or food industry applications)
- Vee guides can perform well with short strokes (down to 20mm) and longer travels at high speeds (up to 8m/s) without compromising service life
- Easy mounting of parallel guide rails because the required tolerance for parallelism is lower than for ball rail systems
- Parallel bearings can either be configured with one Vee bearing and one flat track (with crowned rollers) or two Vee bearings (with floating needle roller bearings accommodating any parallel misalignment)
- A choice of accuracy grades means machine builders designing lower-specification systems do not have to pay for unnecessarily high accuracies
- Design features to reduce assembly time (everything from a keyway for locating on dowels, through to rack-driven carriages complete with gearbox and pinion)
HepcoMotion argues that its GV3 Vee guide product line offers many advantages over traditional ball rail products, both for the machine builder and end user (the White Paper contains considerably more detail than is summarised above). While ball rails have often become the default choice, the company says machine designers should consider the advantages of the GV3 system, as well as the similar heavy-duty HDS2 system and the SL2 system that features stainless steel Vee guides and bearings.
Follow the link to download a free copy of the White Paper, Why Vee Guides are Often the Best Choice, or request a copy by telephoning +44 (0)1884 243400 or emailing (please mention MachineBuilding.net).