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Automotive bearings

Automotive bearings

BNL has worked with OEMs and Tier 1 companies to provide solutions for steering columns and haptic controls for nearly two decades. The company is TS16949 accredited across all of its global moulding facilities.

BNL’s integrated steering column bearings can be up to 50% lighter than an equivalent metal solution, with a third of the torque to rotate, contributing to weight savings that encourage fuel efficiency. They include moulded clips to hold the bearing in the column and tolerance absorption features such as crush ribs and flexible fingers. BNL plastic control knob bearings do not need lubrication and integrated design com-bines axial and rotary movement, haptic features and detents, Poke-Yoke details and display features, to produce a single part, which is lightweight and stable.

BNL’s R&D team contin-ually works on improving the company’s prod-ucts to meet the engin-eering challenges of the automotive sector. Using new material research and design techniques, BNL has improved load and speed capability, operating temperature range and strength, with integrated features such as crush ribs and soft-touch silicon labyrinths to handle load and impact, or twin-shot casings for extra strength.

A combination of new materials, innovative design and precisely developed moulding techniques has enabled BNL to manipulate dia-metrical clearances (DC), torque to rotate, natural frequency (NF) and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). By influ-encing DC BNL can expand the operational range of its bearings at higher or variable temperatures. It can ‘tune’ the torque in its automotive control bearings to achieve specific haptics to reflect the proprietary sound and feel of automotive customers’ controls.

BNL has devel-oped design and moulding tech-niques to fine tune for both NF and NVH. These can influence customers’ steer-ing systems by up to 4Hz, providing a performance benefit tailored to their require-ments. These developments all enable BNL to maximise performance of its plastic bearing products, innovating and adding value to steering columns and automotive controls through its designs.

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