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Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

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V guides deliver reliability in harsh environments

V guides deliver reliability in harsh environments

Linear guides encompass a wide range of different technologies, all designed to provide a backwards and forwards movement. One of these technologies is Hepco’s V guide technology. Its principle functions on the basis of tight geometrical control over matching slide and bearing Vs.

In turn this provides a wiping action in operation with the speed of the bearing at its circumference being faster than the speed at the root diameter of the V. The resulting action causes dirt to be pushed to the extremities of the bearing. The wiping action has actually two benefits; not only will dirt be wiped away, but oil from the bearing cap seals is wiped across the V providing lubrication to the system.

Hepco’s V guides are designed for reliability in environments where other product types fail. Typically, a system comprises a rail, four V bearings and a carriage plate for mounting the components.

Importantly, once the rail starts to show signs of wear it can be adjusted quickly to remove any play and restore the running quality back to its original condition, thus costing nothing in replacement parts. What’s more, if one of the V bearings fails then it can be replaced individually and not as a whole assembly.

Strengths of V technology

With V technology, only a small amount of lubrication is required to prevent wear of the slide. Whether the load is radial or axial, the slide V surface contact area is accurately matched to the bearing V, ensuring an even distribution of load. Within reduced load parameters V slides can also run dry; very beneficial in certain scientific or food applications.

V guide systems may appear as more expensive than traditional ball guide systems. However, reduced maintenance costs and increased product life often result in a lower life-time cost.

Design considerations

Lubrication is a consideration that favours the selection of V guide systems, such as GV3, particularly for those designing machines used in the food, medical or cleanroom application. It goes without saying that often these sectors cannot tolerate the presence of oil or lubrication. V guide systems work perfectly both with and without lubrication, largely because the bearings are greased internally during manufacture and then sealed for life.

Designers are increasingly focused on ensuring lower maintenance costs for production machinery, and this is another area where linear guides, such as Hepco’s V guide technology deliver. V guide technology does not succumb to premature slide wear, even in hostile environments.

Traditional ball guide systems often require two rails to be mounted in parallel. Applications may also require designers to include mounting plates etc, increasing design time. Hepco’s systems can be supplied as an assembled solution, reducing design and set up costs.

Typical applications

Linear guides, such as Hepco’s V guide range of products, are incredibly tolerant of debris, as opposed to linear ball guides which often fail catastrophically following the ingress of dirt, dust or debris. This is because V guide systems have a self-cleaning action, which means that any contamination is wiped away by the V bearings as they run along the rail. In industries where there is fine, abrasive dust and high levels of contamination, like the glass industry, a V guide system offers clear advantages.

Packaging is another typical application that favours V guide bearings. Packaging lines are often required to work 24/7 in order to meet demand and users are looking for low maintenance solutions that provide long-term reliability. Hepco’s GV3 linear slides give unrivalled performance over long periods with no need for those minor adjustments that so often trouble other solutions.

GV3 is a superior V-based linear guide designed to serve a diverse range of automation and linear applications. Key features include:

  • A unique wiping action expels debris, keeping machines running and reliable
  • The linear system can operate with or without lubrication
  • Linear guides can operate in any plane or orientation
  • GV3 can be provided as an assembled unit or as automation components
  • V slide systems can operate at high speeds
  • Precision ground running surface ensures a low friction and high accuracy system
  • Hepco’s GV3 is one of the quietest linear systems available
  • Suitable for a wide variety of environments from clean rooms to hostile conditions
  • Linear bearings can be adjusted instead of being replaced, reducing maintenance costs.
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