Linear Slides

 

Linear Slides

New Way® Linear Slides provide a noncontact alternative to conventional, contact-bearing-based slides. Packaged as an integrated system, New Way Linear Slides comprise a porous carbon media air bearing, housed in an aluminum stage, and matched to a precision ground, aluminum guide rail.

The linear air slides product line is built using our patented air bearing design and our foundational Porous Media Technology™, which removes friction by using a stiff, thin layer of air as the medium of motion between the bearing face and the guide surface. The natural permeability of the carbon ensures an even flow of air, offering improvemes in both precision and operational efficiencies, as well as a robust, crash-resistant design.

Precision Machined, and Machined for Precision

A key differentiator of New Way Air Slides is our unique mechanism for integrating the Porous Media™ slide against its guide rail. We use vacuum replication to position the stage securely against the rail, eliminating vibration and harmonic noise. This process results in superior stability as well as straightness and stiffness, allowing for you to achieve nanometer-level precision of motion without hysteresis error.

Technical Report 3 covers the application of our vacuum-replaced bearings for high speed, high-precision machine tools, and proves how valuable this technique is. The air bearing’s uniquely positive correlation between stiffness and damping (known as the squeeze-film effect) combined with vacuum replication against the guide, quantifiably produces greater straightness and reduced resonance.

Air bearings achieve all of these benefits while also reducing maintenance time and cost to near zero. Because air bearings are a noncontact technology, there is no wear and tear on rolling elements, and thus, no need for lubrication to prevent—or more appropriately, forestall—the spalling which inevitably affects rolling element- and ball-bearing based systems.

Four Solutions—Same Fundamentals

New Way offers four types of linear slides to accommodate a wide range of customer needs and requirements. All built on our foundational Porous Media Technology™, each type provides off-the-shelf options, with varying slide sizes and rail lengths available. Custom solutions are also available.

End-Supported Air Slides

End-Supported Air Slides

The simplest and most straightforward solution, end-supported air slides are designed for situations where continuous support of the slide structure is impossible or impractical. End-supported slides are often used in a gantry or X/Y-axis configurations, but can also be used along the Z-axis by fixing the stage and moving the guide bar.

Dovetail Air Slides

Dovetail Air Slides

The dovetail series of air slides features a lean, low profile track, providing consistent, high acceleration even with moderate loads. The guide bar is mounted in continuous support configurations. These linear air slides can also be stacked, and include mounts for encoders and noncontact linear motors.

Boxway Air Slides

Boxway Air Slides

The Boxway series combines our widest stage with a T-shaped rail, allowing for the largest load capacity of our linear slides. Boxway slides are continuously supported and also include mounts for noncontact motors and encoders.

Airway™ Linear Motion System

Airway™ Linear Motion System

The Neway Airway Linear Motion Guide System is designed as an alternative for existing rolling-element guide systems bolted to a flat surface. Once the current system has been unscrewed and removed, the Airway System is designed to seamlessly replace it, bolting into the previous system’s place. It is used in the same manner, but now with all the benefits of Frictionless Motion™.

Cleanroom Compatibility

End-Cleanroom Compatibility

The unique properties of porous-media-based air bearings make them ideal for uses in cleanroom environments where particle generation and infiltration must be kept to an absolute minimum. Because the porous media itself acts as a sub-micron filter, the very nature of the air bearing filters air into the cleanroom environment. Furthermore, noncontact bearing technology means no lubrication which can become aerosolized, or bearing spalling which can eject particles into the local environment.

Our internal testing, which you can view and download on the right hand side of the paget, demonstrates how New Way’s full line of air bearings meet ISO class 3—and arguably ISO Class 1—standards for cleanroom airborne particulate limits.

  • No Contact
  • No Noise
  • No Wear
  • No Lubrication
  • High-speed
  • No vibration
  • Nano-precision positioning
  • Increased reliability
  • Crash resistant
  • Clean Room Class 1 Compliant
  • Increased operations time
  • Less maintenance downtime

Applications

New Way offers four types of linear slides to accommodate a wide range of customer requirements. All built on our foundational Porous Media TechnologyTM , each type provides standard off-the-shelf options in terms of slide size and rail length. Custom slides are also available.

Semiconductor
  • The semiconductor industry requires maintaining high-speed operations at nanometer levels of precision to ensure both quantity and quality.
  • Cleanroom conditions are the norm and not the exception, making porous media air bearings the ideal choice for removing concerns about outgassing and lubricant.
Micro-Machining
  • The stiff, even air film provided by porous media allows for sub-nanometer-level precision and creates a crash-resistant design, minimizing potential damage.
  • Manufacturing efficiency is improved as maintenance downtime is virtually eliminated.
Coordinate Measuring Machines
  • Noncontact motion coupled with vacuum replication, provides nanometer level, hysteresis-free motion for truly accurate measurements.
  • Versatile design for XY- and XYZ-gantry configurations enables vertical applications for probes and sensors, as well as traditional horizontal applications.
Optical Grinding
  • With vibration and harmonic noise removed, grinding operations achieve repeatable, precise motion.
  • An air film free of lubricants eliminates outgassing concerns in a contaminant-free environment.

Linear Slides Product Line

Discover the benefits, applications and specifications of non-contact linear air slides


End-Supported Air Slides
end-supported air slides
End-Supported Air Slides

Dovetail Air Slides
airway linear motion guide system
Dovetail Air Slides

Boxway Air Slides
dovetail air slides
Boxway Air Slides

Linear Motion Guide System
Linear Motion Guide System



CUSTOMER PROVEN SOLUTIONS

Airpel’s Use of Air Bearings Proves Excellence in their Product Line

Airpel’s Use of Air Bearings Proves Excellence in their Product Line

Airpot® Corporation, an industry leader in force pneumatics, motion, and displacement, turned to New Way® when they wanted to test their latest product. While Airpot has a long history of providing linear actuation and motion damping across their product line, they too, like New Way, recognize the value of Frictionless Motion™, which guided the development of their Airpel-AB Air Cylinders.

New Way Solves Straightness & Flatness Constraints for Axis

New Way Solves Straightness & Flatness Constraints for Axis

New Way partnered with Axis New England, a firm specializing in robotic and machine automation for the lithography, semiconductor, and precision optics industry. We provided them with a solution built on flat round air bearings to meet the needs of a customer who produces ultra-high format printers, allowing for high speeds and precise positioning.

Questions

If you have any questions about the application, installation, or use of linear slides, please feel free to contact us so we can discuss what New Way Air Bearings can do for you!

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