New Way Air Bearings® is always proud to be on the cutting edge of innovation in manufacturing. However, production isn’t restricted to medical imaging, aerospace, or energy industries. With temperatures dropping and the holidays just around the corner, we also think about how Frictionless Motion™ through our Porous Media™ air bearings can help produce the toys and gifts we look forward to this holiday season.
From household goods to flexible hybrid electronics applications, ramping up production to accommodate the increased demand is no easy feat. Manufacturers and OEMs need to be prepared to run production lines 24/7 without fear of maintenance or unexpected downtime. To this end, air bearings offer resilient, maintenance-free operation to produce a wide array of toys, electronics, and even seasonal beverages.
Additive manufacturing is both a means to produce products and the product itself. The personal 3D printer market was recently valued at 1.69 billion dollars in 2020. Including both machines and printing itself as a service, the expected value is 13.8 billion dollars in 2022.
Desktop-sized 3d printers are an excellent Christmas gift for children, as they provide a low-cost entry point into modeling software, prototyping, and a hands-on introduction to the iterative engineering process. Meanwhile, their industrial cousins from companies like Stratasys are providing rapid prototyping and even end-use-ready components in additively manufactured materials like titanium and high performance polymers.
Through our Porous Media Technology, New Way bearings provide numerous benefits to the next generation of additive manufacturing. Completely inertia-free motion enables our air bearings to form XYZ stages with nanoscale accuracy, enabling precision below the already precise +/-0.01mm tolerances of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) methods.
The most critical components to innumerable gifts for both adults and children are semiconductor components. These chips are responsible for lighting up action figures and powering smart electronics like tablets and gaming consoles. Porous Media air bearings are well-suited to semiconductor production thanks to their ISO Class 3 cleanroom standards. This allows for around-the-clock production into highly controlled environments without the need to change bearings which are beginning to spall or outgas.
Air bearings are already proven in the semiconductor industry, with decades of usage in retrofitting Canon stereolithography stepper machines. We upgrade machines from contact bearing-based solutions to air bearing stages, in concert with authorized rebuilders and Canon themselves.
LCD’s and Flexible Displays
The production of Flat Panel Displays (FPD’s) is among New Way’s top-served industries, with many OEM’s having adopted our Air Bars for transporting glass via non-contact conveyance. For both large and small screens, the unique combination of positive and negative pressure offers complete control of a moving substrate, allowing for rapid transit through a production facility.
Flexible displays are relatively new to the consumer market, and they’ve already made an impact. Samsung is already on the fourth iteration of their Galaxy Z Flip, and it’s surely a hot holiday item for many. These displays require unique handling methods common to flexible substrates and films, as traditional methods can induce contact based defects. Thanks to our Air Turns, flexible displays can be manufactured rapidly and with minimal rejection due to their non-contact conveyance and tunable fly height.
We’ve all got our favorite holiday drinks. Whether it’s a warming winter ale or eggnog for the whole family, seasonal production of food and beverages can strain production and packaging lines. Quickly adding new capacity can push workflows to their limits or cause you to skip regular maintenance. Thanks to New Way’s components for food and beverage markets, our air bearings offer an unparalleled degree of reliability to keep bottling lines running smoothly around the clock.
If you have questions about a specific application discussed in this blog or want to get in touch about how porous media air bearings can benefit your business, please contact us, and our dedicated engineering team will get back to you!