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Frictionless Linear Motion for Vehicle Testing

Frictionless Linear Motion for Vehicle Testing

Frictionless Linear Motion Enhances Your Competitive Chances

In the October 2014 McKinsey Quarterly, in an article titled ‘A Road Map to the Future for the Auto Industry,’ Paul Gao, Russell Hensley, and Andreas Zielke noted that “The automobile, mechanical to its soul, will need to compete in a digital world.”

It is this confluence of the digital and the mechanical that informs the level of precision required for today’s automotive testing. As mechanical componentry continues to get smaller, lighter, and yet more robust, next-generation electronics are often measured at the nanometer…or even the micron…level.

To compete in both worlds, automotive engineers need testing equipment that can get down to that level. Frictionless Motion® is the solution.

Removing Friction from the Dynamic Testing Equation

Whether you’re involved in R&D, materials testing, quality assurance, inspection, performance testing, safety, or certification, your dynamic testing applications need to give you an ‘honest read.’ Unfortunately, friction is always a factor, standing in the way of accurate answers.

New Way Air Bearings® is particularly well-suited to the creation of frictionless linear motion solutions. New Way Porous Media Technology™ distributes air pressure through millions of sub-micron sized holes across the entire bearing face. This microscopic layer of air creates an entirely non-contact solution. No contact. No friction.

The Benefits of Frictionless Motion

frictionless linear motionAir bearings are virtually friction-free, providing almost infinite resolution and repeatability. They are an order-of-magnitude faster than rolling element bearings, and they deliver greater acceleration.

There are no internal moving parts. There is no wear, just consistent performance. These bearings provide straighter motion, smooth and silent operation, higher dynamic stiffness and more precise positioning. And because there is no contact, there is no need for lubrication.

New Way Air bearings can scale to accommodate automotive parts, components, or even full vehicle tests.

Air Bearing Components Provide Inexpensive DIY Integration Options

New Way’s flat air bearing components, in round or rectangular configurations, make it easy to apply frictionless linear motion for vehicle testing, often far less expensively than off-the-shelf assemblies. These porous media products provide a simple non-contact solution, floating on a 5µm layer of air above a guide surface.

For linear motion where preloading is difficult or impossible, New Way created the vacuum preloaded air bearing, using vacuum as a preload. By adjusting the vacuum and pressure, the fly height and stiffness can be optimized for precisely-controlled automotive testing.

New Way Air Bushings are engineered to enable inexpensive ‘rail-type’ linear applications on common steel shafting. Air pressure is distributed evenly across the ID of the bushing, creating an 8 µm layer of air (at 60 psi) between bushing and shaft. This allows for non-contact linear motion on standard shafts with surface finishes of 16 RMS or better.

Bonded bearings are another way to build your own frictionless linear motion assemblies. Originally designed for New Way’s linear slides (see below,) these low-profile porous media components are ideal for automotive testing applications, made-to-your-order in numerous rectangular configurations.

thrust bushings and air bushings

Linear Air Slides Provide A Frictionless Packaged Solution

An alternative to air bearing components, New Way Linear Air Slides combine an accurate guide with an air slide ready-fit for installation. This provides you with the convenience of a compact, integrated guide and bearing system for automotive testing.

New Way offers three different types of standard slide assemblies: End-supported air slides, dovetail slides, and boxway slides. These stages provide an array of end-supported, or continuously-supported configurations, and feature a straightness of motion and dynamic response often an order-of-magnitude better than conventional rolling element bearings.

Another option is the New Way Airway™ Linear Motion Guide System, pre-engineered to match the form factor and the footprint of conventional rolling-element-bearing systems. With this assembly, automotive testing engineers can simply remove an existing ball-bearing truck and rail, replace them with an airway system, and immediately reap the benefits of frictionless linear motion.

New Way Porous Media Technology is Inherently Crash-Resistant

Whether you choose to use New Way components or slide assemblies for your vehicle testing needs, you’ll get the added benefit of crash-resistance. These products are manufactured of porous carbon, itself inherently a bearing surface.

If your shop air ever goes down, the damping effect of the bearings’ porous carbon surface on the air flow will slow the linear motion gradually. Further, the natural lubricity of the material provides a ‘soft touch’ on landing. This prevents costly damage to both the bearing and the guide surface.

Frictionless Linear Motion Enhances Your Competitive Chances

Whether you are involved in testing for body, powertrain, or chassis components, for safety or driver interface, zero-error ability remains the objective.

Unfortunately, according to KPMG’s Global Automotive Executive Survey 2017, “Diminishing breakdowns and failures is not a unique selling point anymore in the automotive sector, but rather a prerequisite to compete in the market.”

Now you can leverage that prerequisite with cost-effective, repeatable, frictionless linear motion. Whether you’re mechanical to your soul, or digital, New Way Air Bearings enable you to compete at the nanometer level in today’s dynamic automotive testing marketplace.

Contact New Way for all your Frictionless Needs!

If you’re ready to put us to the test right away, contact New Way today for your complimentary consultation!

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