Uncover the Three Benefits of Porous Media™ Bearings for a Precision Rotary Table!
X-ray inspection systems are in high demand. Known for their ability to identify anomalies, they have become crucial to ensure quality and proper operation across a wide range of industries:
- Food Packaging
While high-tech software systems are in place to analyze the images, an accurate image must first be collected. Inherent to the image collection are the precision rotary tables found inside the housing system. These tables are the same used in machining or milling of precision tools.
The precision rotary table in its simplest terms is composed of a motor/drive assembly and a spindle. However, the fundamental component to obtaining the necessary precision in data collection is the spindle.
Like most products today, the options for a spindle can be limitless. Many companies today are using air bearing spindles because of their superior precision, not to mention the relief from burdensome maintenance requirements.
But not all air bearing spindles are created the same. Here at New Way®, we empower customers with the knowledge to understand the differences, enabling a more informed investment.
It’s All in the Design
A transition from traditional oil-based bearings to air bearings is by far a step in the right direction. The use of pressurized air provides the necessary lift and separation, removing friction and creating a cascade of benefits:
- Improved Precision
- Higher Speeds
- No Wear
- Less Heat Generation
- Decreased Maintenance Downtime
Taking a closer look at this technology, one typically finds two designs.
- Orifice compensation utilizes a series of hole(s) or grooves to supply the air.
- Porous media utilizes the natural permeability of porous carbon. Millions of holes inherent to the material enable the distribution of air.
The key differentiator is how the air is distributed. With limited holes/grooves, an orifice-based design can become unstable and develop pressure gradients. The natural permeability of porous media enables an even distribution of air.
This fundamental design difference directly affects the operations of a precision rotary table, including its end product—which could be an X-ray inspection of the pacemaker designed for you or a loved one. Let’s look at three ways this design difference benefits precision rotary table operations.
Three Benefits of Porous Media in a Precision Rotary Table
1. Crash Resistant
One of the biggest issues with orifice-based design is their response in the loss of air supply. The pressure gradients developed during operations force a damaging crash to the bearing and likely surrounding equipment. In the event the bearing becomes scratched, the balance of the bearing is altered. When more air is leaving than the orifice supplies, the unbalance causes a crash even under normal air supply.
These scenarios become particularly problematic as we see increased use of precision rotary tables across a large number of industries. Operations are impacted while machines are repaired and cost is incurred for replacement parts.
Alternatively, porous carbon material naturally acts as a restrictor of air. In the event of an air supply failure, the surfaces gradually make contact, minimizing damage concerns. Even in the event of scratching, porous media has proven resilient. Again, the even distribution allows a severely scratched face to continue to operate. Higher speeds can be safely reached without concern of crashing and resultant damage.
2. Higher Precision
Air bearings offer improved performance over traditional bearings in the area of precision. Coupling the manufacturing imperfection of the balls with multiple rotating surfaces, asynchronous and synchronous errors manifest impacting the precision. Thankfully, air bearing technology overcomes this with the removal of moving parts.
The pressure gradients inherent in an orifice-based design cause instability, resulting in a harmonic noise which must be understood and compensated for. However, this is easier said than done and can result in errors affecting the precision of operations.
Overcoming all of this, the porous carbon material offers surface averaging effects creating an even distribution of air, with virtually no asynchronous error and low synchronous error. Instability is eliminated along with its associated noise, enabling nano-levels of precision demanded by today’s industries.
3. Improved Reliability
Air bearings in general present an improved reliability over traditional bearings because there are no moving parts to fail. The porous media design takes this all a step further. With the improved precision and crash resistant design, the customer can be confident their precision rotary table is producing accurate results, every time.
A New Way for Precision Rotary Tables
The advantages of an even distribution through the use of porous media is why New Way utilizes its Porous Media Technology in all of its products. New Way has several components which, when paired with a motor/drive can create a precision rotary table to your specifications.
T-Series Air Spindles provide our highest levels of precision ideal for precision rotary table operations. Available in several standard sizes in both round and square stator configurations, our T-series spindles provide off-the shelf frictionless rotary motion with the tightest air gap, narrowing radial and axial error motion up to 0.1 µM.
Thrust Bushings can be utilized as a precision rotary table by floating the table on top of the thrust face. While not as precise as the T-series spindles, customers have successfully used these in applications. Thrust bushings are available in a range of standard sizes.
For precision rotary tables requiring the least amount of precision, we offer a unique combination of our Flat Round Bearings and Air Bushings. By placing the flat bearings in a ring configuration with the air bushing as the center ‘spindle’, a precision rotary table can be created.
Each of these options need to simply be paired with a motor/drive for the application. In the event a customer is also looking for a motor/drive to integrate, New Way has distributors experienced in providing motors/drives to complete the creation of your precision rotary table.
Why Are You Waiting?
Whether it’s for an X ray system inspecting a life-saving medical device or for machining critical electronic parts, New Way has the components available to create a precision rotary table to meet your requirements. Start harvesting the benefits of porous media’s increased precision and reliability in your operations. Contact us today for your complimentary consultation to determine the right components for your precision rotary table!