Three Holiday Gifts Made Possible by the Air Bearing Industry
The holidays are upon us and chances are you are rushing around trying to check all the gifts off your list.
The air bearing industry doesn’t likely cross your mind when considering your holiday gifts. However, did you know New Way® Air Bearings help make many popular gifts possible?
Our Porous Media TechnologyTM is an enabling technology. It removes friction by distributing a thin and stiff layer of air across millions of sub-micron holes inherent to the porous carbon, ensuring an even flow of air. This design enables numerous benefits unattainable by traditional bearing or orifice-based methods, such as:
- Precision Positioning for smooth, Frictionless Motion®️ close to theoretical perfection
- Elimination of Unwanted Motion and associated errors
- No Lubrication Requirements that can contaminate environments
- Higher acceleration capabilities for today’s higher speed applications
- Magnitude Higher Speeds than conventional roller element bearings
- Zero Wear for reduced maintenance and constituent machine characteristics
- Zero Friction for more exact motion
These benefits are just a few of the reasons why New Way Air Bearings are used in a number of popular holiday gifts across a variety of industries. Let’s take a look at three hot holiday gifts and how air bearings make them possible.
Which Gifts Are Made Possible by the Air Bearing Industry this Holiday?
1. Flat Panel TVs
With all the holiday sales, Flat Panel TVs continue to be a hot commodity during this time of the year. It’s quite possible your Flat Panel TV floated across our New Way Air Bars. Available in four product lines, air bars have the ability to convey large sheets of glass without making contact, minimizing concerns of damage or contamination. The porous media provides a crash-resistant design in the event of air supply failure as the air slowly diffuses, decreasing the number of flawed products.
Three of the four air bar product lines offer varying levels of vacuum, allowing for tighter levels of flatness control. This also enables improved handling of large sheets of glass at high speeds, as well as improved stability granting a much higher degree of processing to perform inspections across a large area of the glass.
The combination of these benefits has many glass manufacturers switching to air bars as they are able to increase in both quantity and quality, critical for this industry during the holidays.
With the ever-advancing landscape of technology, computers and smartphones are in high demand. Similar to Flat Panel TVs, the glass used in the monitors/screens are ideal for development with New Way Air Bars. Special coatings are often used for the glass in these products, making the non-contact nature of air bars ideal.
Beyond the glass though is the brains of these products. The wafers and chips embedded in these devices require sub-nano levels of precision and production within a cleanroom. New Way Air Bushings are popular among semiconductor companies for their unique ability to meet these requirements. This ‘tube’ of porous media enables high-speed, short-stroke operations with repeatable high precision, while also meeting Class 1 (ISO Class 3) cleanliness.
The non-contact nature of all New Way products also improves overall operational efficiencies. With no wear/friction or lubrication requirements, downtime for maintenance is significantly reduced. Other pertinent benefits include:
- Sub-nanometer repeatability
- High stiffness
- Straighter motion
- Zero wear
- Zero vibration
- Reduced noise
These benefits allow the semiconductor industry to improve the production yield of wafers/chips to meet the demands for computers/smartphones during peak seasons like the holidays.
3. ‘Smart’ Wearables
Flexible Hybrid Electronics has recently emerged as a popular gift item. While often used in the medical industry, they have also made their way into mainstream living in the form of Fitbits, Apple Watches, and even smart clothing. These ‘smart’ components are printed on flexible films and are conveyed to enable mass roll-to-roll production.
New Way Air Turns are often found in flexible web conveyance applications. Following the success of our Air Bars, New Way Air Turns were made to apply the same technology in a cylindrical fashion.
Despite its name, Air Turns do not actually turn, but rather convey a variety of substrates through a roll to roll process by distributing pressurized air over the entire cylindrical surface allowing the web to wrap over the air turn. It functions similar to an idler roller though without contact, making it ideal for dual-sided coatings. Air pressure can be adjusted to support different material requirements and to manage web tension. Since there are no rotating components, maintenance is significantly minimized over traditional contact rollers.
There is no doubt ‘smart’ electronics ideas will continue to emerge. Innovative technologies like this often find mass production to be challenging or even infeasible, especially for handling flexible materials with coatings. Thankfully, New Way’s Air Turns provide a reliable answer with a non-contact solution, reducing concerns of damage and contamination enabling mass production.
Happy (Frictionless) Holidays!
The holidays are a great time of year to be with family and friends, but we all know friction can sometimes happen! However, when it comes to your operations, you don’t have to settle for friction and its pitfalls. If you’d like to learn more about how these holiday gifts were made and our niche in the air bearing industry, contact us today for a complimentary consultation!