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Five Advantages of Linear Slides Using Porous Media™

Five Advantages of Linear Slides Using Porous Media™

Linear slide systems serve as the backbone for managing materials for high-precision linear operations, such as:

  • Coordinate Measuring Machines
  • Optical Grinding
  • Semiconductor wafer/chip production
  • Micro-machining

Smooth motion is critical for these applications, sending manufacturers in search of the system with the lowest coefficient of friction. Yet most traditional linear slide designs (e.g. ball bearing, roller) still produce friction causing a host of disadvantages:

  • Imprecise operations
  • Misalignments
  • Travel accuracy and limitations
  • Wear and tear
  • Frequent lubrication

These factors make it more difficult (e.g. costly) to achieve the required precision. In some situations they become the barrier to achieving the next levels of precision, potentially stifling a technological breakthrough.

Did you know New Way® offers a frictionless alternative? Let’s take a closer look at their unique design and the benefits they offer over traditional linear slides.

Five Benefits of Porous Media™ Linear Slides

New Way’s Linear Slides feature Porous MediaTM air bearings coupled with a precision-ground aluminum guide rail to provide non-contact motion. At the core of this product is New Way’s signature Porous Media Technology™. This differentiating design utilizes the natural permeability of porous carbon to distribute air evenly across the bearing surface. A thin but stiff film of air is produced, removing friction between the bearing and guide. The guide and bearing are integrated using our signature vacuum replication process, eliminating harmonic noise and vibration.

This integrated system provides five distinct benefits:

1. Improved Precision
With friction removed, concerns over vibrations and heat generation affecting performance dissipate. The even air distribution creates smooth motion, overcoming even stiction issues that often plague traditional systems.

2. Improved Straightness & Flatness

New Way End-Supported Linear Slide.New Way products have been used to meet straightness and flatness requirements to five microns. The evenly distributed air preserves travel accuracy over long travel (up to

six feet), removing the need for costly tools (e.g. interferometer) to manage misalignments.

3. Reduced Maintenance Operations

With no contact between the rail and the slide, no lubrication is required and parts

replacement cost/time is significantly minimized. Manufacturers experience

improved operational efficiency with these changes in maintenance operations.

4. Cleanroom Compliant

Air bearings are ideal for cleanroom environments. Porous Media naturally serves as a sub-micron filter for particulates. New Way products have been demonstrated to Class 3 and analysis supporting up to Class 1 cleanliness.

5. Crash-Resistant Design

Even air distribution is ideal for situations where the air supply becomes lost. Air slowly diffuses out of the bearing slides, allowing for a soft touchdown onto the rail, minimizing damage to the rail, allowing the linear slide system to continue operating normally.

New Way offers four different styles of Linear Slides, each with a set of standard slide sizes and rail lengths to choose from. By utilizing the same foundational Porous Media Technology, customers can count on the same performance regardless of the style chosen.

1. End-Supported Slides

Our simplest design for systems unable to provide continuous support of the slide.

2. Dovetail Slides

Designed with a low profile for systems with space constraints.

3. Boxway Slides

The widest of the product line, featuring a T-shaped rail, offers the largest load capacity.

4. Airway™ Linear Motion Guide System

This system serves as a plug-and-play replacement for conventional rolling element systems bolted to a flat surface.

This extensive product line enables New Way to provide solutions for a wide variety of configurations for both existing and emerging markets.

Three Emerging Markets Ideal for Use of Linear Air Slides

By offering the benefits of Porous Media packaged in a standard product line, New Way Linear Slides are ideal for use in several growing markets.

1. 3D printing

Linear slides provide the precision and speed required by the growing 3D printing market. For example, in medical applications, the features of linear slides lend themselves to improving the viability of getting artificial organs and customized prostheses to market.

2. Robot Systems

Automation continues to be a focus in manufacturing and warehouse operations. Robots are being increasingly relied on to complete pick-and-place operations with improved precision and speed. Robots requiring linear motion solutions benefit from the use of linear slides through their precision, minimal maintenance, as well as offer a reduction in labor costs.

3. Warehouse Management

With the rise in online shopping from COVID-19, warehouse retailers found themselves looking for more ways to automate tasks. New Way Linear Slides are ideal for large gantry systems for improving warehouse material handling. A reduction in maintenance costs coupled with improved employee safety and labor costs makes linear slides an investment with ongoing benefits.

Huge distribution warehouse with high shelves and loaders.

Slide Friction Out of the Picture

By removing friction, New Way Linear Air Slides offer significant advantages over traditional linear slide systems. With standard configurations in four different styles, as well as custom solutions, New Way is confident we can provide customers with a solution for their application.

Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation to get started!

Contact us today for a complimentary consultation