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Ultra-smooth motion technology for NSK linear guides

NSK’s new ultra-smooth motion technology, developed for the company’s popular
general-purpose NH/NS series linear guides, is the world’s first design of its type.
Thanks to the use of elastic rolling elements, the patented technology achieves a
highly consistent dynamic friction profile that is ideal for high-precision inspection
and measurement equipment.
The low friction and smooth motion characteristics of linear guides make them a valuable
addition to all kinds of systems that require high-performance motion control. For this
reason, NH/NS linear guides find use in a wide range of applications, including
semiconductor and LCD manufacturing equipment, automotive manufacturing equipment,
conveyor robots, inspection and measurement equipment, and machine tools.
Today, the equipment used in these applications is subject to ever-higher levels of
sophistication. In particular, the latest inspection and measurement equipment demands
even smoother and more accurate motion, placing high expectations on linear guides.
With these thoughts in mind, NSK set about developing its ultra-smooth motion technology
by optimising the shape of the ball circulation path and using elastic rolling elements to
suppress irregular ‘micro-stutters’ (brief stuttering or jerking during motion caused by
localised friction fluctuations). These elements reduce the effect of balls colliding with each
other in the curved sections of the ball circulation path, which serves to prevent any
increase in friction and, in turn, deliver ultra-smooth motion.
As well as inspection and measurement equipment, NSK linear guides with ultra-smooth
motion technology benefit applications requiring vertical operation and other mounting
positions where operating characteristics tend to deteriorate. Importantly, these innovative
linear guides are dimensionally interchangeable with NSK’s standard NH/NS series,
facilitating the replacement of units currently in use without any design changes.
NSK’s new ultra-smooth technology is available for NH 15, 20 and 25 series linear guides,
as well as NS 15, 20, 25 and 30 models. In total, NSK can supply 28 variations, including
different slider lengths and types. The units are compatible with a wide variety of options,
such as the NSK K1-L lubrication unit, stainless steel configurations and special surface
Press pictures
1) NSK’s NH/NS series linear guides with ultra-smooth motion technology

PR Ref. L032023-N | 1/3

2) An illustration showing the mechanism behind NSK’s ultra-smooth motion technology.
On the left, the slide, rail, ball circulation path and elastic rolling elements are highlighted.
On the right you can see the optimised ball recirculation path and added elastic rolling

3) These graphs show how the fluctuations in conventional smoothness (left) compare with
the smooth motion of NSK’s ultra-smooth option.

About NSK Europe:
NSK Europe Ltd. is the European organisation of the Tokyo-based bearing manufacturer NSK, which was
founded in Japan in 1916 and today employs nearly 29,882 people in its worldwide operations. The products
and solutions provided by the industrial and automotive supplier can be found wherever things move. In addition
to nearly all types of rolling bearings, the company’s portfolio includes housed bearings, linear technology,
wheel bearing units, transmission and engine bearings and steering systems. The company is oriented to
perfection in all of its business activities. Its aim is quality leadership in its industry, which it strives for through a
continuous process of improvement, excellent product development, optimised production processes and
customer-oriented service processes. In fiscal year 2022, the more than 4,030 employees of NSK Europe Ltd.
generated sales of over € 893 million.
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