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Linear Rail FAQs

Linear Rail FAQs

Matara UK works hard to deliver an unbeatable range of pneumatic and linear automation products, backed with years of technical expertise, market leading value and a clear commitment to customer service.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what we do, and have any questions about linear rails, read our frequently asked questions below.

What is a linear rail system?

A linear rail is a linear motion component that allows for smooth movement of loads along one single axis. It is designed to support the movement and load of a piece of equipment in a linear way, either vertically or horizontally.

Linear rails are a great piece of mechanical equipment that do a simple job very well, moving items smoothly and safely through the manufacturing or packaging process.

What are the advantages of linear guide rails?

There are several advantages of linear guide rails, including load capacity, travel accuracy, and rigidity.

Other benefits are:

  • PMI linear rails offer high positioning accuracy.
  • A high level of precision can be achieved because of lower frictional resistance.
  • High rigidity for load-bearing in four directions.
  • Suitable for high-speed applications due to the low-friction design.

Where do you use a linear rail system?

You will typically see linear guides of all sizes and styles used in CNC machines and 3D printers, including in home printers, and larger industrial printers. Here at Matara, we hold a large stock of linear rail and linear guides to suit a variety of industrial applications.

What maintenance does a linear rail need?

Due to linear rails being used for thousands of hours in their lifespan, it is recommended that you maintain them regularly to get the best efficiency out of them.

Excellent maintenance of a linear rail includes:

  • Keeping them dust-free – after every use wipe down the linear rails and guides with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.
  • Don’t use water-based products while maintaining the rails.
  • Rub a small amount of oil on the linear rails with a lint-free cloth. Clean off any excess.

Regularly keeping up with your maintenance will ensure your linear rail will continue working at peak performance for its entire lifetime.

How do you install a linear rail system?

Once guide rails and a block have been selected and sized, proper installation on a solid foundation must be executed for optimal performance. The required tolerances on flatness, straightness and parallelism must be calculated.

Some linear rails feature datum edges on both sides of the rail to relieve concerns over installing it backwards. They are generally pushed against a datum to help ensure straightness and then bolted down into place. Proper bolt torque will ensure that the rail does not move, while dowel pins can also be used to help facilitate proper positioning.

Once installed, the linear guide rail should be verified with an indicator to ensure straightness or parallelism for efficient and smooth operation.

How do you specify a linear rail system?

To select the correct linear rail for a specific application, an analysis of the system’s needs should be performed. Following that, there should be an understanding of the customer’s requirements, which would include the number of axes, repeatability, tolerance, and accuracy required to achieve the end result. Also, environmental contamination should be taken into consideration. This includes dust, water, fibres, and other substances.

Can linear rails be cut to bespoke lengths?

Here at Matara, we have a large machine shop facility that allows us to offer linear rails cut to custom lengths to suit your application. We can provide same day butt joints from sizes 7mm > 65mm wide. Linear rails can be manufactured with a tapped hole, and with dowel holes and dowels if required.

From heavy load type to wide type, Matara has a linear rail solution for almost every industrial application requirement. We manufacture fully bespoke linear rail solutions, with each linear rail cut to a specified length alongside pitch mounting holes for easy installation. Linear guides also make use of mounting holes to fix the load that the rail is transporting.

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