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Moving in Two Dimesions

Ball transfer units

When you need unlimited motion in two directions then a ball transfer unit might be just the answer. A ball transfer unit consists of a spherical bed containing a large number of smaller balls supporting a single large ball. This allows low friction rolling in two directions while restraining the third. Ball transfers are commonly used in for cargo handling, sheet metal and tool press applications. 

Light duty types with non hardened balls running in pressed steel housings are readily available and perfectly adequate for light load, lower duty applications. Where higher loads, impacts and high frequency motion are encountered then the heavier duty hardened steel ball with machined housing models are better suited. For contaminated and or wash down applications specialised types with corrosion resistant components and drain ports are available and these are especially popular in cargo handling. 

Omnitrack originally developed the heavy duty machined ball transfer units’ way back in 1952. Their products are used extensively at airports around the world and the level of precision they offer has even found their units being used in the Hadron collider. 


We carry a range of light and medium duty ball transfer units in stock and can supply a full range of precision heavy duty types.

For more information on the range of ball transfer units click here.


More robust actuators

Historically the main driver of electric linear actuator technology has been the medical care industry. But the apparent criticality of the industry masks what is actually a relatively benign application. Being indoors and in an environment with people means UV, chemical attack and temperature extremes are generally not present. The duty cycle is relatively low and even the load case is well defined. As a result manufacturers have been able to use more economical construction and make extensive use of plastic elements in the housings and drive train along with simple O-ring or rubber seals. For outdoor, agricultural, transport or more industrial applications this sort of unit can prove unreliable and a more robust solution is required.

An alternative line of actuators has been developed for heavier industrial or off road applications. The ID10 features all metal construction, industrial oil seals, robust steel gears, and corrosion resistant housings. This type also has a mechanical clutch for those unintended jam ups or overloads that all too commonly occur in less controlled situations.
The ID10 is designed for 12 and 24V power and load capacities of up to 7000N but we can also supply induction motor systems with load capacities up to 100T.

For more information on the ID10 including 3D drawing files click here.