Historically, one of the more common linear guidance systems used has been bearing blocks containing re-circulating ball bearings running on profiled steel rails that are fastened to a structure. These types of systems, commonly called profile rail (PRT), were introduced decades ago and are common among suppliers in the market today. More recently, PBC Linear has introduced another type of linear guidance system called Integral-V™ Technology (IVT). In these systems, cam rollers with a v-profile run on steel raceways that are mechanically fixed into a structural aluminum component to form a unified rail component.
This white paper has two main goals. The first is to describe how the precisions of the two systems are achieved when they are manufactured and installed. This is demonstrated using grade accuracy, elastic deformation, and preload effects. The second is a cost comparison for a theoretical application is given. This can include the design of the system, material costs, and installation labor.
Both IVT and profile rail systems are precision products. While the potential accuracy of an IVT system is slightly less than that of a bearing block system, with many applications IVT systems can be used successfully at a fraction of the cost. The estimates were approximate, but the bearing block and profile rail system was found to be 2.2 times higher in cost than an IVT system.