Carpet tufting creates a tough environment for linear motion products. In this process, synthetic fibers are applied to a carpet backing using a high speed, reciprocating short stroke machining system. The needle bar, which holds 4,000 tufting needles, employs quick and reciprocating short strokes up to 1600 cycles per minute. The carpet tufting machine is designed to run for long, continuous stretches, and therefore the performance is measured by the life of the system, along with the amount of linear feet that are run between replacement systems.
In this scenario, each carpet tufting machine used 36 ball bushing bearings and steel shafting assembled into a push-down foot system (4 bearings and 2 rods of steel shafting per push-down foot, for an average of 9 push-down feet per machine). Precise and repeatable linear motion would be essential for optimum manufacturing and the minimization of scrap. The manufacturer also employed non-stain oil along the pushdown foot assembly to ensure smooth linear motion and reduced friction.
The environment of the application is typical for industrial machining. While no adverse or caustic chemicals were present, contaminates such as dust, dirt, grease and carpet fiber particles posed a substantial risk for contamination.