Automation Blog

How To Prevent Sideloads With the Right Slides and Thrusters

How To Prevent Sideloads With the Right Slides and Thrusters

Automated pneumatic actuators in manufacturing and packaging operations often need to manipulate heavy loads with precision, accuracy and high repeatability. Even processes with lighter weights can benefit from actuators with excellent load-bearing capabilities and an ability to withstand harsh operating conditions.

These adversities already make it a challenge to maintain the performance of your equipment, and working with complex loads and non-axial forces only exacerbates the difficulty. For these reasons, it’s important to ensure your actuators either mitigate or completely eliminate side loads, which can push your workload off its intended pathway and impact performance.

At Fabco-Air, we specialize in delivering high-quality linear slides and thrusters that meet this requirement by providing support to a pneumatic cylinder as a bearing system. Slides are available in a wide range of styles including single- and dual-bearing, table, finger, block-type thrusters, linear thrusters and rodless designs.

And, to make specifying slides a simple and easy process, we offer compact and low-cost models of all of our product lines. To get you started, here’s a helpful overview of our lineup of linear slides and thrusters:

Cost-effective S and L Series Slides
A family of single- and dual-bearing linear slides, the S and L Series are cost-effective and practical, making them ideal for remaining within tight budgets or for operations where extreme precision isn’t a top priority. Thanks to a design featuring replaceable pneumatic cylinders, both series of slides are inexpensive for their level of performance.

The L Series’ dual bearing blocks provide excellent stability and increase loading capacity, while the S Series has a more compact design. The S Series features a single bearing block, which shortens the overall length and allows it to fit into tight spaces.

Both slides feature self-lubricating, high-performance composite sleeve bearings, which require some clearance to operate.

Precise FDH Series Finger Slides
These compact finger slides deliver smooth operation in a durable design. Each FDH slide features an anodized aluminum cylinder block, top plate and front toolbar with stainless steel rod coupler nuts. Mounting the FDH is simple and easy, thanks to side through-holes with C-bores in the body.

For additional side mounting flexibility, tapped mounting holes on four different surfaces and narrow toolbars create clearance between the toolbar and mounting surface.

FGXS Series Precision Slide Tables
This twin-bore precision table slide features a rail bearing system, providing excellent thrust and smooth motion. Units are available with three different mounting styles. Located on the table, dowel holes and slots allow you to mount workpieces with accuracy and repeatability. As standard accessories, the FGXS features magnetic position sensors.

Block-style GB Series Slides
These block-style thrusters are highly versatile, featuring a wide range of features and options. Their anodized aluminum construction is built tough to withstand harsh environments. And, to further extend service life, the machined-in air cylinder can be repaired. Guide shaft bearings — consisting of composites that resist corrosion, moisture and temperatures up to 325° F — also boost the GB Series’ load capacity and minimize friction.

Mounting is easy and flexible, thanks to bottom, side and rear mounting holes, top and side ports and an interchangeable bolt pattern. The narrow toolbar also has top, front and bottom mounting holes, creating side mounting clearance between the toolbar and mounting surface.

Robust SE and EZ Series Ball Bearing Slides
These single- and double-bearing block linear slides offer precise motion in a highly durable design. To keep your workload on track, each built-in bearing block houses four linear ball bearings to eliminate play. Each slide’s rugged design includes a hard-coated aluminum cylinder tube, hard chrome-plated 303 stainless steel piston rod and choice of either case hardened and ground or stainless steel guide shaft.

The EZ Series’ rugged and cost-effective design features guide shafts positioned on either side of the integral air cylinder to resist torsional loads. The bearings are also spaced further apart as the stroke increases, which further improves load capacity.

The Rodless, Compact FGYSR Series
This slide is an ideal choice for extremely tight spaces. The external slider is magnetically coupled to the piston, achieving a compact, easy-to-mount form factor. This slide is also available with the option of either a rubber bumper or four shock absorbers for impact cushioning, in addition to three position sensor options.

Custom Solutions Meet Specific Requirements
For advanced, highly specialized applications, standard solutions might not meet every mark. Using our many years of experience in pneumatic cylinder technology, we can customize one of our standard products to fit your exact specifications. We also designed our linear slides to accommodate modifications like non-standard mounting options, sizes, cushioning, sensors and more. Contact our engineering department to specify a custom solution.

Learn more on our product page.