930 Muirfield Drive
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133
Since 1939, NB has been the leading manufacturer of high quality linear motion products in Japan. Our growth can be attributed to unique product designs, attention to detail and fresh approaches to meeting linear motion needs.
NB Linear Systems are linear motion mechanisms using the recirculating movement of ball or roller elements to provide smooth and accurate linear travel. All products are designed to minimize size and weight while providing superior performance in high-precision equipment. The products are characterized by low friction and low noise and are available as total systems or as individual components.
Downloadable CAD drawings of all slide guides, ball splines, round shaft products such as Topball®, slide shafts, slide way products including tables, gonio ways, STUDROLLER™, slide tables, actuators, slide rotary bush products, as well as many flanged products, off-the-shelf case hardened tapped and threaded shaft, mounted units and mounting accessories from our website and the “NB Linear” mobile app.
Sub-Millimeter Accurate ROTARY BALL SPLINE
NB’s ROTARY BALL SPLINE can be used for both rotational motion and linear motion. Popular applications include robots, assembly equipment, tool changers, loaders, etc.
NB’s rotary ball spline has a nut that rolls on the ball spline shaft making it capable of both linear and rotary motion and provides submillimeter accuracy every time.
Splines feature arch-shaped grooves on both the shaft and inner portion of the cylinder. These grooves approximate the diameter of the ball bearings, allowing them to carry a high load in a linear motion.
A ball spline’s forte is the transfer of torque. In addition, it can even be customized so cabling can run the length of the robotic arm by using a hollow shaft ball spline.
Ball splines with cross rollers as opposed to balls in the rotary motion increase load rating without increasing size.
An example of the application of these capabilities is the robotic arm that assists in orthopedic surgery giving the surgeon greater precision than the human hand. The surgeon preprograms the movements of the ROBODOC Surgical Assistant. The ball spline controls the vertical movement of the robotic arm as the robot mills the patient’s bone precisely as planned. This robotic arm also has a rotary function. The nut that rolls on the ball spline shaft is capable of both a linear and rotary motion. This allows it to adjust to the exact locations of the pre-surgical plan providing sub-millimeter accuracy.