SMB Bearings

SMB Bearings Articles

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15th February 2024
Radial and thrust forces in bearings

Where accuracy is required, it is important for engineers to consider the forces acting on a bearing. Because a bearing typically supports the free motion of a shaft about an axis of rotation, two forces normally act on the bearing: a radial load and a thrust load. But, what is the impact of these forces? Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains.

15th September 2022
Bearings in smaller robots

“Great things,” said Vincent Van Gogh, “Are done by a series of small things brought together.” This applies to industrial robots, which are getting smaller and more compact – as are the companies buying them.

Component Management
10th August 2022
Does your supply chain have the personal touch?

With global supply chains still facing disruption as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and a shortage of components such as semiconductors, choosing a trustworthy supplier is more important than ever.

10th June 2022
Energy efficient bearing design

It is estimated that a ten per cent reduction of friction in all large bearings in use would provide an energy saving equal to the output of 18 large power stations. Cutting friction in bearings of any size is a key method to improve energy efficiency. Here Chris Johnson, managing director at miniature bearings supplier SMB Bearings explores the bearing design possibilities for increased efficiency in industrial applications.

18th May 2022
Resolving the global semiconductor shortage

According to Deloitte, we can expect the global shortage of semiconductor chips to continue as supply catches up with rising demand. Manufacturing these chips requires highly controlled manufacturing conditions where noise, vibration and dust are kept to a minimum.

21st February 2022
Soil type and bearing hype

Each year, one third of all food is lost during production due to non-optimal field conditions. Precision farming technology strives to improve crop yield and quality, but its effectiveness is only possible when combined with quality hardware. Chris Johnson, Managing Director of ceramic bearing supplier SMB Bearings, explains why bearing quality is essential in agri-tech equipment.

Aerospace & Defence
27th July 2021
Aerospace bearings: where did it all begin?

According to Report Linker, the aerospace market is expected to grow from $9.6bn in 2021 to $17.7bn by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9%. From personal flying vehicles to a greener aerospace, it’s clear the aerospace sector is developing fast — but where did it all begin? Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, has explored a brief history of bearings in the aerospace sector.

29th June 2021
How are drones helping farmers with crop monitoring?

Not even the agriculture sector can escape the hype of drone technology. The European drones outlook study reports 150,000 agricultural drones will be used across European farms by 2035, undertaking tasks such as soil and field analysis, crop monitoring and spraying. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explains the value of agricultural drones and advises on the importance of bearing selection for these devices.

18th June 2021
The potential of polymer 3D printing

3D printing technologies have evolved significantly, with much of the research centred around the materials science field. This includes high-performance polymers with mechanical characteristics - so what does this mean for bearing design? Here Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explores the plastic bearing additive manufacturing (AM) landscape.

Aerospace & Defence
3rd December 2020
How can bearings contribute to a greener aerospace sector?

In September 2020, Airbus revealed three concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft which could enter service by 2035. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings explains how this grand reveal could spark new life in the bearing supply chain.

2nd August 2018
Bearing Brexit in mind

Amid Brexit negotiations, SMB Bearings welcomed Member of Parliament (MP) for Witney, Robert Courts, to its Oxfordshire warehouse on Thursday 26th, July. The specialist bearing distributor, which exports 40% of its goods to the European Union (EU), took the opportunity to quiz Courts on his recommendations for businesses during this period of uncertainty. Courts visit celebrated the success of SMB Bearings’ growth.

9th July 2018
IMDS compliance in the automotive supply chain

Each year, 25 million tons of material is sourced from old cars. In fact, 80% of the car you drive today will eventually be recycled. The International Material Data System (IMDS) was created to ensure automotive OEMs use materials in the most efficient and recyclable way. But, what responsibility falls on parts manufacturers? Author: Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings.

13th June 2018
Designing robots for cleanroom applications

There's a lot to consider when designing a robot for a cleanroom application. You're bringing together two genres of priorities, that of the robot; to be precise, smooth and long-lasting, and that of the environment; to prevent contamination in accordance with industry standards. Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains why you need to consider both these genres when choosing cleanroom bearings.

21st May 2018
Time for robots to get their bearings

Robotics adoption is growing at an unprecedented rate. To advise manufacturers on best practice methods for selecting components for robots, SMB Bearings has published a whitepaper on Bearings for Robotics. The whitepaper is available to download on the SMB Bearings website.

3rd April 2018
Robotics boom creates components shortage

A global surge in robotics manufacturing has created a shortage of common industrial components required for other industries, according to suppliers. For example, the increased demand for bearings for use in robots has created significant delays in the supply of bearings for other industry sectors. Specialist bearings distributor, SMB Bearings has experienced this first hand and is making investments to address the shortage.

15th February 2018
Precision bearings help make robotics a reality

  As is often the case, at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the spotlight remained on robot personal assistants. Inspired by the show, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains what design engineers, as well as end users specifying a robot, should know about thin section bearings.

12th December 2017
How to choose the right components for your cobots

Behind the drawn factory doors of facilities across Europe, humans are working safely alongside a new kind of colleague; one that is stronger, faster and more efficient than ever before: collaborative robots. Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains how to choose the right bearing for this new automation application.

6th September 2017
Augmented humans: the future of robotic exoskeletons

There is a huge buzz around robotic exoskeleton suits, all thanks to Hollywood. The technology portrayed in Iron Man, the Edge of Tomorrow, and Avatar all show humans with superhuman abilities because of robotic add-ons. Chris Johnson, Managing Director of specialist bearing supplier SMB Bearings, explains the importance of choosing specialised bearings and lubrication in robotic exoskeletons as the development into this technology advances ...

16th June 2017
Britain falls behind in the robotics game

Despite what pop culture would have us believe, modern day robotics are not the threat to mankind we see depicted in film, television and fiction. Since the introduction of robotic arms to automotive manufacturing in the 1960s, installing robotics and automation has become standard practice in manufacturing. Despite this, the United Kingdom is falling behind in the robotics manufacturing market. 

1st June 2017
SMB Bearings support F1 in Schools national champions

SMB Bearings has supported F1 in Schools competitor Tiro Racing to achieve the prestigious title of national champions. A range of EZO bearings, supplied by SMB Bearings, was used throughout prototype and final construction stages in preparation for the regional and national finals competition. The team will now be provided with ongoing advice and products from SMB Bearings in preparation of the world finals in September.

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