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Schaeffler has developed an axial angular contact rolling bearing, with integrated electromechanical brake, which is suitable for use in ceiling mounts in medical operating theatres.

The same bearing unit can also be used in examination tables, mammography devices, X-ray cameras, surgical microscopes and stair lifts.

Schaeffler’s new ZAXB bearing unit incorporates an AXS angular contact roller bearing that supports high axial loads and tilting moments.

This can be used to enable medical devices, computers and monitors to be smoothly moved to their optimal ergonomic positions.

The integral electromechanical brake is designed to secure the device’s location once the desired position has been found.

Schaeffler claims that, compared to conventional bearing systems with separate brake, the ZAXB is lighter and more compact.

The unit is a closed system, meaning there is less exposure to aggressive cleaning chemicals that could damage the materials used.

Ceiling mounts in operating theatres have to support a growing number of increasingly heavy devices, while also enabling quiet, vibration-free positioning.

Bearings used for this purpose must exhibit high static load safety and tilting rigidity in the smallest-possible installation space.

At the same time, their inside diameter should be relatively large to allow the supply lines and cables to pass through easily.

The new unit with integrated brake comprises an outer ring with fixing thread, an inner ring with coil and pressure springs, an adjusting nut with fixing thread, an anchor plate with axial movement facility and a lining plate that is connected to the outer ring.

There are also two double-direction axial angular contact roller bearings in an ‘O’ arrangement.

As a result of this ‘O’ arrangement and the contact angle of 60 degrees, the bearing unit provides high load-carrying capacity and exhibits good radial stiffness.

The bearing rings and adjusting nut are precision-turned parts made from high-strength steel, while the axial roller and cage assemblies and axial bearing washers are manufactured using non-machining methods.

The integrated brake prevents the bearing unit from rotating when the current is turned off, as the anchor plate is pressed against the brake lining by springs.

When current is supplied, an electromagnet pulls the anchor plate against the springs and releases the brake lining so that the unit can rotate and be brought smoothly into another position.

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