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Linear motion products from Hepcomotion help to ensure the efficient, low-friction operation of a sash centraliser system developed by Norwich-based subcontracting company FW Frost (Engineers).

The sash centraliser system is a manufacturing fixture that allows a uPVC door to be mounted within the frame very accurately, ensuring that the lock and handle mechanism on the door will operate efficiently and the threshold clearance will be correct.

Hepcomotion LBG linear ball guides are responsible for carrying the two symmetrically opposed sliding frames of the centraliser, maintaining their co-ordination throughout the range of motion.

The three arms that position the central clamping units are supported by a Hepcomotion Utilitrak guide. The system also uses Hepcomotion Pacific bearings, which provide low-friction guidance to pneumatically operated lifts that elevate the door from its frame to allow the fitting of hinges.

Finally, in order to support and guide the multiple clamp heads, positioned along the length of the centraliser to clamp the frame and the sash independently, F W Frost specified Hepcomotion GV3 single-edge linear slides.

Key benefits of product application

  • The LBG linear ball guides provide low-friction movement — an important feature as the door frames are manually positioned.
  • According to Tony Bayless, F W Frost’s sales manager, the GV3 slides are very smooth and reliable; he explained that the centraliser is a manually operated piece of equipment that is used repetitively, so smooth movement is vital to prevent operator fatigue.
  • The GV3 system was also chosen thanks to its ability to provide consistent and reliable operation in harsh manufacturing environments; the V principle — the trademark of the Hepcomotion linear motion concept — is a key factor in this regard as it provides an effective self-cleaning action.
  • The ability of the GV3 to prevent the ingress of debris onto the contact faces is said to be vital to this application.
  • The GV3’s all-steel slideway is three times stiffer than composite aluminium systems.
  • Low-friction movement helps to lower energy consumption, and long re-lubrication intervals reduce maintenance costs.
  • Thanks to its adjustable eccentric bearings, GV3 will continue to work even when worn, where other systems would have to be replaced.
  • Excellent surface finish plays an important part in the performance of the GV3 system; the better the finish, the lower the likelihood of surface corrosion.

Designing a unique engineering principle and making it a commercial success is quite an accomplishment.  Developing that concept and embracing complementary technologies to the point where the business becomes a world leader in its field takes that achievement into a different league.  HepcoMotion has achieved both and in 2009 celebrates 40th year of trading.   

Today HepcoMotion is one of the world’s foremost innovators and manufacturers of linear motion technology.  And this can be attributed to the important tenet – continued investment in its people processes and products.  This has allowed the company to grow even at times of economical difficulty.  

Although its range of individual, linear motion products remains an important part of its business the growth area for HepcoMotion in recent years is in specials and assemblies.  Almost one fifth of its shop floor space is devoted to assembly and the company has invested heavily in flexible manufacturing to ensure that even last minute changes can be accommodated to customer specification.  

Constantly re-assessing its strengths against changing market demands continues to provide HepcoMotion with the momentum for business growth.  The culture of ongoing investment has certainly worked well throughout its first 40 years and will continue to underpin its business in the decades to come.

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