Wear-resistant spherical and linear bearings in Niles Simmons machine tools

Polymer bearings optimised for sliding and friction allow long service life at low cost

In today's machine tools and machining centres, polymer bearings are installed in a wide variety of locations. For example, new types of hybrid bearings for guiding sliding magazine doors, slewing ring bearings for moving control consoles or spherical plain bearings for deflecting toothed belt drives. They are light, tough and lubrication-free and do not need to be greased or oiled unlike metallic bushings. Due to the high complexity of today's machines, Niles-Simmons Industrieanlagen GmbH places the highest demands on the individual components and involves its suppliers in the design process at an early stage. Today, the plant manufacturer relies on igus products for many important machine parts.


  • What was needed: Harnessed plastic energy chains, drylin W linear guides, igubal spherical bearings, hybrid linear bearings, polymer slewing ring bearings
  • Requirements: Many movement cycles require particularly lubrication-free and maintenance-free as well as wear-free components
  • Industry: Machine tool manufacturing
  • Success for the customer: Simple installation and removal of the slewing ring bearings, which are available as unit components, "iglidur J" material ensures freedom from lubrication and maintenance and particularly high wear resistance, hybrid linear bearings from igus are also lubrication-free and maintenance-free and reduce the required drive forces in the system 
Other products for machine tools
Control panel Giving machines a face of their own: Even the control panel on this machine tool from Niles-Simmons Industrieanlagen GmbH, Chemnitz, is self-designed. It is easy to rotate and lifting movements can be implemented.


The international company Niles-Simmons Industrieanlagen GmbH focuses its business activities on the research, development, manufacture and sale of machine tools. The philosophy of the machine builder is to manufacture products of the highest quality and innovation and to market it globally. Around 350 employees work at the main site in Chemnitz, and there are over 1,100 employees worldwide within the entire NSH Group.
The company's multi-product spectrum is specifically based on six different machine concepts, divided between the aerospace, automotive, railway, general mechanical engineering and tool and mould-making industries. Typical products are horizontal CNC lathes, CNC turning-milling-drilling-machining centres and high-precision milling centres. In addition, there is the planning and implementation of complete production lines for the automotive industry as well as workshops for the repair and manufacture of railway wheel sets as part of the NSH Group. Thanks to the modular design and the possibility of accommodating additional units, the machines are designed and manufactured to meet the customer's part-specific requirements. The machining centres for a wide range of workpiece sizes have a compact, very ergonomic and user-friendly design. Added to this are excellent service and maintenance friendliness.
Today, igus products are used in a wide variety of plant components. In the machines, most of the elements are subject to many movement cycles and must therefore first and foremost be particularly lubrication-free and maintenance-free. Wear-resistant parts that keep up with the constantly repetitive work processes are also in demand here.


The machine and plant manufacturer has been working with igus for many years. Numerous products from igus have been built into the machine tools and machining centres of Niles-Simmons. In addition to harnessed plastic energy chains, they also include [Link pagenr="19456" title=""drylin W" linear guides"] with polymer sliding elements that are movably suspended in the machine room. Furthermore, igubal spherical bearings as well as hybrid linear bearings and polymer slewing ring bearings are used in various auxiliary movement.
For moving the control panels, Niles-Simmons now uses lubrication-free and maintenance-free iglidur polymer slewing ring bearings. The support arm system for the control panels had been purchased as a complete unit from a supplier in the past. However, because Niles-Simmons wants to give its customers "an own face", the company decided to design its own control panel, which also visually matches the respective machining centre. It should be easy to rotate and it must be possible to implement lifting movements. Today, two polymer slewing ring bearings are used as a complete unit respectively in the newly designed control panel. The polymer sliding elements are made of the material "iglidur J". In addition to the main benefit, freedom from lubrication and maintenance, the slewing ring bearings are highly wear-resistant. In addition, the low coefficients of friction ensure a low actuating force when pivoting the panel.
Another advantage is the simple dismantling and assembly of the control panels, as the slewing ring bearings are a complete unit. This saves a lot of time when assembling the module, which is simply screwed on. In the case of the control panel described, a special bearing is used. If someone supports themselves carelessly on the control panel, high torques act on the bearing. The special bearings take a much higher load so that the customer is always on the safe side.
Sliding magazine doors Sliding magazine doors on machine tools or machining centres: On the one hand, customers today do not want it to be too smooth-running. At the same time, however, the amount of force required to push it on must not be too great.
Sliding magazine doors Innovative hybrid linear bearing (centre image) for guiding the sliding magazine doors. The main load is on the roller bearing, which reduces the required drive torque. The plastic sliders absorb potential radial loads.

igus hybrid linear bearing for sliding magazine doors

Another example of tribologically optimised plastic solutions is the hybrid linear bearing for safe guiding of sliding magazine doors. All machine tools or machining centres are equipped with such sliding doors. The magazine casings are completely dismantled for transport, including all guides, and reassembled at the customer's premises with as little adjustment work as possible. The customer's request is that the sliding doors should not be too smooth-running. At the same time, however, the amount of force required to push it on must not be too great. It is in these so-called subordinate movements that hybrid linear bearings demonstrate their strength. They must not tilt, should be quiet and also be lubrication-free and maintenance-free.
The new "drylin WJRM" hybrid linear bearings reduce drive force, especially for manual adjustment of doors, safety doors, sliding doors and locks. They combine the specific advantages of sliding and rolling movements. The main load is on the roller bearing, which reduces the required drive torque. The plastic sliders absorb potential radial loads. In this application, too, the main emphasis is on the roller when moving the working door. In addition, there is an extremely confined installation space. The hybrid linear bearing measures only 18 mm in height. It is used as a single rail in the sliding magazine doors. The aluminium profile, which is part of the system, pays for itself when changes are made. It can be reworked very easily, holes can be set or cut to length.

Sistemas de guiado lineal