A Brief History Lesson on the THK Linear Guide

Linear guides have been utilized since the prehistoric age, with paintings of similar guides being used by workers in Egypt, although they did not come to common use as mechanical operatives until the early 20th century.

Linear guides are a block and rail system that helps support the motion of an application. There are two parts to the Linear Guide System: The linear block moves along the linear rail along the plane the rail is positioned for. The block moves forward and backward along the straight linear rail. Linear blocks connect to the moving components by mounting to the block to support the motion for the specified component. The motion is created along the rail through recirculating ball bearings within the block that is contacted on the rail.

thk linear guide

A wide variety of industries order THK linear guides from Technico, Inc for their own applications. Linear guides are used to move a machine table in either the X or Y direction. Applications which require high precision use linear guides due to their high accuracy and precision applications.

The Technological Revolution

A machine’s moving parts can be classified as rolling, linear, or a combination of both. With the development of rolling bearings about 110 years ago, rolling contact became the standard method for accomplishing rolling motion. This brought about a great technological revolution. Rolling contact not only saved motion energy but also kept frictional resistance to a minimum and thus greatly improved the performance of machinery. However, even though a similar development in the field of linear motion would have been ten times as valuable, linear motion through rolling contact was a long time coming.

How THK Changed the Industry

THK solved the problem of linear motion, previously considered too difficult, with rolling contact by applying its unique technological capabilities, and in 1972, it became the first company in the world to develop and commercialize the Linear Motion (LM) Guide. Their linear motion system enabled rapid improvements in the accuracy, speed and labor-saving potential of advanced mechatronic instruments. With THK’s LM Guides, machine tools and industrial robots became capable of ultra-precise operations, and semiconductor-manufacturing devices could now operate in submicron units. Use of the THK linear guide has truly expanded beyond all prior boundaries.

Feel free to contact the experts at Technico, Inc. for guidance in choosing the correct THK linear guide for your next project. We have Sales Engineers onboard that can help you make the correct choice every time.