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NSK to Conduct Pilot Tests of New Linear Guide/Ball Screw Condition Monitoring System

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Sep 08,2023


NSK is developing a condition monitoring system for linear motion products (linear guides, ball screws)

The system fuses NSK's advanced linear motion analysis technology and Brüel & Kjær Vibro's widely adopted condition monitoring platform

NSK plans to launch the system in 2024 after pilot testing with customers

NSK will bring to market a new type of condition monitoring system capable of analyzing and diagnosing the condition of linear motion products. NSK will exhibit the system at EMO Hannover 2023, the world's largest machine tool exhibition, to be held in Germany from September 18-23, 2023.

NSK has been expanding its condition monitoring system business for rotating machinery since 2021 with the acquisition of Brüel & Kjær Vibro (“B&K Vibro”). Conventionally, condition monitoring has been focused on rotating machinery, but NSK's new system will also diagnose linear motion machinery to evaluate whether or not there are any abnormalities in machinery or components. Condition monitoring helps secure stable operation free of costly unplanned downtime and more efficient maintenance scheduling.

Moving forward, NSK will conduct pilot tests with the aim of launching the solution in fiscal 2024.


In recent years, against the backdrop of a shrinking and aging workforce and a shortage of skilled workers, there is a growing need for predictive maintenance systems to monitor the condition of machinery and equipment to detect abnormalities early and prevent problems before they occur.

Condition monitoring has mainly been utilized in machinery and equipment that operates at a relatively constant rotational speed, such as in wind power generators and large turbines in petrochemical plants. Today, there is growing demand for systems that can monitor complex manufacturing and machining processes, including linear motion components.


I. NSK Proprietary Diagnostic Technology Tailor Made for Linear Motion

NSK has cultivated advanced diagnostic technology in our development of linear motion products such as ball screws and linear guides as well as bearings by utilizing tribology technology. This diagnostic technology will be integrated into B&K Vibro's condition monitoring products and services to achieve predictive maintenance at production sites.

II. Connected Condition Monitoring – CMS that Communicates with Production Equipment

Linear motion mechanisms are subject to changes in position, speed, and operation patterns, which makes it very challenging to implementing highly accurate condition monitoring. In addition, in order to perform condition monitoring of complex machining processes that combine rotating and linear motion mechanisms, it is necessary to understand the operating conditions of the equipment and perform condition monitoring under appropriate conditions.

The system being developed will provide highly accurate diagnosis even during complex machining processes by linking with machinery and equipment to obtain operating information in real time.


The following benefits can be expected by implementing NSK's condition monitoring solution in production facilities:

Monitor machinery and equipment performing complex work (complex movements) including a combination of rotating and linear motion components.

Evaluate the presence or absence of abnormalities in machinery and equipment without specialist knowledge.

Improve the stability and reliability of plant operations through predictive maintenance strategies made possible with the system.

In addition, to contribute to our customers' predictive maintenance through condition monitoring, we will also utilize condition monitoring data to further improve NSK products.

Moving forward, NSK will continue to contribute to society by creating value throughout the product lifecycle through this condition monitoring solution in addition to the many environmental, performance, and productivity benefits offered by NSK's lineup of products and technical services.

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