High qualitative standards for ball transfer units

High qualitative standards for ball transfer units. This is the strategy by RGPBALLS that designs and implements a series of components for linear motion, made of different materials and designs to satisfy several applicative requirements.

Established in 2015, RGPBALLS S.r.l. continues the market leadership of R.G.P. INTERNATIONAL S.r.l. operating for over 50 years in the production of primary components for linear motion: precision balls, precision rollers and ball transfer units. It ranks among the primary companies in the European context and it is leader in Italy.

Alessandro Riva, engineer and Co-owner of RGPBALLS S.r.l.Aalittive standard

Company’s feather in the cap is the design, development and production of ball transfer units: «Our solutions represent an excellence of the “Made in Italy” and are provided with all necessary certifications – explained Mr Alessandro Riva, engineer and owner of RGPBALLS – Being custom products, we can meet the widest requirements of both Italian and foreign customers, assembling the ball transfer units with desired components, according to the technical requisites demanded by customers». The company, headquartered at Cinisello Balsamo, in the area to the north of Milan, offers in all Europe a broad range of solutions made with different materials and diameters, simultaneously available in a single provisioning site. For years, the company has set the target of reaching high qualitative standards at competitive costs and focuses on the customer service as priority, starting from the choice of the correct article for each use, up to the supply of the certifications needed for each application. The company’s headquarters take up an area of about 10,000 m² and include offices, quality control laboratories (metallographic and metrological), sorting department and warehouse. RGPBALLS avails itself of 75 workers in the headquarters at Cinisello Balsamo, 15 of them work in commercial/accounting ambits (the range of spoken languages includes English, French, German, Spanish, Russian and Chinese), 10 are dedicated to the quality control, whereas the other staff is engaged in sorting, logistic and warehouse departments. The company is EN ISO 9001:2015, EN ISO 14001:2015 ISO 45001:2018 certified, manufacturing and product inspection process. Besides being certified for the Made in Italy product.

Characteristics and materials

RGPBALLS S.r.l. ball transfer units are multi-directional systems for the linear motion of loads. They consist of a large-size ball (sliding ball) that rotates on a defined quantity of small-diameter balls, (re-circulating balls), everything enclosed in a hemispherical seat (flange). Due to the execution care in the machining of the various components, friction is particularly low, so permitting that the necessary force to handle load is remarkably reduced. «The manufacturing range includes supports that can be made of various kinds of materials such as steel, stainless steel, stamped sheet metal and plastic materials – the manager specified – Among the manufactured versions, various typologies of coatings, useful to preserve the resistance to oxidation in time, are available. The used balls as well can be chosen among different material types, depending on the final application». RGPBALLS ball transfer units can be positioned with whatever orientation, but if different from the conventional one (with the ball oriented upwards), lower performances of flow rates and sliding should be considered. Some versions intended for specific applications are instead suitable for the only conventional use.

The solutions can be used in the most various applications

«The technical cards of each version contain the indication of flow rates according to the use position – Mr Riva added – The use temperature is generally included between -20 °C and +100 °C (+70 °C in continuative way and +100 °C intermittent). Such values do not influence the correct operation of ball transfer units. Temperatures up to +150/200 °C can be reached by eliminating the internal seal. For high- temperature uses, the version with all components made of AISI 420C stainless steel, without felt seal, is generally suggested. It is worth considering that the higher temperature in use goes hand in hand with decreasing load factors. Ball transfer units in the versions with plastic material balls, or fully made of plastic material, are apt for applications at environmental temperature».

High qualitative standards for ball transfer units: many application fields

RGPBALLS solutions can be used in the most various applications, the most common ones include: airport facilities, sheet metal working machines, hydraulic presses, ball tables, lifting platforms and equipment, mechanical transports, machines for marble and ceramic processing, conveyor trolleys, pallet and container carriers, mobile walls, sliding gates, sliding doors and windows, equipment for robotics, electronics and automation in general, and car stands.

The range of solutions

RGPBALLS S.r.l. mainly manufactures different typologies of ball transfer units: with housing of steel turned from bar and hardened – they are generally used in presence of heavy loads, strong stresses, collisions and heavy-duty conditions in general. Analogue versions purposely studied for these applications are available for high flow rates. The versions with stamped sheet metal components are instead preferable in applications for lower-entity loads.

They match good sliding performance and suitable flow rates, permitting a lower final cost. The models with plastic-material components are instead preferable in applications with lower-entity loads and they are apt in case of contact with salty water or chemical, magnetic and non-conductive substances. «Many versions provide for a felt seal that aids in keeping the major ball clean when the latter is in rotation, so avoiding that impurities can get in touch with re-circulating balls. One or more drain holes are present on the bottom to facilitate the exit of impurities, liquids, condensate and so on – Alessandro Riva ended – They are generally supplied with pre-lubrication to favour their conservation if not used. They do not need lubrications that should be eventually applied periodically according to the use».