Belt Drive or Direct Drive? Shibaura Machine is Breaking Down the Differences

  • Injection Molding

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, September 22, 2021 - Linear motion control systems, such as direct drive and belt drive, are key in today’s motion-driven automation environment. And while both options look similar, they are fundamentally different. You will want to understand the distinct characteristics of both in order to best choose an option for your specific application.

The biggest difference between direct drive and belt drive is that a ball screw uses ball bearings to eliminate the friction between the nut and screw in the belt drive and roller screws in the direct drive do not. Because the ball screw contains a nut allowing the ball bearings to circulate it offers additional support on the load and reduced friction. What does this mean for your machine?

Consider the Design

The design of linear motion devices is essential to keep up the demand for greater reliability, lower power consumption, and higher levels of precision. For example, direct drive tends to be a common option for high-duty applications, but when efficiency and improved downtime are important, belt drive is a preferred choice. Moreover, as we see an increased push for modern injection molding machines to deliver greater power efficiency, this continues to pose a challenge for direct drive which generally requires more torque and cooling.

Shibaura Machine designed the belt drive in the all-electric SXIII series to ensure its precision and longevity. The ball retainers within the belt drive are designed to reduce wear and increase runs of the balls transfer load over a larger area, which allows retainers to assist in holding lubrication, improve durability, and reduce cooling. Because of less friction between the balls, there is reduced noise levels.

Superior Mechanical Efficiency

While the direct drive continues to remain a popular choice for manufacturers, more are now looking to machines with belt drives to improve efficiency and longevity. Generally, belt drives will be a preferred option for applications requiring high throughput, precision, speed, and reduced operational costs.

If you would like more information on Shibaura Machine’s belt drive design, contact us today.

Contact us today to see if our SXIII series can help your molding shop achieve its goals!

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