NSK linear guides used in face mask machines from Sims Engineering18 February 2021

When a UK specialist in automation and machine building was asked to manufacture face mask machinery in urgent response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it turned to the proactive team at NSK and the company’s long-life NH series linear guides.

Family-owned Sims Engineering was established in 1982 to specialise in the design and manufacture of automated systems and special purpose machinery. Much of the work performed is destined for customers in the automotive, pharmaceutical and food sectors. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, the company responded immediately to a request for automated face mask manufacturing machines.

Sims Engineering is known for its ability to produce machines on short lead times. The company had built face mask machines many years ago, so now it was a case of updating the design and manufacturing a reliable, innovative and efficient solution that would maximise productivity and quality.

The automated face mask manufacturing machines being manufactured by Sims Engineering are highly complex, with fully integrated cutting, folding and assembly to produce a fold-flat fabric mask. A high-precision punch and die set is used to profile-cut the mask’s fabric.

To help facilitate smooth, efficient and effective machine motion, the company turned to its long-term partner, NSK. For the past 20 years NSK has been supplying Sims Engineering with NH/NS series linear guides (and predecessor models) to suit the wide range of machines and systems built by the company. For the face mask machines, the linear guides would have to exhibit fast speeds and high load capacity, while simultaneously offering minimal noise output and extended reliability. Just five days after the order was placed, NSK duly provided the first NH series linear guides.

Over the course of 2020, NSK has supplied Sims Engineering with many NH linear guides for its face mask manufacturing machines. Currently, three such machines are in production as demand for local face mask resources continues to grow.

All of the NH series linear guides for Sims Engineering are supplied with NSK’s K1 lubrication units, whereby lubricant is incorporated in a carrier medium and released little by little to ensure supply over a long time period.

Transport Engineer

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