Linear bearing manufacturer digitalizes production using Siemens PLM Software

 Dedemsvaart, Netherlands. The Dutch linear bearing manufacturer Precisie Metaal Bearings (PM-Bearings), based in Dedemsvaart, produces bearings in a range of sizes from 10 millimeters in length to systems with footprints of 1.2 to 1.5 square meters and stroke lengths of one meter, most of which are manufactured to customer specifications. To increase production efficiency, the company has digitalized the whole production process using solutions from Siemens PLM Software. As a result PM-Bearings has secured a competitive advantage, is able to meet a wide range of customer requirements, and can reduce programming time on the manufacturing machines with the help of a digital twin by up to 80 percent. Stonehenge and the pyramids are the proof that we knew how to move heavy loads using bearings a long time ago by reducing the friction between moving parts. Today, we use ball bearings, such as those manufactured by Precisie Metaal Bearings (PM-Bearings). The company based in Dedemsvaart, the Netherlands, specializes in the design and manufacture of highprecision linear bearings, motion systems and positioning stages.

The company’s biggest challenges come from the wide ranging and highly specific customer requests. PMB has been using solutions from Siemens PLM Software for more than a decade, from design to delivery

End-to-end solution

These include NX software for computer- aided design (CAD), Simcenter software for performance prediction, NX CAM for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and Teamcenter as a joint working platform for everyone involved in the project.

– 3D model sharing and access to the latest information are the greatest strengths of Teamcenter, says Jan Willem Ridderinkhof, Research, Development and Engineering Manager at PM-Bearings. Teamcenter also allows parts to be classified by predefined criteria instead of alphanumeric codes. This helps to embed part variations and to establish defined metrics and design standards. NX CAD allows bearing models which have been produced on the computer to be shared with design analysts and CAM engineers, making product development fast and short.

– Another key feature of NX CAD that is important for my job is the ability to read design data coming from customers who use different CAD platforms, adds Walter Meijerink, Mechatronics Engineer at PMBearings. The finished designs are checked for their rigidity and performance. Simcenter is used to prepare the geometry for simulation. Instead of outsourcing the finite element calculation and waiting weeks for the results, as in the past, PM-Bearings designers are now receiving the results within hours or even a matter of minutes.

Digitalizing increases efficiency

In order to ensure the production process runs right in the first place, PM-Bearings is using a digital twin. This saves PM-Bearings about 80 percent of programming time on the machine.

– In order to keep delivering the most accurate bearing and positioning slides, we digitalized our entire engineering and manufacturing process using Siemens PLM Software solutions. The more time we spend with the software at the beginning of the production process, the better the output our company manufactures, summarizes Ridderinkhof. The overall efficiency of the company is increasing.