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Crossed Roller Guides: Precision Motion Solutions by Nippon Bearing

What is a Crossed Roller Guide?

Crossed roller guides, also known as cross rollers, are a type of linear motion bearing, similar to linear rail and guides, designed to provide smooth, precise, and high-load capacity linear movement. It consists of cylindrical rollers arranged in a cross pattern between two parallel guides.

This innovative design ensures high rigidity, high accuracy, and minimal friction, making it ideal for applications requiring exact and reliable linear motion.

Cross rollers are essential in industries where precision and performance are critical, such as semiconductor manufacturing, medical equipment, and aerospace engineering.

Advantages of Crossed Roller Guides

  • Precision Accuracy: The crisscross arrangement of rollers provides line contact, resulting in enhanced accuracy and stability.
  • Stiffness: The greater contact points of cylindrical rollers ensure high rigidity, making crossed roller guides suitable for high-load applications.
  • High Load Ratings: Capable of handling significant loads without compromising performance.
  • Low Friction Movement: The rollers do not recirculate, ensuring smooth and consistent motion with minimal friction.

Why Choose Nippon Bearing (NB) Crossed Roller Guides?

Nippon Bearing (NB) are one of our trusted partners in providing high-quality linear motion solutions.

Our crossed rollers are manufactured with precision and attention to detail, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.

The innovative STUDROLLER® system, competitive pricing, and quick delivery times make NB crossed roller guides the superior choice for your linear motion needs.

Types of Crossed Roller Guides

1. Slide Ways

Crossed roller slide ways, also known as crossed roller bearings, are a linear motion system that offers high rigidity, high accuracy, and ultra-low friction.

These systems use roller bearings that ride between precision-ground V-shaped grooves, arranged in a crisscross pattern, and are held in a metal or resin cage.

This unique configuration makes slide ways suitable for applications in electronics automatic-assembly machines, optical measurement devices, and various high-precision instruments.

NB Crossed Roller Slide Ways

  • High Rigidity and Accuracy: The crossed arrangement of rollers provides enhanced stability and precise movement.
  • Smooth Motion with Low Friction: The rolling contact reduces friction, ensuring smooth and consistent motion.
  • Suitable for High-Load Applications: Capable of handling significant loads without compromising performance.
  • Common Applications: Semiconductor machinery, high-precision optical equipment, microscopes, laboratory equipment, and high-precision measurement instruments.

2. Slide Tables

A slide table incorporates all the features of crossed roller slide ways into one compact, ready-to-use linear motion product.

NB crossed roller slide tables are precision-machined to ensure high accuracy and low friction, eliminating the need for adjustment during installation.

This makes them ideal for use in electronics automatic-assembly machines, optical measurement devices, and other applications requiring a compact, efficient linear motion solution.

Cross Roller Table Slides

  • Integrated Design for Easy Installation: Slide tables come as a complete unit, simplifying the installation process.
  • High Precision and Load Capacity: Ensures reliable performance in demanding applications.
  • Compact and Robust Construction: Suitable for space-constrained environments without sacrificing durability.
  • Common Applications: Semiconductor machinery, high-precision optical equipment, microscopes, laboratory equipment, and high-precision measurement instruments.

3. Miniature Slides

The NB miniature slide SYBS type is a limited stroke table with the most compact envelope dimensions, featuring two ball raceway grooves.

The SYBS type utilises balls as the rolling elements, making it ideal for applications that require precise linear motion in confined spaces.

This ultra-compact design is instrumental in creating smaller and lighter industrial machinery and equipment.

SYBS Miniature Slides | Nippon Bearing (NB)

  • Ultra-Compact Design: Perfect for applications with limited space.
  • High Precision and Smooth Motion: Ensures accurate and reliable performance.
  • Suitable for Light to Moderate Loads: Ideal for small-scale automation and precision instruments.
  • Common Applications: Electronics assembly machines, miniature precision instruments, and compact industrial machinery.

4. Gonio Ways

A gonio way is a curved cross roller guide used for precision angular positioning.

It utilises low-friction, non-recirculating precision rollers, making it ideal for high-precision optical and measurement equipment where accurate gradient angles are needed without changing the centre of rotation.

Gonio ways are essential in applications requiring meticulous control of angular positioning.

Gonio Ways

  • Precision Angular Positioning: Provides accurate and repeatable angular movement.
  • High Rigidity and Stability: Ensures stable performance under varying conditions.
  • Common Applications: High-precision optical equipment, measurement instruments, and any application requiring precise angular adjustments.

Cage Creep and How to Prevent It

What is Cage Creep?

Cage creep is a phenomenon where the roller bearing cage drifts from its original position over time.

This issue can arise in vertical applications, when the full stroke isn’t utilised, or due to vibration and shock loads. Cage creep can significantly affect the performance and lifespan of the crossed roller guide.

Why is Cage Creep a Problem?

When the cage is misaligned and makes its next full stroke, the off-centre cage will bump into an end stop and be forced to centre itself again by skidding.

This skidding causes the rollers to slip rather than roll, resulting in metal-on-metal rubbing. This can damage the crossed roller guide, reducing its lifespan and necessitating frequent adjustments and replacements of worn components.

How to Prevent Cage Creep?

Cage creep can be prevented using the NB STUDROLLER system, available for both slide ways and slide tables.

This patented system prevents roller guide slippage even in vertical applications, ensuring quieter operation, more accurate alignment, and an extended lifespan.


What is the STUDROLLER System?

The NB STUDROLLER system is an innovative solution to prevent cage creep.

It uses rollers with spherical studs that mesh with a row of holes or dimples machined into the raceway tracks.

This unique design ensures that the rollers remain aligned and do not slip, regardless of the rail’s orientation.

Performance Benefits:

  • 58% Increase in the Length of Contact Between Roller and Transfer Surfaces: Enhances stability and reduces wear.
  • Quieter Operation and Smoother Movement: Reduces noise and vibration during operation.
  • 53% Increase in Number of Effective Rollers: Results in load ratings 2.3 times higher than conventional sliding bearings.
  • More Accurate Linear Movements and Dynamic Frictional Resistances: Ensures precise and consistent performance.
  • More Stable Motion at Both High and Low Speeds: Improves reliability across a range of operating conditions.

Crossed Roller Applications and Industries

1. Medical Equipment

Crossed roller guides are essential in medical devices that require precise and smooth motion, such as imaging equipment, surgical instruments, and diagnostic machines.

Their high accuracy and reliability are crucial in ensuring the performance and safety of medical equipment.

2. Semiconductor Manufacturing

In semiconductor fabrication, where precision and cleanliness are paramount, crossed roller guides ensure accurate positioning and movement of components.

They are vital in the production of microchips and other semiconductor devices, where even the slightest deviation can result in significant issues.

3. Robotics and Automation

Robotic systems and automation equipment benefit from the high precision and load capacity of crossed roller guides.

These guides enable accurate and reliable operation in assembly lines and automated processes, enhancing the efficiency and performance of robotic systems.

4. Aerospace and Defence

Aerospace and defence applications demand high-performance components that can withstand harsh conditions.

Crossed roller guides provide the necessary precision and durability for these critical applications, ensuring the reliable operation of aerospace and defence equipment.

5. Optical Equipment

Optical instruments, such as microscopes and laser systems, require precise linear motion to maintain alignment and accuracy.

Crossed roller guides ensure smooth and exact positioning, which is essential for the performance of high-precision optical equipment.

How to Choose a Crossed Roller Guide

Selecting the appropriate crossed rollers for your application requires careful consideration of several key factors to meet your performance and functional requirements.

Important factors include payload, speed, and environmental conditions.

By using Kiwi Motion data sheets and 3D models, you can make an informed decision.

If you need further advice and guidance, the expert, helpful, and friendly team at Kiwi Motion is always on hand to assist.


In summary, Nippon Bearing (NB) crossed roller guides provide unmatched precision, rigidity, and reliability for a variety of high-demand applications.

Whether you require slide ways, slide tables, miniature slides, or Gonio ways, NB’s innovative products, including the advanced STUDROLLER® system, ensure optimal performance and longevity.

At Kiwi Motion, we are committed to delivering top-quality linear motion solutions that meet your specific needs. Our team of experts is ready to assist you in selecting the perfect crossed roller guide for your application, ensuring maximum efficiency and reliability.

Don’t compromise on precision and performance. Choose Kiwi Motion for your linear motion needs and experience the excellence of NB crossed roller guides. Contact us today to discuss your requirements, request a quote, or learn more about our product offerings.

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NB Crossed Roller Guides