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Linear Rail and Guides

Similar to linear shafts and bearings, linear guides and rail systems are integral components in various machinery and equipment, facilitating precise linear motion along predefined paths.

These systems are indispensable in industries such as manufacturing, automation, robotics, and transportation, where accurate positioning and smooth motion are essential.

What is Linear Rail?

Linear rails, also known as linear guideways, linear guide rail or linear slide rail, is a vital component of linear motion systems.

It comprises a precisely machined rail along which a carriage or slider moves, enabling smooth and accurate linear motion.

Linear rails are typically constructed from hardened steel or other durable materials to withstand high loads and ensure longevity.


What is a Linear Guide?

A linear guide, often referred to as a linear bearing or slide bearing, works in tandem with the linear rail to facilitate smooth motion.

It typically consists of a carriage or slider that moves along the rail, supported by rolling elements such as balls or rollers.

Linear guides provide stability, precision, and reduced friction, enhancing the overall performance of the linear motion system.


Types of Linear Guides and Rail

Heavy Load Linear Rails:

Designed to support heavy loads and high dynamic forces, these linear guideway systems come in standard sizes ranging from 15mm to 55mm.

They can achieve speeds up to 10m/s and offer options including flanged and unflanged carriages for versatile mounting. With dynamic load capacities of up to 125KN, they ensure robust performance in demanding environments.


Compact Linear Rails:

Characterised by a lower profile compared to heavy-load variants, compact linear guide systems are available in sizes 15mm to 55mm, offering compatibility with various applications.

They support speeds up to 10m/s for efficient motion control and provide both flanged and unflanged carriage options for design flexibility.

Dynamic load capacities of up to 125KN ensure reliable performance in compact setups.

Compact Linear Guides and rail

Wide Linear Rails:

Ideal for applications requiring wider support or the replacement of multiple rails, wide linear rail systems are available in sizes 21mm/15mm and 27mm/20mm, offering versatility in design.

They can achieve speeds up to 10m/s while maintaining efficiency in motion, with dynamic load capacities of up to 28.1KN, suitable for moderate load requirements.

Wide Miniature Linear Rail and Guides

Roller Linear Rails:

Incorporating rigid and smooth-running roller bearings for enhanced performance, roller linear guides and rail systems are available in sizes 15mm to 55mm to accommodate various applications.

They feature a patented reinforcement plate design for increased durability and offer an optional patented silent roller chain for quiet operation.

With high dynamic load capacities of up to 261KN, they are ideal for demanding industrial applications.

Roller Linear Rail and Guides


Designed for applications requiring ultra-precision in a compact form factor, miniature linear guides are available in standard and wide types to cater to different space constraints.

They offer sizes ranging from 2mm to 15mm for precise motion control, with market-leading smoothness and extremely low noise decibel levels for silent operation.

Dynamic load capacities of up to 6.7KN make them suitable for miniature applications with tight space limitations.

MINIATURE LINEAR RAIL AND GUIDESWide Miniature Linear Rail and Guides

Linear guideway applications

Linear rail finds application in various industries and equipment, including:

CNC machines: They provide precise motion control in CNC machining centres, ensuring accurate tool positioning and cutting.

Robotics: They enable smooth and precise movement in robotic arms and automation systems, facilitating tasks such as pick-and-place operations.

Packaging machinery: Linear rails are used in packaging equipment for precise product handling and packaging processes.

Medical devices: They are employed in medical equipment such as scanning devices and surgical robots, enabling accurate movement and positioning during procedures.

3D printers: Linear rails play a crucial role in 3D printers by guiding the movement of print heads or build platforms, ensuring precise layer-by-layer deposition of materials.

Additional Information

Material Specifications:

Linear guides and rail systems are often manufactured from high-grade materials such as hardened steel, stainless steel, or aluminium.

These materials are chosen for their superior strength, corrosion resistance, and wear characteristics, ensuring reliable performance and longevity in demanding industrial environments.

Lubrication Requirements:

Proper lubrication is essential for maintaining smooth operation and extending the lifespan of linear guides and rail systems.

Lubricants reduce friction between moving components, minimizing wear and preventing premature failure. Regular lubrication intervals and the use of suitable lubricants are crucial aspects of maintenance practices for linear motion systems.

Installation Guidelines:

Correct installation and alignment are critical for optimal performance and accuracy of linear guides and rail systems.

Installation guidelines typically include proper mounting procedures, alignment checks, and adjustment techniques to ensure smooth motion and precise positioning.

Adhering to recommended installation practices helps avoid issues such as binding, misalignment, and premature wear.

Environmental Considerations:

Environmental factors such as temperature fluctuations, humidity, and contamination can impact the performance and lifespan of linear motion systems.

Proper environmental controls and protective measures, such as seals and covers, help mitigate these effects and ensure reliable operation in various operating conditions.

Bearing seals for linear guides


In conclusion, linear guides and rail systems are indispensable components in numerous industries, providing precise and smooth linear motion for a wide range of applications.

Whether it’s heavy-load handling, compact design constraints, wide support needs, or miniature precision, there’s a guide and rail system tailored to meet diverse demands.

With the support of CPC (Chieftek Precision Co., Ltd), a trusted partner in precision engineering solutions, customers can expect reliable performance and innovative solutions for their linear motion needs.

From CNC machines to 3D printers, guides and rail systems play a pivotal role in driving efficiency, productivity, and quality in modern manufacturing and automation processes.

Invest in quality linear motion solutions today from / to elevate your equipment performance and stay ahead in today’s competitive market landscape.


What are linear rail and guides and where are they used?

Linear rail and guides are used in automation systems to move and position a component in a linear direction, either horizontally or vertically. They operate to move a load in a smooth and quiet motion. Linear rails and guides are used in a huge range of applications where precise and repeatable motion is required. They are used in applications all over the world and in almost every industry. Common applications include machine tools, printing and packaging, robotics, plasma cutting machine, automotive, semiconductor and many more.

Why use CPC linear rail and guides?

CPC continue to push the boundaries of linear motion capabilities. With unique and patented linear products, you are sure to be choosing only the very best the world of linear guides has to offer.

With groundbreaking linear speeds of 10m/s, industry leading load ratings and the smallest, smoothest miniature rail on the market today, CPC presents a linear motion product range to suit any application.

How do I choose a linear guide?

Several key factors should be considered when selecting a linear guide system for your specific application, so they meet your performance and functional requirements and a long lifetime.

Key factors such as payload, speed and environmental conditions should be at the forefront of any selection when incorporating them into your machine design.

By using Kiwi Motion data sheets or the CPC LLRAS calculation software system a correct choice can be made.

If you still need advice and guidance the expert, helpful, friendly team at Kiwi Motion will be on hand to help.

What is preload in linear guides?

Linear guide preload eliminates the clearance between the linear guide and the linear rail.

Here at Kiwi Motion, we achieve this by using ball bearings or roller bearings.

By eliminating the clearance, it increases rigidity and reduces deflection when external loads are applied.

To correctly specify a linear guidance system one key thing to consider is preload.

Can you offer different sealing options?

Our whole linear rail and guide range from CPC is available with market leading and patented selection of sealing and in-built lubrication options, to suit the most demanding of environments.

With varying selection criteria for end seals, bottom seals, reinforcement plates and lubrication storage systems the choice for your design is best in class.

What is the best lubrication for linear guides?

Here at Kiwi Motion, we recommend for ‘normal’ applications (normal temperature, non-food grade) a Lithium based grease No2.

For food and pharmaceutical applications, it is essential that the chosen lubricant is safe for contact with consumable products.

Can you cut linear rail to any length?

The answer is yes, of course. Our whole range of our linear rails can be cut to your desired length.

What are end dimensions?

End dimensions are the distance from the end of the rail each end to the middle of the first hole each end. It is important to calculate these correctly so that we don’t cut into ‘half a hole’ and that your prepared surface matches the hole pattern on the linear rail.

Here at Kiwi Motion, we calculate this for you and will always as standard supply linear rails with ‘equal’ end dimensions.

However, if you require something different just contact us and we will supply as per your specification.

What are the most common linear rail applications?

CPC linear guides are used all over Planet Earth in many different applications and industries.

Some common industries and applications for linear rails and guides include:

  • Machine Tools
  • Printing Machines
  • Packaging Machines
  • Semiconductor
  • Automotive
  • Plasma Cutting Machines
  • Pick and Place Systems
  • Aerospace
  • Special Purpose Machinery
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Food & Beverage
  • Bottling Machines
  • Laboratory Equipment.

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Linear Rail and Guides | Linear Rails | Linear Guideways