Benefits of Guide Roller Technology

Modern Linear products incorporate the benefits of guide roller technology. Guide roller benefits are numerous compared to competing technologies. They are smooth, fast, quiet, and extremely durable. From DNA scanners to CNC tables to robotics to drawer slides, guide roller components excel in a wide variety of industries and applications. The versatility of guide roller components offer unlimited integration possibilities. Modern Linear guide rollers, bushings and tracks are completely interchangeable with industry standard products. Our guide roller benefits are as follows:


Linear guide rollers are based on the design of radial ball bearings. The load carrying balls travel in a circular path and are retained and separated from one another. Current ball bushing and ball rail linear systems have a recirculation path that requires the balls to make a quick change in direction. Vibration occurs when the balls collide entering and leaving the load zone.


Linear guide rollers are very quiet due to ball separation. The internal ball bearings are separated by a nylon retainer. This feature reduces noise common in recirculating ball systems. Noise is amplified in recirculating guide systems when each ball collides with the next in the ball path.


Rugged. The radial bearings of Modern Linear guide rollers are offered with shields or rubber seals. The seal is superior to wipers common in recirculating ball guides. Debris caught between the wheels and track is wiped away naturally. Ball bushings and ball rails use the shaft or rail as the inner race of the bearing, making them susceptible to contamination failure. 440c stainless steel guide rollers and track are also available for corrosive environments.


Recirculating ball guides are limited by the sharp turn the balls must make as they enter and leave the load zone. Guide rollers are only limited by the rotary speed of the radial bearing. Maximum guide roller speeds are up to 2x faster than ball bushings or ball rails.


Modern Linear guide rollers are simple to design, install and maintain. In operation, the guide system is compliant and forgiving to mis-alignment and machining inaccuracies. These features result in lower initial, installed, and total cost.

A Word About Failure

The definition of failure is different for all machine components. Failure of linear systems can be based on many factors but is usually defined as a reduction in position accuracy that affects the overall performance of the machine or application. In some cases it can be as simple as an increase in noise. It could also be that the only definition of failure is catastrophic--the moving carriage breaks or seizes, causing the machine to stop running.… Kaboom!

In contaminated environments the life of the system is often the most important design consideration. Recirculating ball guide systems are sensitive to contamination but can be protected by bellows, covers and shields. This increases component and installation cost. Guide roller systems excel in contaminated conditions for several reasons:

  • The radial bearings are sealed keeping particulates away from the ball bearing complement.
  • Contaminants that land between the guide roller and track are naturally swept away by the wiping action of the roller.
  • Costs remain low due to the economy of guide roller components, the ease of installation and the lack of additional components to isolate the guide.

When all factors are considered, guide roller technology is an excellent choice for a wide variety of applications.

Components vs. Linear Guides

Individual components (guide rollers, bushings, and track) offer the widest variety of design flexibility for automated machinery. Components can be integrated into a preexisting machine frame for the most discrete solution. Additionally, part cost will always be lower with components than with pre-assembled linear guides.

Pre-assembled linear guides (Vector Trio/Quad, DT Linear Guide) offer the greatest simplicity of design and low cost installation. No need to align parallel track components or assemble carriages. When total cost is the highest priority, pre-assembled linear guides may be favorable. Whatever you choose, combinations of guide rollers, track and linear guides can be selected for optimum cost and machine performance.


Customer Service

Modern Linear’s mission is to provide all customers with high quality, durable products and outstanding customer service.

  • Ship From Stock. Our expansive warehouse stocks all components and linear guides, allowing for same day or next day shipping. This “ship from stock” motto means you can place orders based on your changing product needs with no lead time required.
  • Monolithic Pricing. Product pricing is not quantity sensitive. We guarantee our lowest price, no matter if you are ordering 1 or 100 pieces. This means there is no pressure to buy more than you need or place blanket orders because of discount incentives. Our goal is to satisfy 100% of our customers’ requirements, regardless of the size of the order.

Special Orders. Modern Linear has produced a wide variety of unique linear solutions for customers. These include special coatings, machining, lubricants, and complete custom designs. We are eager to collaborate on general machine design and discuss the merit of different linear guide options.