McGill Cam Follower Bearings
McGill cam follower bearings, also called “track followers,” are designed to follow tracks or cams within a vast range of linear motion systems. The modern stud type follower was invented and then patented by Thomas L. Robinson of the McGill Manufacturing Company in 1937. These bearings soon replaced the standard bearing/bolt combination, and were easier to use because the stud was already incorporated, plus they were engineered to handle larger loads.
This specialized type of needle or roller bearing is designed to follow cam lobe profiles. While these McGill cam followers are somewhat similar to roller bearings. Standard ball and roller bearings are made to be pressed into a rigid housing for circumferential support– keeping the outer race from becoming deformed and keeping the race cross-section relatively thin. Conversely, with cam followers, the outer race is loaded at a single point, so the outer race requires a thicker cross section to reduce deformation during use.This means the roller diameter must also be decreased, which consequently reduces the dynamic bearing capacity.
McGill boasts one of the industry’s most extensive lines of cam followers. They produce several different types of cam followers including: track roller, corrosion resistant, heavy duty, and their CAMROL series of cam followers. These quality McGill cam follower products offer increased contamination resistance, extended product life, and lubrication for life capabilities.
Stud, Yoke, and V-Groove Types
McGill cam follower bearings, also known as track followers, are a specialized type of roller or needle bearing designed to follow cam lobe profiles. Cam follower bearings come in an array of configurations, but their most defining characteristic is how the cam follower mounts to its mating part. Stud-style cam followers use a stud to mount while the yoke style has a hole through its center. All cam followers can be track followers, but not all track followers are cam followers. Some track followers have specially-shaped outer diameters (or OD) to follow tracks. For example, track followers are available with a V-groove for following a V-track, or the OD could also have a flange allowing it to follow the lip of the track.
McGill Cam Follower Bearings are Anti-Friction
The most common anti-friction element employed is a full complement of needle rollers. This particular design is able to withstand high radial loads but no thrust loads. The caged needle roller features a similar design, which also uses needle rollers, but with a cage to keep them separated. This design provides for higher speeds, but also decreases the load capacity. The cage also increases internal space so it can hold more lubrication, which means that relubrication is less frequently necessary.
A roller design can be used for heavy duty applications. This design employs two rows of rollers of larger diameter than used in needle roller cam followers to increase the dynamic load capacity while also providing thrust capabilities. This design can also support higher speed applications than the full complement design.
For light-duty applications, a bushing type follower can be used. A plastic bushing is used to reduce friction, which also provides a maintenance-free follower. The disadvantage though, is that it can only support light loads, slow speeds, no thrust loads, and has a temperature limit of 200 °F (93 °C). A bushing type stud follower can only support approximately 25% of the load of a roller type stud follower, while the heavy and yoke followers can handle 50%.
CAMROL Bearings– an Industry Standard
Since 1937, McGill cam follower bearings have maintained the leading position through ongoing development and improvements to the CAMROL® line of bearings. As today’s industry leading manufacturer of quality cam follower bearings, McGill has worked to develop products with many features to prolong bearing life in the areas of lubrication requirements, operating conditions, and application environments. With more than 1,400 standard designs to choose from, McGill offers an extensive and comprehensive range of cam follower bearings to suit any application. Learn more about the CAMROL® line, and find all the McGill cam follower bearings you need through ProSource.