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Low Friction Alignment Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000048629D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Orlandi, JV: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A low friction alignment device designed for operation in unfavorable environments, such as high temperature furnaces or vacuum or where initial placement is poor, is constructed and operates as follows. A configuration of three ball bearings is used as the basis for this alignment device. Three precision balls 1 are mounted and contained within a retaining spider ring 2. A mounting plate 3 is available for mounting the ball and spider assembly to a fixture, work station or other device. A mating assembly 4 can be of a conical or spherical nature and attached to the mating detail of the fixture. The diameter of the mating assembly is precisely equal to the available diameter between the three floating balls.

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Low Friction Alignment Device

A low friction alignment device designed for operation in unfavorable environments, such as high temperature furnaces or vacuum or where initial placement is poor, is constructed and operates as follows. A configuration of three ball bearings is used as the basis for this alignment device. Three precision balls 1 are mounted and contained within a retaining spider ring 2. A mounting plate 3 is available for mounting the ball and spider assembly to a fixture, work station or other device. A mating assembly 4 can be of a conical or spherical nature and attached to the mating detail of the fixture. The diameter of the mating assembly is precisely equal to the available diameter between the three floating balls. The apparatus provides a low-friction, self-cleaning alignment device which is self-aligning when the parts are in close proximity. Thus, the device can be used with a low precision robot and still achieve precise alignment. It is compatible with a high vacuum environment and can be lubricated or not, depending on the materials selected.

An alternative configuration, not shown in the drawing, would place a fourth ball atop the three ball nest and use another three-ball assembly as the mating pair. This configuration is more practical in the vertical mode, but it also could be used in other orientations if a second retaining ring is added to contain the fourth ball.

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