Press Release

NSK K1-L Lubrication Unit for NSK Linear Guides™

Boosted lubrication capability delivers long-term maintenance-free operation.

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President & CEO: Toshihiro Uchiyama) released the original groundbreaking NSK K1 lubrication unit in 1996. The product was the first linear guide lubrication solution of its type on the market, and has been relied upon by customers for over 20 years to build long-term maintenance-free machinery and equipment.

Today, the development of smart factory and automation technology is rapidly accelerating, and machinery makers and plant operators alike are aiming to maximize maintenance-free operation to generate the necessary efficiencies to stay competitive. To this end, our newly developed NSK K1-L unit delivers a whole new level of long lasting lubrication. NSK K1-L will be available for order from December 2019.

NSK K1-L Lubrication Unit
NSK K1-L Lubrication Unit

Development Background

Effective lubrication is essential to maintaining linear guide performance over long periods. Regular maintenance to lubricate linear guides takes time and effort, stopping machinery. NSK K1-L provides lubrication over an extended period of time, reducing the frequency of maintenance required. This can increase uptime and productivity, while reducing maintenance costs at the same time.

The original NSK K1 lubrication unit opened up entirely new possibilities for maintenance-free machinery, and has been widely adopted by customers for decades. The unit is also a highly clean lubrication solution, basically eliminating oil splatter, thereby improving the operating environment.

The newly developed NSK K1-L expands upon the success of the original model, improving lubrication capability for even longer maintenance-free operation and further reduction of maintenance costs - an ideal solution for smart factories and automation. The unit also contributes to preserving the environment by cutting resource and energy consumption through longer service life, lower friction, and reduced usage of lubricating oil.


1. Nearly Double the Service Life - Boosted Lubrication Performance
NSK K1-L is made of a resin material that retains a significant volume of lubricating oil, and gradually seeps the oil during use. This keeps the linear guide lubricated over a long period. NSK K1-L uses a newly developed resin capable of supplying oil for nearly twice as long compared to the original model.
2. Optimized Design Reduces Friction
NSK K1-L has an optimized shape where it contacts the rail, reducing dynamic friction force by about 20% when the slider is moving.
3. Casing for Protection and Enhanced Cleanliness
We also developed a protective casing for NSK K1-L to maintain structural integrity of the unit and further impede entry/ejection of dust and particles.


NSK K1-L has enhanced lubrication performance contributing to even longer maintenance-free operation. Reducing dynamic friction force by about 20% when the slider is moving also contributes to energy savings in machinery operation.


NSK K1-L will initially be made available for NSK's standard lineup of linear guides (NH Series, NS Series), and expanded to other models in turn.

About NSK

NSK started its journey manufacturing the first bearings in Japan in 1916, and has since developed into a global organization researching, designing, and manufacturing Motion & Control™ solutions supporting essential mobility and industry applications. NSK is currently the top supplier of bearings in Japan, and is the third largest supplier in the world by market share.

Our responsive products and technologies are used to enhance automotive performance and industrial productivity while reducing energy consumption to unprecedented low levels.

In the early 1960s we set our sights outside Japan, and to date, have established over 200 business locations across 30 countries.

NSK Corporate Philosophy

NSK contributes to a safer, smoother society and helps protect the global environment through its innovative technology integrating Motion & Control. As a truly international enterprise, we are working across national boundaries to improve relationships between people throughout the world.

NSK Vision 2026: Setting the Future in Motion

Contributing to society while growing as a company-NSK Vision 2026 embodies our drive to set the future in motion by creating new value beyond the world's expectations.