Press Release

NSK Develops Ultra-Smooth Motion Technology for NSK Linear Guides™

  • World's first design with elastic rolling elements significantly reduces friction variation for ultra-smooth motion
  • Ideal for high-precision inspection and measurement equipment

NSK has developed ultra-smooth motion technology to enhance the performance of NSK Linear Guides used in industrial machinery. The technology achieves a highly consistent dynamic friction profile ideal for high-precision inspection and measurement equipment.

The ultra-smooth motion technology is now available as an option for NH/NS Series linear guides. NSK aims to achieve annual sales of 500 million yen by 2026 of products with this technology.

NH/NS Series NSK Linear Guides w/ Ultra-Smooth Motion Technology
NH/NS Series NSK Linear Guides w/ Ultra-Smooth Motion Technology


Linear guides are prized for their low friction and smooth motion. NH/NS Series NSK Linear Guides launched in 2014 and are used today in a wide range of applications such as semiconductor and LCD manufacturing equipment, automotive manufacturing equipment, conveyor robots, and machine tools.

In recent years, manufacturing equipment has become increasingly sophisticated with higher requirements for smooth and accurate motion. In particular, there is demand for even smoother operation of components in inspection and measurement equipment, which requires that linear guides achieve even better operating characteristics.


We developed the ultra-smooth motion technology by optimizing the shape of the ball circulation path and suppressing irregular “micro-stutters” (brief stuttering or jerking in motion due to localized friction fluctuations) with elastic rolling elements.

NSK Linear Guides with ultra-smooth motion technology are ideal for equipment requiring highly consistent smooth motion, such as inspection and measurement equipment. The technology also benefits applications requiring vertical operation and other mounting positions where operating characteristics tend to deteriorate.

In addition, linear guides with ultra-smooth motion technology are dimensionally interchangeable with NH/NS Series linear guides, so units currently in use (e.g. older models) can be replaced without any design changes.

Mechanism of Ultra-Smooth Motion Technology

A significant cause of micro-stutters in linear guides is the balls colliding with each other in the curved sections of the ball circulation path. We optimized the design of the circulation path and included elastic rolling elements in a special configuration to reduce conflict between balls (prevent an increase in friction due to contact between balls) and achieve ultra-smooth motion (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2).

* NSK has patented this technology

Fig. 1 Mechanism of Ultra-Smooth Motion
Fig. 1 Mechanism of Ultra-Smooth Motion

Fig. 2 Evaluation of Slide Motion Smoothness
Fig. 2 Evaluation of Slide Motion Smoothness


NSK linear guides with ultra-smooth motion technology largely eliminate micro-stutters and have improved operating characteristics contributing to higher accuracy of equipment through smooth motion with no feed speed irregularities.

Supported Models

  • Ultra-smooth motion option is now available for general purpose NH/NS Series Linear Guides
  • Sizes: NH 15, 20, 25    NS 15, 20, 25, 30
  • 28 variations including different slider lengths and types
  • Compatible with a wide variety of options such as NSK K1-L lubrication unit, stainless steel configurations, and surface treatments.

About NSK

NSK began 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 essential for mobility and industrial applications. NSK is the top supplier of bearings in Japan and is the third largest supplier in the world by market share.

Our responsive products and technologies 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 have established over 200 business locations in 30 countries alongside a vast network of joint ventures and partnerships in all corners of the world.