Press Release

NSK Develops Ultra-Low Particle Emission, Decontamination Resistant Actuator; Ideal for Regenerative Medicine, Sterile Manufacturing and Aseptic Technique

  • Contributes to automation of cell preparation and other processes that require sterile or aseptic technique; world's first production actuator designed with a focus on the regenerative and cell medicine industry.
  • NSK's proprietary surface treatment technology and newly developed grease realize ultra-low particle emission, decontamination resistance, and low torque.
  • Reduces the burden of performance evaluation tests for particulate emissions and decontamination resistance that are conventionally conducted by equipment manufacturers

NSK Ltd. has developed a new actuator for manufacturing equipment that is ideal for the regenerative and cell medicine industry. The actuator combines ball bearings and linear motion parts (ball screws, etc.) and is the first1 production actuator in the world to offer both low particle emissions and decontamination resistant performance.

By reducing the burden of evaluation tests conventionally conducted by equipment manufacturers, this product contributes to the automation of a wide range of manufacturing applications such as where sterile and aseptic techniques are required.

The new actuator was exhibited at the 2023 International Robot Exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight.

1 Based on our survey of available products

Actuator Exterior/Actuator Cross Section


The regenerative medicine industry has high expectations worldwide as technology that can treat diseases that have been difficult to cure, and the market is expanding rapidly. However, current processes to manufacture cell medicine products rely heavily on manual labor, and mechanization and automation are required.

In the field of regenerative medicine, a sterile environment is required to prevent contamination by foreign substances, so component parts with low particle emissions2 and high decontamination resistance3 are indispensable for automation and manufacturing equipment in the medical field.

However, until now, because there were no existing available components that could guarantee performance in these two areas, equipment manufacturers have been burdened with independently conducting evaluation tests in order to select components.

2 Low particle emissions: Produces an extremely low number of particles during operation.

3 High decontamination-resistance: At medical and manufacturing sites where strict particle control is required, “decontamination” is performed during equipment maintenance, in which equipment is washed with corrosive hydrogen peroxide. Decontamination-resistance refers to resistance to damage and change in performance even when decontamination is regularly performed.


1. Ultra-Low Particle Emissions and Decontamination Resistance
  • Can be used in a sterile manufacturing environment (ISO Class 5).
  • Reduces the cost and time required for evaluation testing prior to adoption, which was conventionally conducted by equipment manufacturers.
Particle Emission Performance

Particle Emission Performance

Measurement of the number of particles 0.5 µm or larger generated per minute for 100 minutes. Comparison of equivalent products under the same driving conditions.

Decontamination Resistance of NSK Actuator
Decontamination Resistance of NSK Actuator
2. Low Torque
  • Achieved both ultra-low particle emission and low torque; 70% lower torque compared to equivalent competitor products.
  • Compact, energy saving design.

Low Torque


The following two technologies based on NSK's Core Technologies enabled the realization of this actuator.

1. Fluoride Low-Temperature Chrome Plating (Surface Treatment Technology)
  • Decontamination resistance is achieved by applying NSK's expertise in products for special environments (SPACIA products).
2. Newly Developed Grease
  • NSK's tribology technology is utilized to achieve both low particle generation and low torque, which were difficult to achieve in tandem in the past.
  • We have developed fluorine-based grease with low particle dispersion, achieving ultra-low particle emission. Low torque has also been achieved by optimizing the grease composition.

Proposal to Regenerative and Cell Medicine and Other Industries

NSK will initially court companies in the regenerative and cell medicine industries followed by expanding availability to other industries such as food and beverage, pulp and paper, and electronics manufacturing. We aim to contribute to mechanization and automation in a wide range of industries.