Linear motion solutions for


Plain Bearings: Simple Design for Sophisticated Applications

Digitisation and automation are increasing rapidly in the agricultural sector. Robotization is only one part of the developments. In the field of mechanical engineering, there are also far-reaching improvements in automation through the increased use of intelligent and data-driven technology.

Bearings are a fundamental component in most types of industrial equipment, enabling low-friction motion for operations such as positioning, transporting, and guiding loads. They rely on sliding contact between softer bearing materials such as plastic, composite or bronze, and a relatively harder guide material, such as aluminum or steel.

Plain bearings have a simple construction, making them easy to install, maintain, and replace when necessary. In general, plain bearings offer higher speeds and loads within shorter stroke applications. They also perform well in different orientations ( vertical/horizontal ) and offer excellent resistance to harsher environmental conditions.

The focus is on:

Automation and robotization in agriculture

Battery electric and autonomous agricultural machine

Mechanical weed control

PBC Linear Products for Agricultural Sector

RST Round Shaft Technology

Round Shaft Technology utilizes precision round shafting as the guideway and linear plain bearings for movement. RST self-lubricating linear plain bearings come in a wide variety of configurations and offer solutions for a broad range of applications. Open bearings flanged bearings and pillow blocks offer a variety of mounting configurations.

Eliminating weeds in organic farming traditionally requires manual labor, which is hard to find. In the reclining position, employees can quickly pull weeds between crops on the go. While this is more efficient, it still requires the working hands of human labor.

A fully robotic and autonomous self-propelled weeder called ARW-912 by Andela Techniek & Innovatie. The weeder employs 12 cameras to differentiate between weeds and crops. The cameras then transmit the coordinates of the weeds to the 12 robotic arms that eradicate the weeds with heat. The robot arms need to be infinitely adjusted to different distances and done very precisely without the robot arms rotating.

Eltrex Motion was approached to fulfil the ARW-912 motion control needs. The specific parameters of the design excluded a guide with ball bearings, so plain bearing linear guides from PBC Linear were finalized for the solution. These low profile Uni-Guide (UGA) bearings were chosen for their light-weight 2-piece assembly and FrelonGOLD® self-lubricating liner. The linear guide is self-cleaning and not subject to maintenance as many other linear guide solutions are, ensuring the robot arms will move with precision and longevity.


  • Light so as not to affect the soil structure
  • Self-Lubricating linear motion without oil or grease
  • Maintenance-free and resistant to dust and debris from the fields

GST Gliding Surface Technology

PBC Linear manufactures Gliding Surface Technology to perform and to withstand harsh environments while offering additional advantages. By utilizing plain bearing design, Gliding Surface Technology offers lower profiles, compact sizes, and smooth, quiet linear motion. Available options and product capabilities provide unlimited design alternatives and configurations.

GST rail and carriages provide consistent smooth performance in vision applications due to not having any metal-to-metal contact.


  • Lubrication Ecolology System for reduced maintenance
  • Reinforced end plates for long life and reduced maintenance
  • Riging and precise recirculating ball design

Application stories

Bearing Solutions: Washdown Bottling Automation

Simplicity® plain bearings were used as an effective alternative to ball bearings. The plain bearing Frelon® liners produce a microscopic transfer of thin film that creates a smooth interaction between the bearing and shaft.