Before we can answer that question, let’s take a step back and talk about the cam itself.
FIRST, WHAT IS A CAM?
Simply put, a cam is a device that converts rotary motion – or motion around an axis – to linear motion – motion in a straight line. Think of a camshaft on a car and you’ll get the idea. Take a look at this video and you’ll see the cams spinning:
Cams are everywhere. They are used in washing machines, dishwashers, sewing machines, lawn sprinklers, and (of course) cars, to name a few.
In more industrial settings, cams play an important role in the Material Handling, Machine Tool, Packaging, Food Processing, and Automation Equipment industries.
For more information on cams, take a look at the presentation below (specifically the first 23 slides).
NOW, LET’S TALK ABOUT CAM FOLLOWERS
Now that you have a better understanding of what a cam is, it’s time to talk about cam followers. In order to transfer that rotary motion to linear motion (or vice versa), the cam needs to make contact with what’s known as a cam follower.
There are multiple types of cam followers: wedge (or knife) type, roller, or flat-ended.
In the image below, the grey objects are the cams, and the orange objects are the cam followers (flat-ended cam followers, to be exact).
AND FINALLY, LET’S TALK ABOUT CAM FOLLOWER BEARINGS
Cam follower bearings are also known as track followers. As the name implies, they are essential to make the cam followers work effectively. Cam followers are capable of handling intermittent shock and heavy loads. They also can have a soft core that allows for extreme shock loads without fracture. There are two types of cam follower bearings: stud style or yoke style.
STUD STYLE CAM FOLLOWERS LOOK LIKE THIS:
YOKE STYLE CAM FOLLOWERS LOOK LIKE THIS:
WHICH CAM FOLLOWER BEARING IS RIGHT FOR MY APPLICATION?
The type of cam follower you should use is dependent on your unique application. If you aren’t sure which type of cam follower bearing works best for your specific needs, or if you’d like to learn more about cam followers, give us a call at 1-800-431-1980, use our contact form, or check out our cam follower bearing page. We’re happy to help!