High-speed office machines now drive paper with thermoplastic bearings. By fully molding the bearing races, a single assembly provides multiple functions.
Pictured here, the lower drive roller snaps onto the steel drive shaft. A clip, which is part of the inner race molding, holds it in position. Flats on the outer race fit a hole in the machine frame.
A spring presses the upper idler roller against the drive roller. This allows the idler to float, trapping the paper whatever its thickness. Center portion of the idler doesn't rotate; its curved profile guides paper into the nip. Applications: copiers, printers, and ticket machines.
| Integrated bearing/rollers require minimum assembly, permit a drive shaft half as wide as the paper, and reduce friction/wear.
Terry Holmes, Sarnatech BNL, 56 Leonard St., Foxboro, MA 02035; Tel: (508) 698-8880; E-mail: front-desk@sarnatech-bn/usa.com †††
Three beams better
First seen on an Audi concept car at the 1997 IAA Frankfurt Autoshow, "Baroptic" headlights may be on the road by 2003. That's the prediction of Valeo's Lighting Systems Branch R&D Center. Four Fresnel lenses, formed in a single mold using thermo-resistent plastic, and a glass light guide form the chief components.
The glass guide distributes light from its source to the four lenses. Modified to reduce thickness, the lenses focus their beams on different sections of road; overlapping beams concentrate the light in most needed areas.
Because the light source need not be placed on the lens axis, Baroptics offer smaller, more flexible headlight design and better under-hood volume management.
| Shown at top: Smaller, more flexible design creates a variety of styling options. Bottom: Unlike conventional headlight design, where complex surface shaping aids beam distribution, four Fresnel lenses illuminate the road with overlapping beams.
Mr. Lenze, Valeo Lighting Systems Branch R&D Center, 43 rue Bayen, Cedex 17, Paris, France 45848; Tel: +33 1 40 55 20 20.