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BNL New Technology Centre focuses on new capability development

BNL New Technology Centre focuses on new capability development

Service News Thursday, January 7, 2010: BNL (UK) Limited

BNL is multiplying its capability portfolio with the support of the British Gear Association and the foundation of a New Technology Centre for tribological research.

The recently formed New Technology Centre (NTC) at BNL is spearheading the research, development and understanding of polymer tribology and its application to plastic bearings and related components.

The initial focus of the NTC will be the expansion of laboratory facilities and the development of BNL’s current capabilities, not only in plastic bearings but also plastic shafts and polymer gears.

BNL is well known for its plastic bearing designs and products, but its ongoing development of other technologies, such as polymer gears, is less publicised.

BNL has worked within the field of geared products and polymer gears for a number of years and has provided geared bearing products for customers in markets as diverse as motor sports to security cameras, photocopiers to window blinds.

BNL recently became a full member of the British Gear Association (BGA) and BNL & the BGA plan to work closely together, along with other authorities in the field, to enhance the understanding of polymer gear engineering quality and accuracy and its application in product design.

"We were absolutely delighted when BNL decided to join the BGA this summer", said Andy Harry, BGA Technical Executive. "We have a strong technical relationship with BNL going back some 7 years. We look forward to further developing this already strong relationship to work with BNL in a number of key areas such as R&D, knowledge transfer seminars and ISO Standards.”

Kevin Smith, New Technology Manager and BNL’s specialist in polymer gear technology, is heading up the NTC programme.

“The support of the BGA in our development of polymer gearing is gratefully received,” stated Kevin. “The work undertaken by the New Technology Centre will expand BNL’s capabilities to allow us to provide more added-value solutions per product, reducing component count and related part, assembly and maintenance costs for our customers.”

BNL’s unique assemblies utilise the freedom of design available through thermoplastic injection moulding techniques, to integrate features such as bearings, clips, brackets, gears and shafts into their products.

BNL (UK) Ltd specialises in the design and manufacture of innovative thermoplastic bearing assemblies and technical moulding solutions. Plastic bearings offer many advantages over the traditional steel bearing, including anti-static properties, low friction and corrosion and chemical resistance. They are lightweight with low inertia and have no requirement for lubrication. BNL’s dedicated in-house design team is able to promote added value through the integration of other features - such as axles, gears, fixing clips, mounting flanges and pulleys - to form fully integrated bearing assemblies that maximise functionality and deliver whole system cost reductions. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, BNL maintains subsidiaries in Foxboro, Massachusetts (BNL [USA] Inc.), Tokyo, Japan (BNL [Japan] Inc.) and Rayong, Thailand (BNL [Thailand] Ltd).