Accuride blog

Blog Archive
Blog topics
Helle Kinning

How do I choose the correct ball bearing slide for my application?

Author: Helle Kinning, Marketing and distribution support specialist

14th Apr 2014

This is a difficult one to answer since there are so many different slides on the market and even more applications where slides can be used.

Have a look at our market sector and case study pages – you may find a similar application to yours.

Here are ten tips from our engineering group:

1. Is a ball bearing slide the best option? If you have a restricted budget or just need a simple movement carrying very little weight, then don’t forget to look into roller slides or simple friction systems

2. Slides are categorised by load rating so think carefully about the weight that you expect the slide to carry. Remember to add the weight of all the elements to be moved, including the construction materials, into your calculations. This will give you a good starting point to understand the size of slide you need.

3. How far do you need the item to move? This will give you the slide travel or extension. This is the difference in length between a closed and fully opened slide. Slides come in various extensions - part extension, full extension, over travel, linear.

4. How much space do you have to accommodate the slide? Each type of slide has its own side space requirement, but you need to also take into account the profile height of the slide.

5. How far apart will the slides be positioned and will they be side or flat mounted? Slides are typically tested for their catalogue load ratings at 450mm apart and some slides cannot be flat mounted. Those slides that can be flat mounted will have a reduced load rating.

6. What finish do you need? Zinc plated steel is standard, but we also do black, white, stainless steel, aluminium and corrosion resistant coatings.

7. Think about mounting options. How do you want to fix the slide into the application? The majority of slides have screw fixing hole patterns, but there are also slides with bayonet mounting options for fixing into steel cabinets. Or use our ladder strip mounting to allow bayonet slides to be mounted into wooden cabinets.

8. Does the application need a particular function? This will make you think about the additional features that you may need in or around the slide. There are a number of common options such as, detent hold in, disconnect, self close, easy close, lock in, lock out, etc.

9. You can use our slide selector tool on the website to configure a product. You can also save slides to your own Product library to compare features.

10. Can’t see the slide you need? Then ask for help. We are happy to receive your application photos or drawings and give advice. Email your question to [email protected]
You may also want to read our page called ‘How to select a ball bearing drawer slide’.

Read more technical articles on the Accuride blog:

'I want to replace the cabinet slides in my wooden drawer'

'I need to fit a drawer slide, but don’t know how much space to allow between the cabinet and drawer '

'Potential problems of using slides on wide and deep drawers, and ball migration / inching issues'

Sue Witkowski

Training for successful sales

Author: Sue Witkowski, Marketing services manager

24th Mar 2014

It seems obvious that if you want someone to sell your product then you must give them the tools with which to do it.

Accuride’s distribution network covers all of Europe and employs well over 1,000 sales representatives on our behalf. We want our customers to buy the correct slide for their project, so keeping our distributors up to date with our products is vital. They need to be able to understand our products and be able to specify them into a huge variety of markets and applications.

One-off training just won’t do. We are always introducing new products and discovering new markets so we need to be training continually.

We make certain that our distributors are experts on our product line and that the end customers have full confidence in them.

It is not only front line sales who need in-depth knowledge about Accuride and our products. The distributor telesales and customer services staff are also included in training sessions.

Accuride’s regional sales managers all take direct responsibility for training their own distributors. This strengthens the relationships between the staff on both sides. We will go to their premises and organise hands-on training, which will be tailored depending on the expertise and job function of the group.

Product training is just one part of Accuride’s sales success, but we think it’s an important one.

Some tips for successful training

The follow can be applied to most product training. I hope that you find it helpful.

  • Adult learners gain through two-way communication - encourage discussion through interactive sessions such as case studies and role-playing.
  • Adults learn what they see as useful to them in their situation and that are related to problems they face daily - make the content and materials relevant
  • Use their experiences as part of the sessions – this will encourage them to be involved
  • Adults are likely to have fixed points of view that can make them closed to new ways of thinking; get discussions going between you and the group and within the group
  • Make the surroundings comfortable and informal to put everyone at their ease. You should be well prepared and relaxed

Using slide presentations

Although slide shows can be useful, don’t be a slave to the screen.

Your audience cannot listen to you, look at a sample and read the slide at the same time. Add blank slides where you think you may stop to look at samples or discuss an issue or invite examples from the floor. PowerPoint is ideal for showing pictures and creating a lesson structure, but can also be boring for an audience.

Consider using flip charts for more interactive sessions.

Using training aids and hand-outs

  • Don’t have too much on the desk or on show
  • Keep the product hidden or use cloths to keep items covered during introductions
  • Only introduce items that are relevant to that session
  • Don’t pass around a product sample and continue to talk; make a statement – pass around the examples and encourage the group to discuss it. Once the discussions have come to an end, make a statement or ask a closed question to conclude the point and remove the sample from view. You can then move on
  • Hand-outs should be given at the end of a session, unless you are referring directly to them
  • Catalogues -the only time that you use these during training is when referring directly to them – make sure that the whole class is looking at the correct page.

Case studies

Use case studies from their experiences. You may find that they already have some problems or queries that you can use in class as a group discussion to find the solution.

You can also make some up to illustrate particular points and introduce role playing if you think that it will be useful and welcome. Have some case studies or application problems ready for the class to discuss.

How do I know if the training is successful?

Be clear about the objective and make sure that every point made leads to that objective.

Be clear, precise and get confirmation that each point has been understood by the group. If the session is a series of building blocks then ensure that each block is understood before moving on. Use questioning, discussion, case studies and working examples to check understanding.

Questioning is the most usual way of checking on understanding. An ‘open’ question calls for an answer which draws on experience, knowledge and judgement – often beyond the confines of the class.

When training, you need to get the audience interested and involved, so make sure that you use every opportunity to get their opinion or experience by using conversation starters or open questions.

Be sure that you know why you are asking questions (does the question meet the lesson objective?), know the answers, be sure that the students’ ideas will not be dismissed and that you can control any ensuing discussions.

You may wish to use a questionnaire to find out if your audience has found your training useful.

Lesson plans

  • Be aware of the group you are training and plan appropriately
  • Think about your objective for each session
  • Write it down in one clear sentence. This will stop you from trying to do too much and will keep your plan to the point
  • Think about the method you will use to teach this subject. For example, do you need to do a re-cap on any points prior to the main session? Consider the type of discussions you want to develop and make sure that you have the application examples ready
  • Collect together the training aids, e.g. samples, hand-outs, catalogues
  • What audio visual equipment do you need?


1. Understand your audience
Assess your audience; group size, interest and level of knowledge. Agree with your customer beforehand what result(s) you need to achieve at the end of the session.

2. Prepare the content
Structure the key messages, pulling together the relevant information. Decide on the correct visual aids, hand-outs and demo units to put across the information.

3. Create the right environment
Get the location right and be well prepared to present in that location.

4. Work on your performance
Identify what your personal style/strengths are. Understand how to build rapport with your audience. Work on voice projection and handling questions.

Photo: Geoffrey Whiteway,

4th Mar 2014

Since launching the very popular linear track with recirculating ball carriage (DA0115RC), we have received a few questions about fixing the carriage to panels.

This product has proved to have many different types of applications, so we asked our engineering department for a couple of options depending on the panel thickness.

Each carriage has 2 x M5 studs and the two options illustrated show the use of a connector bolt and a Nyloc nut. These are freely available and can be bought from your own fastening supplier.

Please email your technical questions to [email protected].

John Whittlesea

Why can’t I get a dampened soft-close on a short telescopic slide?

Author: John Whittlesea, Technical support manager

19th Feb 2014

One of the more popular features in slides today is the soft-close mechanism. This feature brings drawers to a gentle close and helps prevent slamming.

Soft-close mechanisms are fitted within the profile of the slide at the rear and typically can take up between 80 to 100 mm. This has an impact on the length of the intermediate member and the ball retainer lengths. This in turn has an impact on the load rating of the slide, the available space for fixing points and the ability to achieve the travel / extension requirements.

The main problem is lack of space within the slide.

The movement in a telescopic slide is provided by ball bearings running in a ball retainer.

To get good movement and load rating, we need to maximise member length and particularly get good ball coverage. This translates to: the more ball bearings, the higher the load.

Once you get to shorter slide lengths the space becomes restricted and there will be less room for fixing points at the rear of the slide.

On our heavy duty soft-closing slide (5321EC and 5417EC) we have added extra fixing holes right at the back of the slide for this very reason.

The shortest soft-close slide we produce (3832EC) is 350mm long and the travel is restricted to 310mm.

Slides shorter than this would not have enough space for the soft-close mechanism. The intermediate member is too short and we cannot fit enough ball bearings to give a suitable load rating.

For slides shorter than 350mm, we suggest that you look out for an externally mounted, retro-fit, soft-close mechanism that can be fitted alongside the slide.

These pull the drawer closed for the last few cm and can be used either on one or both drawer slides depending on the load required.

There will still be a length of slide that is too short for any type of damper - unless you invent one; we’d be pleased to hear from you.

PS: coming soon – an Accuride heavy duty soft-close damping system for use alongside the DA0115RC, which could also be mounted alongside many of our other slide series, as an external soft-close.

John Whittlesea

Do ball bearing slides work OK in high temperatures?

Author: John Whittlesea, Technical support manager

28th Jan 2014

Our standard range of mild steel ball bearing slides with plastic components are designed to be used for extended periods in a temperature range between -20°C and 70°C.

We cannot guarantee that slides will work effectively or survive outside of this range since extreme temperatures will affect the plastic components in standard ball bearing slides.

With the plastic materials we use, any temperature above 70°C will take them into their heat distortion temperature or softening temperature range.

Some slides will also have restricted temperature ranges due to their specialized parts. For example, the DZ5321EC has an operating range of 10°C - 40°C. Read the individual product datasheets for any additional information.

However, Accuride’s slides (regardless of material or finish) without plastic components can be used in temperatures between -20°C and 110°C. This is the operating temperature range of our standard lubrication.

Ball bearing slides designed especially for use in high temperatures

The DS3031 is a stainless steel slide that uses high temperature food-grade grease and has no plastic parts, making it suitable for applications with a maximum temperature of 300°C. This is part of our off-the shelf range and can be ordered through your local Accuride distributor.

We already supply bespoke slides for use in extreme temperatures and we continue to work direct with OEMs on technically advanced techniques for these applications.

If you need a slide for a specific high temperature project then please contact our sales team to discuss how we can help you.

Case studies...

Aluminium slide for access to heavy equipment in train

Accuride’s distribution partner in the Czech Republic, Arcus Engineering, has been working closely with Kolejové pohony, a.s. to provide a viable...

> Read more

Aluminium slide for access to heavy equipment in train

News & Blog Sign Up

Click on the link to sign up for regular blog and news updates.