Typically formed from solid, rugged metal like stainless steel, ball bearings make for some of the most effective and reliable ways of reducing friction. The vast majority of bearings in regular use today do their work largely unseen, occupying hidden places deep within machines and filling in races that shield them from view. Some bearings are put to more obvious and overt usage, though, and often to great effect.
One of the most common applications of this kind is the use of ball bearings in transfer units. Ball Bearing Transfers can be fitted to anything that needs to roll or glide over a relatively regular surface, whether that means a finely-machined work table or the expanses of a factory floor. A bearing transfer setup will allow for all of the smooth motion that well-made bearings are known for in other contexts while also holding up admirably under rough usage and in challenging environments.
An Omnitrack Ball Transfer Unit, for example, will commonly be found on devices ranging from automated saw carriages to parts bins and even trash cans. An appropriate number of transfer units of the proper sizes can offer excellent mobility where other options, like swiveling wheels, would come with too many drawbacks. Thanks to the basic simplicity of their design, transfer units of this kind also tend to be extremely reliable, with breakdowns being few and far between.
Just as with other bearing-oriented applications, though, there are some things to be aware of. While modern bearings are impressively regular, in general, it can still pay to ensure that a given set of transfer units will meet any relevant standards with regard to their precision of roundness and related factors.
Transfer systems also vary in terms of not just the bearings they incorporate, but also the housings that hold them in place. Just like with high-quality bearings that are suspended in less-than-optimal race setups, a transfer unit that includes an inferior housing will be prone to failure on that count and others. Even though most such parts hold up very well under tough conditions, it still always pays to research whether a particular option will make sense for a given application.