Celebrating 40 Years of Linear Motion Solutions

This year, PBC Linear marks 40 years of engineering linear motion solutions. Since our founding in 1983, PBC Linear has surpassed many business milestones for growth, brought an abundance of innovative achievements to the marketplace, and provided engineering expertise to customers around the globe. As we continue to evolve, our commitment to long-term investments and established core values will position PBC Linear and its customers for future successes.

40 Years of Innovation

The story of PBC Linear begins with an innovative solution to a common issue with linear ball bearings. The result is the creation and eventual patent for our iconic red Simplicity bearing. During the last four decades, that successful plain bearing design has spurred innovation and a substantial portfolio of linear motion products and automation processes that help simplify customer applications and reduce costs. In fact, fifty percent of our yearly revenue can be attributed to products that are designated as either proprietary or that we currently hold patents on.
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Simplicity Plain Bearing Design: Utilizes a bonded Frelon liner that provides flexibility across diverse applications and extreme conditions including temperature, vibration, washdown, and particulates.

Integral-V™ Linear Guides: Versatile guide systems for vigorous applications and dirty environments. Two-piece system eliminates mounting components that are typical in profile rail, slashing assembly time.

SIMO® (Simultaneous Integral Milling Operation): Patented process uses synchronized cutters to eliminate extrusion variances, ensuring tight tolerances and repeatable surfaces in guides and actuators.

Large format 3D printers3D printer product line provides large build volume and fast print rates for industries and institutions wanting to create quicker, cheaper prototypes and custom parts processing.

Anti-backlash nutPatented lead screw nut provides 2-4 times superior performance verses conventional coil springs, over 2 times superior backlash compensation, and consistent pre-load over the life of the screw.

Cobot FeederAn automation tool that enhances cobot production by consistently loading and unloading material parts trays, eliminating the need to manually replace them - making cobots, operators, and factory operations better.

40 Years of Solutions

During our first decade of production, the Simplicity product line quickly expanded to include pillow blocks, linear slides, and optimized shafting. These plain bearings all share the Frelon liner technology and remain popular products to this day. As PBC Linear has grown, we have continued to either refine or add to our family of products, responding to customer application demands by providing ball and roller type bearings, screw-driven technology, and mechatronics.

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Plain-type bearings including inch and metric versions of pillow blocksflange mounts, and sleeves, along with round shaft options.

Ball-type bearings including inch and metric versions of pillow blocks and flange bearings, and metric compact thin walls.

Roller-type bearings include track roller types like Commercial Rail, Redi-Rail, Hevi-Rail, and IVT, along with Roller Pillow Blocks for round shaft.

Plain-type 2-piece gliding surface technology utilizes Frelon liners and includes low profile and tall profile Uni-Guide, standard and low profile Mini-Rail, and driven Uni-Guide.

Screw-driven technology including Lead Screws with Constant Force™ technology nuts, and miniature metric Ball Screws (currently in testing).

Actuators/Mechatronics including a full range of actuators with best-fit options for size, speed, drive mechanisms and power.

40 Years of Service

The culture at PBC Linear is a blend of midwestern work ethic paired with skilled technicians, knowledgeable service personnel, and a multi-disciplined group of trained engineers – not to mention a dog-friendly office. Together, they form a full-service team that creates long-lasting and cost-efficient linear motion solutions for a variety of worldwide industries. For PBC Linear, customer satisfaction can be measured in repeat business and successful OEM solutions.

We retain a high level of customer satisfaction through:

  • Wide range of products to fit application demands
  • Shorter lead times that get machines quickly into production
  • Thorough communication that keeps customers informed
  • Expert engineering guidance to provide the best solutions
  • Comprehensive testing for high quality parts

40 Years of Growth

What began as a small bearing shop has expanded to include new business entities that offer a broader reach. We are now one of the largest privately-held linear motion manufacturers in the United States. Our expanded reach applies to not only North America, but includes the shipment of products to over one hundred countries. 

As PBC Linear continues its upward growth trajectory, we are evolving from standard product manufacturing company into a technology OEM company. Within this role, we provide customers with products that are consistent with their OEM designs. Those products include not only linear motion components, but also prototyping and automation tools. This vertically integrated model allows PBC Linear to be an essential part of innovation across industries, bringing prosperity to both producer and user.

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1983 Pacific Bearing Company is founded by CEO Robert Schroeder.

1997 PBC Linear headquarters relocated to 150,000 ft² facility in Roscoe, IL.

2008 PBC Lineartechnik GmbH established to meet European needs.

2008 Pacific Bearing Co. d.b.a. PBC Linear to represent actuator offerings.

2011 Major manufacturing expansion of an additional FMS machine.

2011 AS9100C certification achieved for aerospace and defense industries.

2013 PBC Linear acquires LEE Controls LLC.

2014 3D Platform founded to provide large format 3D printers.

2015 PBC + Moons’ Motors joint venture founded.

2019 PBC expands 66,000 ft² with new building at their main location.

2020 Applied Cobotics brand created to bring cobots, cobot feeders, and Augemented Reality (VR) training onto the factory floor.

2023 $5 million Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) installed.

The Next 40 Years!

As our manufacturing facility continues to grow and evolve, we will continue to provide expanding markets with effective products and services, and in turn reinforce the PBC Linear brand as a trusted source for linear motion technologies and automation success. Large-scale investments being made now will allow us to remain well-positioned for the future of manufacturing 4.0. This includes our new Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) that is scheduled to be completed in early 2023.

To all of those who have been a partner in our long journey, we say “Thank you, and we look forward to working with you in the future!

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We will be holding a company celebration on Thursday, September 7, 2023. This is an invitation event for vendors and business partners who have helped make PBC Linear a successful manufacturer of linear motion solutions.

The event will begin at noon with a talk from our President and CEO about how far we have come, and the role of PBC Linear in the future of American manufacturing. Additional speakers and a recognition ceremony for employees will be followed by a plant tour that highlights our new Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS), delivered and installed from Machining Centers Manufacturing (MCM).