The Locating Rings Guide You Need To Read

Apr 24, 2023



Locating rings are critical components used in machine assembly to ensure the proper alignment and positioning of parts. Despite their importance, they are often overlooked or misunderstood. This guide will provide a comprehensive understanding of locating rings, including their types, functions, and how to select the right one for your application. Whether you are a machine designer, assembler, or maintenance personnel, this guide will provide you with the knowledge you need to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your equipment. So, let's dive in and learn everything you need about locating rings.


What are locating rings?


Locating rings are mechanical components used in conjunction with bearings to accurately position and secure them in place. They are typically made of metal and come in various shapes and sizes to fit different bearing types and applications. Locating rings are often used in machines and equipment where precision and stability are critical, such as in the automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing industries.


How do linear bearings work?


Linear bearings work by providing smooth and low-friction motion in a linear direction. They consist of an outer housing and an inner carriage that moves along a rail or track. The carriage typically contains rolling elements, such as balls or rollers, that allow it to move smoothly and with low friction along the rail. The rolling elements are usually contained within a cage or retainer to keep them evenly spaced and prevent them from falling out. The outer housing may be fixed or may also move in some designs. Linear bearings may use different types of rolling elements and may also incorporate seals or other features to protect against contaminants or reduce noise.


Types of Locating Rings


Set screw locking type retaining ring


The mechanical structure of the set screw locking type retaining ring itself is relatively simple and needs to be used together with the set screw during installation. In the actual use of the scene, a set screw locking type retaining ring is one of the most commonly used products. Part of the reason is that the product is relatively cheap and more cost-effective.


Set screw locking type retaining ring



Open-type retaining ring


The shaft fixing method of open type retaining ring belongs to the open type, expressed in the product's appearance as a special set of openings on one side of the retaining ring. The open-type retaining ring can be used with hexagon socket head screws, but it does not mean it must be used together. If you need to avoid damage to the shaft in the locking process, an open retaining ring will be a more suitable choice.


Open-type retaining ring


Separate type retaining ring


The structure of the split-type retaining ring is more recognizable than the open-type retaining ring, with an opening at one end. The split-type retaining ring has an opening at both ends. The biggest advantage of the split ring is that it minimizes damage to the shaft during fixing, and the disassembly and maintenance process of the split ring is very easy and simple.


Separate type retaining ring


Quick-fit retaining ring


In general, the cutting position of the quick-fit retaining ring is similar to that of the open-type retaining ring, which is a bilateral cutting opening. This type of retaining ring can be installed quickly and is very convenient in practice.


Quick-fit retaining ring


How to select the right locating rings?


When selecting the appropriate material for locating rings, several factors should be considered:


Strength and durability: The material should be strong enough to withstand the loads and stresses imposed during operation.


Wear resistance: The material should resist wear and deformation over time, especially in high-speed and high-load applications.


Corrosion resistance: The material should resist corrosion and oxidation if the application involves exposure to harsh environments.


Thermal stability: The material should withstand the operating temperatures of the application without degrading or deforming.


Cost: The cost of the material should also be considered, as it can impact the overall cost of the locating ring assembly.


Compatibility: The material should be compatible with other components in the system, such as the mating part and lubricants used.


Advantages and disadvantages of locating rings


Advantages of Locating Rings:


◆Improved accuracy and repeatability in part positioning.

◆Increased part stability and reduced vibration during operation.

◆It can help to reduce assembly time and costs by simplifying the assembly process.

◆Can improve the performance and lifespan of other machine components by reducing wear and tear.


Disadvantages of Locating Rings:


●Locating rings can add extra weight to a machine or assembly, which may affect the overall performance.

●Improperly sized or installed locating rings can cause damage to parts or machinery.

●Locating rings may require additional maintenance and cleaning to ensure proper function over time.

●Locating rings can increase the complexity of assembly processes, leading to higher labor costs.



Applications of Locating Rings


Locating rings have a wide range of applications across various industries that involve precision assembly and alignment of components. Some common applications include:


Automotive industry:

Locating rings are widely used in manufacturing engines, transmissions, and other critical components of automobiles to ensure precise alignment and accuracy.


Aerospace industry:

Locating rings plays a critical role in the aerospace industry by ensuring the precise positioning and alignment of components, such as turbine blades and engine casings.


Machinery and equipment manufacturing:

Locating rings are used in manufacturing machinery and equipment to ensure precise alignment and positioning of various components.


Tooling and fixture manufacturing:

Locating rings are widely used in tooling and fixture manufacturing to ensure that parts are held in place accurately and precisely.


Medical device manufacturing:

Locating rings are used to manufacture medical devices that require precision alignment and accurate positioning of components.


Electronics manufacturing:

Locating rings are used in manufacturing electronic devices, such as circuit boards and microchips, to ensure precise alignment and accurate positioning of components.


Tips on choosing the best linear bearing manufacturers


Here are some tips on choosing the best linear bearing manufacturers:


Quality and reliability:

Look for a manufacturer with a proven track record of producing high-quality, reliable linear bearings. Check if they have any certifications that guarantee their quality.



If you have specific requirements for your linear bearings, choose a manufacturer that can customize their products to meet your needs.


Range of products: 

A manufacturer with a wide range of linear bearings will give you more options and ensure you find the right bearing for your application.


Customer service:

Look for a manufacturer that provides excellent customer service, including technical support and after-sales service.



While cost shouldn't be the only factor, finding a manufacturer that offers competitive pricing without sacrificing quality is important.


Delivery time: 

Choose a manufacturer to deliver your linear bearings within your desired timeframe.



Do your research and look for reviews or testimonials from previous customers to ensure that the manufacturer has a good reputation in the industry.




In summary, locating rings is crucial in ensuring precision and accuracy in various industrial applications. When selecting the right locating rings, it is important to consider factors such as the size and shape of the part being located, tolerance requirements, load capacity, material and surface finish, and environmental conditions.


Choosing a reputable, experienced manufacturer that can provide high-quality and reliable locating rings is also important. Considering these factors, you can ensure that your industrial processes run smoothly and efficiently.


Locating rings may seem small, but their impact on industrial processes cannot be underestimated. They help ensure that parts are precisely located and held in place, improving efficiency and accuracy.


When selecting a manufacturer, research and choose one with a proven quality and reliable track record. It will help to ensure that your locating rings are up to the task and can handle the demands of your industrial applications.


Investing in high-quality locating rings is important in achieving optimal performance and productivity in your industrial processes.