Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC) is utilising Silverthin precision thin section bearings from Carter Manufacturing on a variety of its robotic motion control camera rigs. The thin section bearings are playing a key role in ensuring the overall system rigidity and repeatability of the camera booms and rigs
MRMC, a UK-based designer and manufacturer of robotic motion control systems for live broadcast, film and photography applications, gives customers the ability to capture their visions via a groundbreaking suite of hardware and software. The product range includes camera booms, cranes and rigs, two- and three-axis motion control systems, as well as camera heads, sliders and controllers. MRMC’s track record in technical and engineering excellence is unrivalled, earning critical acclaim including an Academy Award in 1999 for its contribution to the special effects industry in feature films. Recent feature film projects include Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pan, and Cinderella.
Ronan Carroll, Chief Mechanical Designer at MRMC comments: “These days, camera motion control systems such as cranes and rigs need to be as compact, space efficient and lightweight as possible in order to minimise the costs associated with transporting these camera systems around the world, from one film location to another. Our customers also demand solutions that are reliable, accurate, repeatable and that provide a steady line-of-sight for the camera at all times. In order to design and manufacture systems such as these, we need to source high precision engineered components for our equipment.”
One critical engineered component on an MRMC camera rig is the bearing. As Ronan Carroll explains: “For camera rigs, the overall system rigidity or stiffness is critical to provide the camera operator with repeatability in terms of filming a scene. Therefore, when we engineer a camera rig, elimination of system backlash and minimising clearances in the supporting bearings are essential. The rigidity of the system starts with the basic mechanical structure of the rig, but the bearings are absolutely critical to the overall stiffness and accuracy of the complete, fully assembled system.”
One example of an MRMC camera rig that utlilises thin section bearings from Carter Manufacturing is the SFH50 a camera motion control pan tilt head. This system is a high precision, highly repeatable one that is ideal for virtual studios, virtual reality, animation, time-lapse and web promotional videos. The system has an optional 360-degree roll axis and is compact and lightweight for film location work.
The SFH50 uses Silverthin thin section bearings from Carter Manufacturing to support the circular motion of the camera roll housings. The bearings are supplied as sealed, preloaded (K-Preload) units in 6” and 7” bore diameters. “The SFH50 is a super-sensitive piece of equipment and so we require bearings that eliminate camera ‘rock’. The Silverthin thin section bearings are four-point contact units which are preloaded to a precise specification to give us the system rigidity and repeatability that our customers need.”
“The bearings are sealed units, as the camera rigs are used in both indoor and outdoor applications, so we need weather-resistant components. In addition, as the bearings are preloaded, this simplifies and reduces mounting and assembly of the bearings to our camera rigs,” states Ronan Carroll.
For more information on the Silverthin range of precision thin section bearings, please call the Carter Manufacturing sales department on +44 (0)1865 821 720 or email