Choosing a Ring: Slewing RIngs vs. Vee Guide Ring Systems

The Lord of the Rings

Ring of Fire

Five golden rings

Three ring circus


From songs to books to entertainment and common phrases, there are no shortages of rings to discuss. The same holds true for today’s manufacturers. They want to conserve floor space by developing circular or complex curvilinear paths for product movement within production workstation cells and must choose between using slewing rings or vee guide ring systems. Multiple ring options, but what is the best choice? As with most situations, both products have their benefits and best use cases.


Slewing Ring Systems

Slewing ring technology can manage extremely high load carrying capabilities and has large diameters for such applications as earthmoving equipment or wind turbines. But to handle such extreme loads, the tradeoff is their high procurement and maintenance costs, as well as increased times and effort for installation. Getting slewing ring systems ordered, built and installed takes several months and ongoing maintenance includes lubricating the components regularly and replacing the seals.


Vee Guide Ring Systems

Vee guide ring systems are a totally different design using vee groove bearing guide wheels and vee edge slides made from carbon or stainless steel, and are among the most contamination - and corrosion-resistant option for harsh manufacturing environments. They are available in weeks (not months), installation requirements are significantly easier and they offer maintenance-free operation as they are lubricated for the running life of the ring, they have permanent seals and they are self-cleaning. Learn more about our HepcoMotion vee guide ring systems PRT2 and HDRT.


Direct Comparison

Making a direct comparison between the two technological approaches can help engineers better understand what will work best for their application. To make this process easier, we’ve provided the data needed to compare these two options in our recent white paper  “The Difference Between: Slewing Rings vs. Vee Guide Ring Systems” in Machine Design magazine.


It might not be the “one ring to rule them all” but we think most manufacturers will agree the vee guide ring system is the best option for the majority of their needs.