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Monday - October 25, 2021

Breaking World Records with our Miniature Ball Bearings

Imagine speeding downhill at 80 MPH on a skateboard with only a helmet for protection. This is part of Thiago Lessa’s everyday life, and he understands firsthand the importance of reliable, high performance equipment. During his nearly 15 years of skateboarding, Thiago has won multiple races and became a World Champion in 2017. His approach to skateboarding not only revolves around persistent practice but also a strategy of developing or sourcing the best parts to further elevate his performance.

After a few years on the professional circuit for the International Downhill Federation and testing many different components and equipment, Thiago felt there was still room for improvement and decided to start developing his own solutions. After much trial and error, he was able to identify the optimal set of components to maximize speed while maintaining safe operation. Thiago then founded Cuei Wheels to bring these solutions to the market and also create a network of fellow skaters.

At NMB, we understand how powerful passion is when designing innovative solutions. At our R&D centers, we focus on developing new materials, designs and processes to improve our products while our engineering teams strive to identify optimal solutions for each application. Our bearing engineers worked with Thiago to understand the challenges he was facing and pinpoint the required performance output. Through multiple test variations such as tolerance, depth and angulation of the racetracks, different materials and innovative designs we were able to recommend the ideal miniature ball bearings.

With a special, low-torque interior design Thiago can achieve max speed faster and safely maintain that speed throughout the course. He specifically called out NMB miniature ball bearings for “the meticulous precision machining process that is capable of reaching nano-level Ra values for surface roughness”. Most miniature ball bearings on the market are polished to micro-level – this improvement leads to less friction which in turn drives fast acceleration. Finally, reliability is an important factor especially when travelling at top speeds. Our vertically integrated manufacturing process helps to control each bearing from the steel material to the tooling.

If you want to break World Records for speed you will need the gear that stands up to the challenge. As a Guinness World record holder for the smallest ball bearing, MinebeaMitsumi knows how to manufacturer precision components. At NMB, we look forward to following Thiago and the Cuei Wheels team while they strive for the next downhill skateboarding world record.

Junzo Masuda
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