What is Cam and Follower Mechanism?

For proper functioning of the cam and follower mechanism, it is important to keep the surface contact between the cam profile and the follower at all times of rotation and any motion. For this, spring force, gravitational force, or positive drive are used in the cam and follower mechanism. On this basis, cams are classified based on the type of follower and are as follows.

Cam and Follower Mechanism

A cam and follower mechanism is a profiled shape mounted on a shaft that causes a lever or follower to move. Cams are used to convert rotary to linear (reciprocating) motion. As the cam rotates, the followers rise and fall in a process known as reciprocating motion.

The working principle of Cam and Followers depends on the mechanism of the combination of both Cam and Followers.

What is Cam Mechanism?

A cam is a rotating or sliding piece in a mechanical linkage used especially in transforming rotary motion into linear motion. It is often a part of a rotating wheel (e.g. an eccentric wheel) or shaft (e.g. a cylinder with an irregular shape) that strikes a lever at one or more points on its circular path.

Cam is a mechanical component which is a rotating circle or eclipse about the minor axis of the Follower.

Hence it can be explained easily that Cam is a mechanical component that transmits reciprocating, oscillating, or linear motion to Followers. Cam’s shape is usually an oval or an imperfect circle or an eclipse. If an engineer considers an oval-shaped Cam then he or she can see the movements which will form the outer burge, which is periodic to its locus.

This outer burge is very useful and effective for works which are periodic mechanical. There are two types of Head Cams. First is Single Head Cam and the second is Multiple Head Cam.

Cam is Rotating about minor axis or respect to Follower.

Cam Mechanism
Cam mechanism

What is Follower Mechanism?

A follower is a mechanical component concerning which, the Cam rotates in an oscillatory or circular motion. Follower inhibits the push and pulls of the Cam. A follower is used to transfer the motion to the required machine part. The Follower rotates in an oscillating or circular arc.

The mechanism for Cam and the mechanism for Followers depend upon each other so that the main mechanism of Cam and Followers. The mechanism is essential in the engineering field and has many different functions for the different machines.

Cam and Follower Terminology

Cams are either in rotary or reciprocating or oscillating motion. The driver member in cam follower mechanism is called cam and driven member is called follower. When we study about cam follower mechanism, some common terminology like prime circle, base circle, pressure angle etc. are used to describe a cam.

Terminology of a Cam
  1. Cam Profile: Cam profile is outer surface of the disc cam.
  2. Base Circle: Base circle is the smallest circle, drawn tangential to the cam profile.
  3. Trace Point: Trace point is a point on the follower, trace point motion describes the movement of the follower.
  4. Pitch Curve: Pitch curve is the path generated by the trace point as the follower is rotated about a stationery cam.
  5. Pitch Point: Pitch point corresponds to the point of maximum pressure angle.
  6. Prime Circle: This is a circle that drawn tangentially to the pitch curve and concentric to the base circle.
  7. Pitch Circle: A circle drawn from the cam center and passes through the pitch point is called Pitch circle.
  8. Pressure Angle: The pressure angle is the angle between the direction of the follower movement and the normal to the pitch curve.

Application of Cam and Follower

A CAM is a rotating machine element which gives reciprocating or oscillating motion to another element known as follower.

There are so many application of Cam and Followers as mention below:

  • Cam and follower are widely used for operating inlet and exhaust valve of I C engine.
  • These are used in wall clocks.
  • These are used in the feed mechanism of the automatic lathe Machine.
  • Screw pieces of machinery.
  • Gear-Cutting Machineries.
  • In Printing Machinery, this mechanism helps the screen to print. The push helps to take the position where the printing will do and the pull helps to print on that.
  • In Hydraulic Systems, This is the main mechanism.
  • Also in Textile Types of machinery, the mechanism of Cam and Follower helps to stitch clothes by a push and pull to move.
  • In that case, the mechanism is dependent on the fluid pressure.
  • Automated Types of machinery, Cam, and Follower use in different parts that are automated in motion.

Importance of Cam and Followers

In the field of mechanical engineering, the Cam-follower mechanism plays a significant role. In achieving even distribution of forces in a single machine component.

By attaching a cylindrical roller in a machine component spontaneous movement can achieve by an engineer.

It can use in a machine component regardless of the shape and size of the nut. Apart from that, varieties of linear motions can found by utilizing the mechanism.

Moreover, due to higher thickness as compared to other bearings, this mechanism can absorb. And a higher amount of shock that increases the mechanical efficiency of a machine component.

Furthermore, the mechanism is entirely versatile that it can use in a soda machine or also in an aircraft application. Besides, the mechanism also uses in the conveyor belt.

In the case of engines, bearing the load of a camshaft can easily devise by utilizing the fundamental approach of a crankshaft bearing.

Although, flat followers are using by engineers to operate the valves of an engine whereas roller followers are using by engineers in oil and stationary engines.

This type of preference occurred due to more availability of space of roller followers.

Material Used for cam and followers

In general, the biggest reason is that you will choose from one type of follower because your design has special constraints. If you already have a surface that allows you to make an impact within your design, the cam follower’s existing stud makes it a natural choice. If a shaft is already there, cam followers allow you to invest in parts with less material.

When it comes down to specific load ratings and other factors, the choice between cam and roller followers is more about finding the right specific part for your needs, as in choosing one of the two styles. Is the opposite. Both cam and roller followers provide the same performance capability in terms of load rating and other features

Since roller followers require a shaft for mounting, you also need to evaluate which bore size is right for your design, if you choose the style of bearing. Roller followers can come with or without inner rings, which can allow you to match the shaft to its parts or reduce the partial weight and cost of additional material.

FAQ

1. What is a cam?

A cam is a rotating or sliding piece in a mechanical linkage used especially in transforming rotary motion into linear motion. It is often a part of a rotating wheel (e.g. an eccentric wheel) or shaft (e.g. a cylinder with an irregular shape) that strikes a lever at one or more points on its circular path.

2. What is cam and follower?

A cam and follower mechanism is a profiled shape mounted on a shaft that causes a lever or follower to move. Cams are used to convert rotary to linear (reciprocating) motion. As the cam rotates, the follower rises and falls in a process known as reciprocating motion.

3. What is the application of cam and follower?

There is so many application of Cam and Follower as mention below:

1. Cam and follower are widely used for operating inlet and exhaust valve of I C engine.
2. These are used in wall clocks.
3. These are used in the feed mechanism of the automatic lathe Machine.
4. Screw pieces of machinery.
5. Gear-Cutting Machinery.

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