THK Celebrates 50 Years

THK is celebrating 50 years of operations in 2021 and planning to continue its spirit of innovation that resulted in the first linear motion guides.


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A press image showing some of THK's products with a 50th anniversary graphic

THK is celebrating five decades of innovation in linear and other precision motion components. THK was established in 1971 in Meguro-ku, Tokyo, under the name Toho Seiko Co., Ltd. The next year, THK became the first company in the world to develop a method of linear motion with rolling contact, and began manufacturing and selling linear motion (LM) guides as a result. In 1977, the company established its Kofu Plant, the first full-scale LM Guide production plant.

Since then, THK has conducted operations worldwide, particularly expanding into North America and Germany. The company’s product line expanded to include ball splines and ball screws, LM guides, actuators and cross-roller rings. A commitment to innovation led to the development of THK’s patented Caged Ball design. Consisting of a plastic structure that provides a pocket in which the metal balls roll and stay separated, this design reduces wear and friction, retains lubricant that provides longer service life for the bearings and gives the customer superb noise reduction during operation.

THK plans to continue its innovative spirit in 2021. The company’s products appear in robotics, manufacturing machinery, medical/surgical devices, packaging, semi-conductor manufacturing and other industries.

“We are proud of all we have accomplished over the past 50 years,” says Ed Johnson, VP of sales at THK America, Inc. “We are the components that go inside of what you build, and we are pleased that so many of our customers have honored us as a valued partner.”