In mechanical engineering, a cam follower, also known as a track follower, is a specialized type of roller or needle bearing designed to follow cam lobe profiles. Cam followers come in a vast array of different configurations, however the most defining characteristic is how the cam follower mounts to its mating part; stud style cam followers use a stud while the yoke style has a hole through the middle.
The modern stud type follower was invented and patented in 1937 by Thomas L. Robinson of the McGill Manufacturing Company. It replaced using a standard bearing and bolt. The new cam followers were easier to use because the stud was already included and they could also handle higher loads.
While roller cam followers are similar to roller bearings, there are quite a few differences. Standard ball and roller bearings are designed to be pressed into a rigid housing, which provides circumferential support. This keeps the outer race from deformi