Roy Thomason, managing director for Industria Bearings and Transmissions, examines some of the main causes of bearing failure and gives advice on what to look out for to avoid the inconvenience and cost implications when things go wrong.

Computer modelling programs allow machine designers to determine, with some confidence, how long their bearing is going to last. But not every bearing achieves its calculated life. What other factors, then, are at play in determining the actual life of a bearing? Phil Burge, country communications manager at SKF explains.

David Oliver, channel and platform development manager for bearings at SKF describes the different types of bearing housings and their applications, as well as important design criteria such as seal selection and lubrication.

Bearing selection is driven by the application and environment in which it will be operating and it can be very difficult to make the right decision without a wealth of in-depth information. Stephen Finch, project engineer at ERIKS UK, shines a light on the process and outlines how end-users can achieve the best return on investment.

Understanding the fundamentals of bearing mounting – and dismounting – and putting them into practice can have a massive effect in reducing failures. PWE spoke with Phil Burge, country communication manager at SKF.

Paul Loader, national sales manager for Industria Bearings & Transmissions, looks at the key areas to consider when purchasing bearings and gives his advice on ensuring the right product is selected every time to meet exacting requirements.

Although every bearing has a pre-calculated service life, research has shown that two thirds fall short of their potential lifecycle. Peter Townsend, product manager bearings at ERIKS, offers a ten point plan to help customers get the most from their bearings.

PWE takes a look at how condition monitoring of fan units prevents unplanned downtime at a thermal paper plant. Whether it’s for receipts, ATM machine bank statements or tickets – thermal printer paper is all around us. The paper’s special properties are due to a coating that is applied to the surface of the paper.

The way bearings are used, designed and manufactured is changing. PWE takes a look at SKF’s have new Generalised Bearing Life Model. The new model uses the same statistical approach as its standard model, and predicts sub-surface fatigue in the same way, but it also includes separate consideration for surface failure modes.

Automated sawmills require reliable machinery to continue operating in difficult conditions, even when lubrication systems seem to be at odds with the constant accumulation of sawdust and woodchips. However, one of the major European sawmill businesses found a solution in the form of Tsubaki’s Lambda chain that has significantly cut maintenance costs and improved productivity. PWE reports.

Many businesses are focusing on reducing production costs, which includes maintenance time and lost production due to both routine and unplanned down time. By looking to make long-term improvements, most production operations should certainly consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) as well as the short term benefits of reducing maintenance time where possible. In situations where large pieces of rotating equipment are in use, these savings can be achieved by introducing SRB split roller bearings. PWE reports.

Bearings are key components in dry vacuum pumps – their reliability and operating life have a significant effect on pump operating costs. Nick Dowding, business development manager at The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd, discusses how bearings can play a pivotal role in reducing whole life costs of dry vacuum pumps.

Replacing damaged or worn parts on heavy machinery that requires regular servicing or maintenance can be a costly problem, particularly for companies in heavy industries such as mining, quarrying, oil and gas, paper, and steel production, where the value of capital equipment and production machinery is high.

German train company Bayrische Oberlandbahn (BOB) is said to be saving energy costs and improving working conditions within its service workshops following the installation of bespoke WI inflatable dock seals from Stertil Dock Products.

As the development of more efficient electric motors continues to keep pace with upcoming regulations, it is important to ensure that all the components are engineered to the latest specifications, including the bearings. Tony Synnott, UK engineering manager for NSK Europe, explains how bearing design is affecting electric motor performance and reliability.

Fatigue is one of the primary causes of rolling bearing failure. Dr Steve Lacey, engineering manager at Schaeffler UK, describes the various types of fatigue and what measures can be taken to correct any problems that occur.

Fatigue is one of the primary causes of rolling bearing failure. Dr Steve Lacey, engineering manager at Schaeffler UK, describes the various types of fatigue and what measures can be taken to correct any problems that occur.

Using the wrong lubricant can cause costly bearing failures. Over a third of all bearing failures are caused by the use of incorrect lubricants and/or inadequate application of the lubricant. Operating costs can be severely increased when failures occur as bearing locations in industrial fans are often hard to access, which makes maintenance difficult and increases the risk of extended downtime.

Every production line demands reliability in order to maximise efficiency and keep lost production time to a minimum. While proper planned maintenance is an effective tool, it can be expensive if equipment requires very frequent intervention. One solution is to ensure that the equipment is fitted with components which are fit for purpose. For example, a large paper manufacturer was experiencing loss of production due to seized bearings on a tinting machine with annual costs of nearly €50,000 - a problem that has been solved by NSK.

Tribology expert Klüber Lubrication was approached by a globally active soft drink producer who wanted to increase machine reliability and the improvement of lubrication management practices in order to maximise output in one of its plants.

PWE looks at how advances in centralised lubrication systems such as SKF’s CAN-bus technology are enabling both efficiency gains and major cost savings for operators.

Over more than a century, bearings have evolved into ever-more robust and reliable components that can function in the most contaminated conditions. Phil Burge, country communication manager for SKF, explains many bearings have such integrity that they can now be remanufactured to cut costs and boost sustainability even further.

PWE’s Aaron Blutstein spoke to Ahmet Guven, Shell Global Solutions, product application specialist (hydraulics & circulating oils) about the problems that OEMs are experiencing when operating their machinery and how lubrication optimisation can help them achieve savings.

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