Improved bearing life reduces downtime costs

Jan 18, 2012 | Food Processing & Packaging

Problem:?An Italian snack food company was experiencing a persistent problem of failure of fixed tail drum conveyor bearings operating in a damp environment. Across all six of its production lines, bearing life was just six months due to the adverse environment. With production costs running at €3,500/h, the situation was unsustainable.

Solution: NSK was called in to analyse the application and suggest an alternative. After investigating the application, NSK proposed replacing the existing double-row ball bearings with its Molded-Oil Series of spherical roller bearings. These bearings are said to reduce the total cost of ownership of food processing machinery by removing the downtime associated with regular bearing replacements. Also, longer intervals between re-lubrication saves on maintenance costs. Because the bearings have a solid lubricant, they improve performance in environments exposed to high humidity and contamination.

Molded-Oil is said to offer more than twice the operating life of grease lubrication in water contaminated environments. The technology ensures the operating environment is kept free of grease, which is important in food applications.

Since fitting the Molded-Oil spherical roller bearings, bearing life has increased to 15 months (and bearings are still operating), reducing maintenance intervals and leading to savings in production downtime, costs which have been calculated at €192,600 annually.