Lasts Longer Than Long-Life Milk

Posted by  Gareth Pollard 09-Feb-2017 08:30:30

Gareth Pollard is our Product Manager for Bearings with over 15 years experience within the industry.

NSK-Long-Life-milk-cow-and-milk.pngHow do you ensure as long a life as possible for a bearing?

That’s simple: with lubrication. But what if the bearings are located in an inaccessible area of your plant, and lubrication is impossible?

Not so simple. That was the problem faced by a UK-based milk processor, who asked NSK to deliver a solution to their doorstep.

Because bearings on one of the plant’s principal conveyors were inaccessible, they failed repeatedly and regularly, through lack of lubrication.

The result was a change of several bearings and replacement of the shaft – with three hours of costly downtime – every ten weeks.

In an attempt to reduce the costs of lost production and bearing replacement, the customer asked NSK to suggest a solution.

Two-in-one solution

The NS K asset improvement program (AIP) has been proven with customers across a wide range of industries. The programme combines the customer’s own knowledge of their working environment, culture, processes and problems, with the engineering expertise and innovation of NSK.

As part of the AIP for this customer, NSK’s engineers carefully evaluated the issues, before proposing a cost-effective two-in-one solution.

Firstly, they recommended stainless steel bearing inserts fitted with Molded-Oil – NSK’s proprietary oil-impregnated solid material.

The oil slowly seeps from the grease-free material to lubricate the bearing, providing an extended service life without relubrication.

And as well as protecting the bearing, Molded-Oil helps maintain a cleaner working environment.

The second recommendation, to extend service life and reduce Total Cost of Ownership, was to employ Silver-Lube® corrosion-resistant polymer housings. These are ideal for applications in the food and beverage industry, where frequent wash-downs and optimum hygiene standards are required.

Made from PBT thermoplastic resin, the paint-free housings won’t chip or flake, which helps to reduce the risk of process contamination. NSF –approved Silver-Lube® housings feature nitrile rubber seals, are suitable for working temperatures from -20°C to +90°C, and are available in four different geometries.

Lubed for life

The NSK Life-Lube® series conveniently combines Silver-Lube® corrosion-resistant housings and Molded-Oil sealing and lubrication inserts, in a single, longer life unit, which never needs relubrication.

Purpose-designed for applications where contact with process fluids is unavoidable, Life-Lube® units are available in 20-40mm bore sizes, and in pillow block, two- and four-bolt flanges, and take-up unit housings. When Life-Lube® units were trialled on the conveyor at the milk processing plant, bearing life was extended from ten weeks   to over a year. And even when the time did come to replace the bearings, there was no need to change the shaft.

By eliminating the labour costs of two maintenance fitters, and the lost production, the milk processor is achieving annual savings of over £10,000 – and feels like the cat that got the cream!

By eliminating the labour costs of two maintenance fitters, and the lost production, the milk processor is achieving annual savings of over £10,000 – and feels like the cat that got the cream!

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Topics: News, Best Practice, Bearings, Efficiency, Lubrication

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