NSK has supplied triple-lip-seal bearings to a food processing company, thereby solving a problem with water ingress and saving the customer over £77,000 per year.
NSK's ability to provide cost-saving products to the food and beverage industry was demonstrated on a food conveying auger that was suffering from contamination – metal debris - as a result of water ingress into its bottom support bearings. By solving this problem with its triple-lip-sealed bearings, NSK has saved the food producer over £77,000 per year in lost production time, plus the cost of new bearings, labour and engineering support.
The situation prior to NSK's involvement was that the food producer was losing production time as a result of failure of bottom support bearings on the conveying auger. The resulting downtime costs, plus the costs of replacement bearings and the labour to fit them, were running into tens of thousands of pounds annually.
Clearly these costs were unsustainable, so an initiative was launched with a view to sourcing more durable bearings. As part of this initiative, engineers from NSK were called in to give advice. NSK runs a Cost Saving Programme that is designed for end user bearing customers that are looking for a value-added service to improve reliability, reduce operating costs, and improve efficiency and profitability. These objectives are achieved by delivering tangible savings to assets, such as equipment and machinery, and by improving the working knowledge of maintenance and engineering personnel.
Following the initial contact, NSK engineers visited the food processing facility and identified the water ingress problem. In order to eliminate the problem they suggested using NSK's triple-lip-sealed ball bearing units. These are designed for the most demanding operating environments – they were originally used on agricultural machinery, for example. Triple-lip-sealed bearings are an excellent replacement for standard inserts where bearings are exposed to heavy dust and water contamination, their triple-lip sealing arrangement protecting and extending bearing life in arduous applications such as vegetable washing and fish processing.
The triple-lip-sealed bearings were installed on the food conveying auger, and trials were conducted over a 12-month period, at the end of which there were no reported failures. On the strength of this performance the triple-lip-sealed bearings have been adopted generally by the customer, and are currently in use on several food conveying augers at the plant.
New FREE publication for food processing industry
More comprehensive details of all NSK's bearings for food processing applications is contained in a new FREE 12-page publication. Copies are available from NSK's marketing department by calling +44 (0)1636 643031.