NSK has supplied stainless steel Molded Oil bearings to a company that was losing production through the premature failure of conventional bearings.
NSK's bearing substitution programme has produced annual savings of EUR9542 in respect of bearing, maintenance and lost production costs for a food processor operating a vegetable washer/polishing machine under harsh conditions, where water, soil and grit are prevalent.
The food processor was encountering high failure rates on housed bearing units used on the vegetable washer, requiring bearing changes every three months. To make matters worse, the failed bearings were also difficult to access: maintenance engineers often resorted to using hand grinders to remove them. With these problems, the cost of the failures was considerable: the yearly total for bearings, maintenance, engineering time and lost production amounted to EUR19,136 per year.
NSK investigated the application and proposed replacing the existing bearings with its stainless steel series of Molded Oil bearings. These are designed to give high performance in wet and dust-contaminated environments. They employ a special solid lubricant to transform the performance of machinery in environments exposed to high humidity, corrosion and contamination.
Suitable for the food industry
A highly effective lubricant, Molded Oil is claimed to offer more than twice the operating life of grease lubrication in water-contaminated environments. Moreover, the technology means that operating environments are kept free of grease – which is very important in food applications - and there is no need for refilling of lubricant, as Molded Oil provides a continuous supply of lubricant.
A trial was conducted on the vegetable washer using Molded Oil bearings. This was a complete success; the bearings significantly outperformed the previous housed bearings, and they are still operating after more than 12 months.
In addition to the improved reliability, and consequent annual cost reduction this extended operation has brought, the food processor is also benefiting because a costly regreasing operation has now been eliminated. This represents an additional saving in labour and downtime, enabling the food processor to introduce a reduced and planned maintenance regime.
Free Publication for food and beverage industries
Comprehensive details of all NSK bearings for food and beverage applications are contained in a 24-page publication. The free booklet provides a wealth of information regarding the choice of bearings for use in food and beverage applications. Free copies of the publication are available from NSK: telephone +44 (0)500 2327464 and quote publication reference FB/B/E/11.09.