The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd is now offering complete bearing turbine assemblies for high-speed dental handpieces direct to OEM customers.
This new service relates to all types of Barden bearings for high-speed dental handpieces. Turbines in dental handpieces typically operate at very high speeds of over 400,000rpm. Turbine bearings are extremely small, with most having a bore size of 3.175mm with an outside diameter of 6.35mm.
Barden has recently supplied complete bearing turbine assemblies to several dental handpiece OEMs. Mark Pritchard, Senior Product Engineer at Barden comments: “Up to now, we’ve been solely focused on supplying the bearings for dental handpieces. The handpiece OEM would then assemble the complete bearing turbine, which includes the bearings, impeller and spindle arrangement. The handpiece would then have to be functionally tested for noise and vibration, speed, temperature, burr retention and so on, before being packaged ready for delivery to the customer.
“Now, Barden is taking ownership of the complete bearing / turbine assembly, providing OEMs with cost benefits in terms of reduced assembly and testing time, and minimising the quantity of procured parts.”
He continues: “This fits in with the growing trend amongst OEMs to outsource the manufacture, assembly and testing of components to a fewer number of suppliers, reducing the OEM’s total supplier management and supply chain costs. For bearing turbine assemblies, we are talking about OEMs reducing their number of suppliers from perhaps 4–6 down to just one.”
Amongst dental bearing suppliers, Barden is renowned for its service to OEM customers. The company has been at the forefront of dental bearing design for more than 25 years and so has a very collaborative relationship with its OEM customers. Whilst Barden can provide suitable replacement bearings for any make or model of dental handpiece, often there is a requirement to customise the bearing in order to provide an optimised design for a particular application. This is one of Barden’s core strengths as a business. The ability to custom engineer a bearing for an OEM is important, because OEMs are continually improving their handpiece designs, so the bearing has to be constantly improved too.
On the R&D side, Barden constantly develops and tests new cage designs and materials, as well as new coatings, surface treatments, seals and lubricants. Assembly and cleanliness are also important in dental bearings. All Barden dental bearings are therefore assembled in Class 10,000 clean rooms at its Plymouth manufacturing site. Actual assembly takes place in laminar flow clean air, Class 100 benches, with the number and size of airborne contaminants strictly controlled.
Mark Pritchard says: “The quality of bearings in a handpiece is critical to its performance. We believe here at Barden that we’ve created the ideal combination – a bearing with the high specification and performance of a super precision product, while offering cost effectiveness in this competitive market. And now we can add even more value by offering the complete bearing turbine assembly.”
For more information on Barden bearings for dental handpieces, visit www.dentalbearings.co.uk.