NSK low-torque bearings improve energy efficiency in MRO sector

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NSK low-torque bearings improve energy efficiency in MRO sectorNSK is known for its reliability and long bearing life, as well as its economic and environmental credentials. Within the global automotive sector, NSK has worked with the industry to produce low-torque bearings which help to reduce power consumption and emissions. Now these advances in engineering design are being applied to general purpose, deep-groove ball bearings, which are used in a wide range of industrial applications.

There is a worldwide focus on energy efficiency and, increasingly, production engineers are looking beyond initial procurement prices when assessing capital investment in new equipment. Instead, attention is drawn to the total cost of ownership (TCO) as well as CO2 emissions for the expected life of the machine. Most notably, this has led to considerable changes in electric motor design and the regulations which govern it.

To help designers and customers alike, NSK has developed a series of improvements for bearing design and manufacture. These have resulted in standard deep-groove ball bearings demonstrating up to a 47 per cent torque saving for high-speed domestic appliances compared with conventional bearings of the same size. This helps to improve efficiency and therefore reduce energy consumption; two features which will appeal to every industrial sector.

NSK has made several developments in tribology and material technology as well as advancements in steel cleanliness to produce a significantly improved steel fatigue life. In addition, further advancements have been made in the heat treatment process which ensures excellent hardness and wear resistance characteristics, all of which enable these bearings to deliver improved performance and reliability.

In terms of actual bearing manufacture, NSK has improved the ball bearing raceway surface finish and geometry. These improvements reduce internal friction which in turn reduces power consumption, operating noise levels, heat generation and wear. This is complemented by further improvements to the lubrication and sealing properties of the NSK bearings.

Continuous research into the grease used to lubricate the bearings has allowed NSK to develop products that achieve the fine balance between minimising friction while still providing long term reliability. These developments are matched by the innovation of the NSK V seal which has improved the effectiveness of the seal without increasing the torque or operating temperature of the bearing.

The use of cutting-edge design technology, and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, allows NSK to continue to deliver bearings for a wide range of applications. The designs provide customers with the opportunity to reduce energy consumption which in turn helps to minimise operating costs and CO2 emissions.

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