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Introduction

A producer of frozen pizza was facing regular bearing failures with a belt tensioner on a food conveyor belt. The cleaning process of the production line with water was causing corrosion, grease washout and seal damage. The production line had to be stopped every 4 weeks in order to change the bearings. NSK reviewed the application and investigated the problem. NSK recommended to replace the exisiting bearings by Molded-Oil bearings. This resulted in a significiant lifetime extension and cost saving.

Key Facts

  • Frequent bearing failures occuring every 4 weeks
  • Water ingress from frequent wash down resulting in lubricant degradation, seal damage and corrosion of the rolling elements and raceways
  • NSK Solution: Stainless Steel Bearings with Molded-Oil lubrication
  • Significiant life time increase

Production line of frozen pizza Production line of frozen pizza
Molded-Oil bearings Molded-Oil bearings

Background Information

  • Sector: Food & Beverage
  • Country: Poland
  • End-product: Frozen Pizza

  • Application: Belt Tensioner
  • Approx. Lifetime: 4 weeks
  • Problem: Corrosion, seal damage, grease washout due to high pressure cleaning

Value Proposals

  • NSK Application Review determined the bearing failure was due to degradation of the lubricant and ingress of water
  • NSK recommended the use of Stainless Steel Bearings with Molded-Oil lubrication
  • Molded-Oil bearings use an oil impregnated polymer as the lubricant instead of grease

  • The polymer matrix slowly releases oil to lubricate the bearing, while at the same acting as a barrier to protect the bearing from contamination. The lubricant cannot be washed out as with standard greases and therefore the life of bearings in wet environments can be increased significantly
  • A trial resulted in a substantial increase in bearing life and a reduction of the machine down time

Product Features

  • Molded-Oil provides continuous supply of lubricant
  • Grease-free property with no oil refilling keeps operating environments clear
  • Operating life more than twice as long as grease lubrication, in water or dust contaminated environments
  • Contact-seal type available in standard inventory for ball bearings

  • Achieves extended maintenance-free performance through constant supply of lubricant; availble for high speed applications
  • Available in ball bearings, spherical and tapered rolling bearings
  • Stainless steel for corrosive environments

Cost Saving Breakdown

Before Cost p.a. NSK Solution Cost p.a.
Bearing replacement every 4 weeks € 2.160 Bearing cost € 1.800
Relubrication of bearings € 600 No relubrication € 0
Maintenance costs € 14.400 No maintenance costs € 0
Total Costs € 17.160 € 1.800

Reference: SS-E-5006

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