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Bearings - 2013-02-19

Self-Lube Flinger Seals

Wood processing: prompt replacement of bearings safeguards availability

When a manufacturer of glued laminated wood asked NSK’s application technology team for help, they had to act quickly. The problem: no replacement bearings were available for a machine used to process laminated beams. NSK suggested using a simpler design featuring an RHP Self-Lube® bearing insert. The solution was implemented – and the user now saves almost €80,000 a year in repairs and downtime costs. 

The use of glued laminated timber (glulam) or laminated beams can significantly increase the load-bearing capacity of wooden constructions. To make this material, several planks of solid wood are joined together end to end.  They are then glued together in layers. The resulting material is up to 80% stronger and as much as 40% more rigid than conventional structural timber. Thanks to these properties, glulam is commonly used for supporting structures, especially as it can be produced in virtually any dimensions.

A manufacturer of glulam sections contacted NSK’s application technology team with an urgent request. Several roller elements – known as solid rollers – on a machine used to process the laminated beams had ground to a halt because their tapered roller bearings were faulty and spares were no longer available.  It had become necessary to halt production, and restarting the machine as quickly as possible was the manufacturer’s number one priority.

Within 24 hours, an NSK engineer visited the site to assess the situation and recommended replacing the existing tapered roller bearings with a simpler design featuring an RHP Self-Lube® bearing insert. These mounted units can be installed and removed very quickly.

RHP Self-Lube® mounted units consist of a sealed, single-row deep-groove ball bearing with a spherical outer ring and a wide inner ring. The component is mounted in a bearing block or flanged bearing housing. The spherical fit accommodates initial misalignment. These bearings are sold prelubricated and sealed and also boast a relubrication facility.  A protector cap can also be supplied, which offers additional protection for the bearings.

Integrating them into the surrounding structure was straightforward, meaning that the machine could start operating again very quickly. Since then, the bearings for the solid rollers have only needed replacing during scheduled servicing, despite the adverse operating conditions. The plant has not experienced any unplanned downtime since the switch. On top of all this, it now takes just one hour rather than three to replace the bearing on a roller. This enabled the user to slash bearing costs and makes downtime a thing of the past. Overall, that equates to annual savings of €79,000.

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