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Bearings - 2012-01-09

NSK has highlighted the relevance of its cost saving, bearing asset improvement programme (AIP) to all sectors of industry. By reducing downtime resulting from production hold-ups, the AIP has saved a manufacturer of luxury handbags €636,371 in lost revenue. 

The cause of the lost revenue was the frequent failure of bearings on the inking machines that coat the side faces of leather used in the handbags. The bearings were failing regularly, every 6 weeks on each machine, due to ink ingress, resulting in seizure. With 40 machines on site, the regular failures meant that the costs for lost production, replacement bearings and maintenance were huge.
NSK visited the site to investigate the problem. The current bearings used on the machines were open ball bearings. NSK recommended replacing these units with Molded-Oil™ sealed bearings to combat the ingress of the ink.
A highly effective lubricant, Molded-Oil™ offers more than twice the operating life of grease lubrication in contaminated environments. Moreover, the technology means that operating environments are kept free of grease – very important in applications such as handbag manufacture - and there is no need for refilling of lubricant, because Molded-Oil™ provides a continuous supply of lubricating oil.
A trial was conducted on one of the inking machines using Molded Oil™ bearings. This was a complete success; the bearings significantly outperforming the previous open bearings, and are still in operation after more than 12-months. On the strength of this success, the handbag manufacturer is planning to change to Molded Oil™ bearings on all 40 of his inking machines to eliminate the lost production previously endured.

Molded Oil is an environmentally-friendly lubricant. It comprises a lubricating oil in a polyolefin matrix. The characteristics of the material mean that a good lubrication regime is maintained. The mechanism of oil discharge from the matrix is temperature dependent; the higher the heat generation, the higher the oil discharge rate.

About NSK’s AIP Programme
NSK’s cost reduction, AIP programme is a value-added service that actually helps bearing users to improve reliability, reduce operating costs, and improve efficiency and profitability. These objectives are achieved by delivering tangible savings to assets, such as equipment and machinery, and also by improving the working knowledge of maintenance and engineering personnel.

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