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Rolling bearing maintenance, condition monitoring and reconditioning from a single source

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

In a tough economic climate, companies are identifying ways in which they can cut costs, reduce capital expenditure and prolong the life of their existing plant and production equipment – particularly those that rely on high value capital plant and machinery.
Rolling bearings are often found at the heart of most rotating machines. In order to prolong the life of this equipment, the correct mounting, maintenance and condition monitoring of these rolling bearings is critical and can help to avoid any costly, unplanned downtime. Furthermore, rather than buy new replacement bearings for production machines, companies can look to cut costs by returning worn bearings for reconditioning.
Schaeffler UK offers a comprehensive range of rolling bearing maintenance equipment, condition monitoring systems and reconditioning services – all available from a single source. These products and services include bearing mounting and dismounting equipment; lubricants; automatic lubricators; alignment and balancing tools; condition monitoring systems; and rolling bearing reconditioning services.
By opting to have bearings reconditioned, for example, companies can reduce costs and save time. The costs of reconditioning a large rolling bearing are only a fraction (normally between 20 and 70 per cent) of the cost of buying new. In addition, the lead times involved in reconditioning are much shorter than producing new replacement versions.
Reconditioning typically includes the polishing and regrinding of raceways; removal of any fretting corrosion; re-greasing; new rolling elements; cage replacement; or the remanufacture of bore diameters and internal clearance. Often, the reconditioned bearing is given the same warranty as new replacement bearings. Reconditioning is also available for both Schaeffler-produced bearings and bearings from other manufacturers.
In many cases, the bearings can be restored to a completely acceptable, functionally reliable condition using appropriate cleaning and repair techniques. Applications include bearings used in steel and aluminium rolling mills, papermaking machinery, mining and quarrying machines, mineral processing equipment, the wind energy sector or in shipbuilding. Significant cost reductions can be made by opting for reconditioning rather than new replacement bearings.
On the condition monitoring side, Schaeffler offers all the necessary tools and equipment for prolonging the life of rolling bearings. These include handheld infrared thermometers; battery-operated and handheld vibration monitoring devices and balancing tools; and a wide range of online condition monitoring systems, including specific systems for monitoring the condition of drive train components on a wind turbine.
Alignment tools can also help prolong the life of production equipment and machines that use rolling bearings. Schaeffler offers a range of alignment and tensioning tools for belt pulleys and chain sprockets, as well as shaft alignment systems for motors, pumps, ventilators and gearboxes.
The reliable, controlled supply of lubrication to a rolling bearing is also important and can extend the maintenance interval and maximise the life of the rolling bearing. Schaeffler provides a wide range of automatic lubricators and multi-bearing lubrication systems to suit every application.
The correct mounting and dismounting of rolling bearings can save time, improve bearing life and therefore minimise downtime of machines. Here, thermal mounting and dismounting tools can be used, including heating plates, induction heating devices, mounting paste, heating rings, feeler gauges, hydraulic extractors, hydraulic nuts and hand pump sets can be used to ensure that bearings are mounted and removed easily and quickly without causing damage to the bearings.
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