Spanish automotive plant saves €2,500 per year on bearing audit 17 August 2011

One of the production plants at an unnamed Spanish automotive group reports savings of €2.500 per annum on the operation of a drilling unit on one of its main assembly lines.

The savings are the result of work with NSK, using its AIP (asset improvement programme), which reviews bearing problems in production environments.

The drilling unit problem centred on its rear bearings, which repeatedly failed after three to four months – resulting in unplanned and costly downtime running at €500/hour and rising to €3.750 per year on a single drilling rig.

NSK engineers found that the sealed rear bearings were failing because they were rotating at a higher speed than that specified (10,000rpm). They suggested fitting the bearings with non contact seals to achieve maximum speed with minimised friction.

"If operating life is to be maximised, the type of seal employed must be chosen not only with the operating conditions in mind, but also with the frictional effect the device will have upon the bearing starting and running torques," advises a spokesperson.

"In essence, the speed at which the bearings operate is constrained by the friction that exists between the seals and the bearing inner ring," he adds.

NSK's V type non-contact seal was developed for this purpose – being held in the outer ring of a bearing by the elasticity of the rubber seal material.

Following the change to non-contact seals, no bearing replacements have been required. Now, only annual planned maintenance is carried out on the drilling unit: a 2.5 hour process costing €1.250.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
NSK Europe Ltd

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