By replacing plain-bush bearings with NSKHPS spherical roller bearings from NSK, a steel plant has eliminated six bearing failures a year on its walking beam to deliver savings of €15,556 per annum.

In a steel plant, a walking beam moves material in bar form along a conveyor while it cools. At this particular steel manufacturing facility, plain-bush bearings on the walking beam were failing around six times per year, largely as a result of the challenging working environment (outside location) and high loads.

Due to the high costs associated with replacement bearings, maintenance time and lost production, the plant called upon the expertise of NSK and its AIP Added Value Programme.

NSK’s team of specialists analysed the application and suggested the adoption of a rolling element bearing, which would better cope with the demanding operating conditions and loads to save downtime and improve productivity. The solution of choice was the NSKHPS spherical roller bearing.

The success of the NSKHPS bearings meant that no failures occurred in the one-year review period. Indeed, there was no need for any intervention by the maintenance team whatsoever, as both contaminant ingress and the requirement for lubrication had reduced considerably, providing even greater savings to the customer.

In total, the annual savings amounted to €15,556. And yet there exists potential for even greater savings over time as the NSKHPS spherical roller bearings gave a theoretical life calculation of 7.2 years.

NSKHPS spherical roller bearings use state-of-the-art material technology that makes them suitable for applications necessitating high speeds and loads, including material handling in the steel sector. In fact, as NSK’s highest load-rating spherical roller bearing (25% higher), it is even possible for machine and equipment OEMs to downsize in some applications. Notably, these bearings also provide temperature stability up to 200°C.

Available with a steel or brass cage, NSKHPS spherical roller bearings offer a proven reputation for service life that far exceeds conventional alternatives, thus delivering lower maintenance costs and better productivity. Bore diameters from 40 to 260 mm are available.

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