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OEM Update

Sealed spherical roller bearings offers overall lower costs and trouble-free operation

July 21, 2011 10:34 am

Introduction of a full range of sealed spherical roller bearings marks a new era. Wherever reliability, long operational life, reduced need for maintenance and lower operating costs together with environmental savings are needed, these bearings have a role to play.
The sealed spherical roller bearings are reliable bearing solution that offers significantly reduced need for maintenance, coupled with prolonged service life and fewer unplanned breakdowns and production stops. Extending range of sealed spherical roller bearings broaden the use and benefits of this high-performance design beyond current niche applications in harsh or challenging environments.
SKF has developed a comprehensive range of sealed spherical roller bearings with more than 100 basic variants covering bearing sizes up to a 320 mm bore diameter, to benefit both OEMs and end users. Sealed spherical roller bearings provide: • Improved uptime and higher efficiency • Maintenance freedom – generally no need for relubrication• Grease saving and thus environmentally friendly.
Sealed spherical roller bearings are intended for applications where uptime is critical and where the need for bearing maintenance needs to be cut significantly. Squeezing the last bit of productivity and performance out of equipment to save money is a major preoccupation for most industries these days. In some applications, it is absolutely vital that the machine equipment does not break down during operation. A harbour conveyor breaking down when unloading or loading a ship has a breakdown cost of 80,000 euros compared with only 800 euros if repaired when the conveyor is idle. For continuous casting plants, unplanned stops can cost 30,000 euros an hour.
Sealed spherical roller bearings are also seen as overcoming contamination problems caused by grease leakage where environmental concern is a key issue. Grease use and disposal is increasingly important, and sealed spherical roller bearings can make a difference. For applications with large grease use, consumption can be reduced by 90 per cent or more over the bearing life. For one of its customer, the grease use was cut by 100 kg per year for each bearing position, by replacing open spherical roller bearings with sealed spherical roller bearings. The investment paid off in a year while the operational costs associated with each bearing position were halved. This can add up to considerable savings, considering that the disposal cost of grease can be up to three times higher than the purchase cost.
The sealed spherical roller bearing has been designed to provide reliable bearing solutions that offer significantly reduced need for maintenance, extended service life and fewer unplanned breakdowns and production stops. That adds up to longer maintenance intervals with consequent savings in operating costs and staff time.
Being a greased for life concept, the sealed spherical roller bearing has good environmental attributes. It reduces the exposure of potentially polluting grease and cuts the cost of waste grease disposal. In many applications, the bearing housing can be filled with biodegradable grease, which combined with SKF’s three-barrier solution housing seals, grease in the housing and a sealed bearing) results in a clean arrangement even for bearings working in tough environments.
The function of the bearing will be as good as it gets, since the bearing grease has been developed by SKF to maximise performance of the sealed spherical roller bearing. In addition, the bearing is filled in a clean factory environment with the right amount of grease, using the right procedure. These prerequisites make it possible to utilise the full potential of the bearing. They provide opportunities for downsizing, since the internal surfaces are protected in a clean environment, which improves the service life of the bearing.

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