High maintenance costs and poor reliability are often the result of improper selection and sizing of rolling bearings, according to one UK bearings supplier.
When most engineering designers specify rolling bearings, their selection is often based on what has gone before, claims Adrian Menzies, sales and marketing director for Revolvo.
But, Menzies points out, what might be best for the machine designer may not necessarily be the best for the end user: the requirement for the equipment manufacturer is to achieve the lowest installed cost for new equipment, and that of the end user improved reliability and longer operating life.
For rolling bearings, which are a key component in all rotating machines, the solution to avoid production interruptions and downtime, says Menzies, is to ensure that the right bearings are specified at the design stage, even if this means that the bearings selected cost more initially.
In fact, he says, what is becoming increasingly obvious is that the decision to specify any critical bearing solution should always be taken after analysis of the total lifetime cost/benefit issues, and not merely on the basis of the initial purchase price.
For example, solid mounted roller bearings cost much less than equivalent sized split roller bearings, yet they can take up to 90% more time to install or replace.