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Bearings: Milk plant cuts failures, cuts costs

10 February 2009

A UK milk processing plant struggling with premature bearing failure on an IHT conveyor said it had turned to Newark, UK based NSK to solve the problem.

Milk plant had to employ NSK bearings to cope with failures on a conveyor
Milk plant had to employ NSK bearings to cope with failures on a conveyor

The plant claims to have saved £9,992 (€11,429) a year with solid lubricant, Molded Oil bearings.

The cause of the problem on the conveyor was inaccessible bearings that were impossible to lubricate. As a result, engineers were changing bearings every 10 weeks, which, according to NSK, was resulting in combined downtime, labour and equipment costs of £9,922 annually.

An initiative was launched with a view to sourcing more durable bearings and an engineer from NSK’s Cost Savings Programme was called in. The problem was identified as water washout, which is common in food processing applications. This is the tendency of lubricant to be flushed out of conventional bearings under repeated washdowns. The loss of lubricant is usually progressive rather than immediate; but the result is inevitably the same: premature failure of the bearing or bearings concerned.

Molded Oil bearings employ a solid lubricant that is designed to address loss of lubricant due to washdowns.

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