Switch to NSK bearings saves circa €400,000 at ore plant

When an ore preparation plant began experiencing repeated bearing failures on an air recirculation fan, it turned to NSK for advice. As a makeshift countermeasure, the facility was applying compressed air cooling in an attempt to reduce elevated bearing running temperatures, so the requirement for an urgent long-term solution was clear to see.

The air circulation fan shaft and bearing blocks at the ore preparation plant
The air circulation fan shaft and bearing blocks at the ore preparation plant

NSK’s expert team of engineers carried out an application review as part of its AIP Added Value Programme. This task included a temperature survey of the fan and bearings, which revealed that the bearings had been fitted incorrectly. In addition, excessive lubrication was evident, as was an inadequate sealing arrangement.

To counter these issues, NSK recommended switching to its high-performance NSKHPS Spherical Roller Bearings within NSK SNN Plummer Blocks and NSK Labyrinth seals. This move, along with recommendations for correct fitting, optimum lubrication intervals and quantity, would serve to overcome the plant’s previous issues.

To test the theory, a year-long trial was commenced, with NSK overseeing the installation and implementation of the recommendations. The results of the trial saw no bearing failures at any point in the 12-month period.

NSKHPS bearings are specifically designed to carry greater loads and operate at higher temperatures, offering temperature stability up to 200°C. With these attributes, users can achieve up to twice the operating life and enhanced reliability.

NSKHPS bearings are specifically designed to carry greater loads and operate at higher temperatures
NSKHPS bearings are specifically designed to carry greater loads and operate at higher temperatures
NSKHPS Spherical Roller Bearings were supplied within NSK SNN Plummer Blocks for the ore plant application
NSKHPS Spherical Roller Bearings were supplied within NSK SNN Plummer Blocks for the ore plant application

The customer was soon able to testify to these benefits, enjoying increased productivity, reduced maintenance and the removal of compressed air, all of which have resulted in a significant cost saving. Factoring in time and labour costs due to bearings failures, as well as the cost of compressed air, means the plant is now saving €393,706 per annum.

About NSK

Established 100 years ago, NSK (Nippon Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha) is a Japanese-listed company that has evolved from a regional ball bearing supplier to a roller bearing specialist and automotive supplier with a global market presence. Today, NSK employs more than 31,860 employees in 30 countries. As per March 2018 NSK achieved a turnover of 1020 billion Yen. This result has been driven by ever-increasing investment in research & development, enabling the company to continuously improve the quality of its products and services. This investment supports NSK’s objective of “No. 1 in Total Quality”. In addition to a complete rolling bearing portfolio, NSK develops and manufactures precision components and mechatronic products, as well as systems and components for the automotive industry, including wheel bearing units and electric power-steering systems.

In 1963, NSK’s first European subsidiary, Düsseldorf, Germany, was opened and in 1976, the first European production facility in Peterlee, England. Today, NSK Europe supports pan-European sales with production locations in England, Poland and Germany, logistics centres in the Netherlands, Germany and England and technology centres in Germany, England and Poland. In 1990, NSK purchased the UPI Group including the renowned European bearing manufacturer RHP, with its factory in Newark (UK). Additionally, NSK has developed a comprehensive network of authorised sales distributors. NSK Europe is divided into application-based business divisions: Industry rolling bearing technologies & linear and precision technology (EIBU) as well as bearing modules and steering systems for the automotive industry (EABU & ESBU). In this organisation, NSK Europe’s 3,900 employees achieved a turnover of over 1,056 million Euros as per March 2018.
For more information, visit www.nskeurope.com