Bearing! The Heartbeat of your Rotating Equipment

Bearings are considered principal elements of all rotating equipment such as motors, pumps, fans, compressors and many more. Proper installation and maintenance are required to uphold healthy and optimal machinery operation modes.

It’s important to understand the role of a bearing;

 A bearing is a component used to support accurately a mechanical body, permitting it to rotate by reducing friction during motion. The mechanical assembly is composed of rolling elements, an outer race and an inner race.  The most common type of bearings are ball bearings and roller bearings.

A rotating component such as a bearing is subject to fatigue. Failure to install and maintain this element will reduce its lifespan and considerably affect equipment operation.

Storage:

The shelf life for a bearing varies between each manufacturer. To avoid storage degradation, bearings must be stored in a clean and dry environment. Standard packaging is used to prevent contamination of the mechanical assembly.

Installation and replacement:

When installing or replacing a bearing, three fundamental aspects must be carefully considered;

  • Specification
  • Cleanliness
  • Size  

The manufacturing specification rates the bearing lifespan based on the load it can withhold and the speed it rotates. Additional loads caused by unbalance, misalignment or even improper lubrification may result in premature failure and reduce the lifespan of the bearing. 

Cleanliness is also important when installing or replacing a bearing.  Contamination will result in precipitated fatigue which can critically compromise the integrity of the mechanical assembly. Contaminants may be present on your hands, your tools, the bearing itself, the shaft, the housing or even the work area.

Using the appropriate bearing is essential for machinery functionality. The selection must be done in accordance to design specification. Proper sizing will guaranty an accurate fit in accordance with other machine components.

Overall machine health pivots around the bearing which is why it is crucial to install and maintain these components properly and consciously.

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