Inside every machine there are components that make it functional and efficient. One such component is found in every type of machinery, from hydraulic to automotive. When it comes down to it, bearings revolutionized the way most manufacturers looked at the capabilities of machinery. Whether you are dealing with common plain bearings, or something more complex, such as the flexing bearing, appropriate knowledge of their function is a key in keeping your equipment functional as well. There are three basic reasons a bearing will fail that you should know about to prolong the life of your machinery.
Lack of Lubrication
If there is one thing that is important to the bearing's load capacity it is the lubrication that is used to keep it moving freely. Not every bearing will require lubrication as some offer sealed designs where grease is contained in a sealed vessel. However, the majority of bearings will require consistent lubrication to operate. This may come from a direct application on your part, or from an attached oil reservoir that feeds the bearing as it operates. Either way, it is imperative that you supply the appropriate amount of oil or grease for the bearings your machinery relies on.
Improper Loading or Weight Distribution
Bearings are specifically designed to take the load of weight or work off of another component of a machine. For example, a wheel turning on an axle would cause the axle to have to work incredibly hard to achieve constant rotation without a bearing. Every bearing is manufactured with certain equipment in mind, and therefore, will have its own load or weight capacity. When you do not follow overall load guidelines for a piece of machinery, you could be putting the bearings in danger.
No Usage for Prolonged Periods
It is not uncommon for dirt, dust, or debris to get trapped inside of a bearing and cause issues. However, with daily use and maintenance this type of problem is seemingly avoided. If you do not use your equipment for an extended period of time, the bearings can be greatly contaminated with foreign material. This can cause damage during startup and must be eliminated before use.
If you want to see the bearings in your machinery last for the long haul, make sure you know what can go wrong and how problems can be addressed. The types of bearings utilized may be a broad subject, but meeting basic standards for appropriate use is a simple subject you should keep at the forefront of your business operations. For help maintaining and replacing bearings, work with a hardware company, like Commercial Hardware / Nevada Casters & Material Handling.