It is a very basic requirement of any industry that all its machines work properly and are reliable. A machine has many moving parts which help in performing the work it is designated to do. For a smooth functioning of these moving parts, it is important that the bearings are properly maintained. Also, you must buy the bearing from a right store, say, if you want to buy a miniature bearing, you should buy it from the leading miniature bearing supplier.
Failure of a bearing can result in downtime and will be a blow to operational efficiency. Following are the major reasons behind a bearing failure:
1. Improper installation and Handling: As soon as the bearing arrives, proper care must be taken. From storage to installation, proper care in the handling of the bearing is necessary. It can happen that scratches and nicks have occurred in the bearing before it is even installed. You must make sure that proper storage technique is employed and even when it is brought for installation, the handling is done in the right way. Do not remove the original package from the bearing unless it is necessary. And as soon as it is removed apply an anti-corrosive wrapping to the bearing.
During installation, cleanliness must be kept in mind. The anti-corrosives and the lubrication must be clean as well. Technicians should use clean tools only during the installation process. Improper handling of tools and wrong installation technique can cause small fractures in the bearings. It will also cause vibrations in the machine which can reduce the life of other machine parts as well.
2. Bad Lubrication: Lubrication is one of the most important factors in the maintenance of the bearing. Lubrication type, grade, viscosity and additives are mostly recommended by the manufacturers. They will also specify the amount of lubrication to be used and how long should you use it before changing.
A technician must closely follow the recommendations and use the lubricants in the right amount. It should be stored in a place such that dust and dirt do not contaminate the lubricant.
3. Overheating of the bearing: Overheating can be caused because of improper lubrication. It can damage the bearing material. It can alter the viscosity of the lubricant which can change the path of its flow. Overheating reduces the life of the bearing.
A technician must be careful about the functioning of the bearing. He must know the symptoms that are related to troubles in the bearing. He must notice the following in order to take proper care of the bearing:
- Discoloration of the bearing: If there is a metal-to-metal contact, discoloration will be visible. It is a clear sign that lubrication is an issue in the bearing.
- Scoring and peeling: Peeling or a cut in the metal indicates that there is a severe issue in lubrication and this should be addressed urgently.
- Localized scoring: If there is a breakdown of lubrication film, the components will come into direct contact with each other, this results in localized scoring.
- Cumulative wear: The bearing can lock-up and can cause significant damage not just to the bearing, but also to the machine if there is a high-localized heat which is not addressed in time.
A technician should always be careful and make sure that these symptoms are detected at the early stage. All the guidelines about the handling of the bearing must be followed.
It is important to buy the bearing from a good store that provides you all the information you need regarding the bearing.