With the bearings on its pulp converting machine failing prematurely, a company in the pulp and paper industry turned to NSK to overcome the problem. The guide rollers on the machine are driven by a cellulose web, and with low torque operation a decisive factor in optimising their operation, bearings with split seals were being used. Every six months, however, contamination in the form of paper dust meant these had to be changed. An analysis of the machine operation revealed that the recurring failure of the split seal bearings was costing the converter company €12,000 annually.
As part of an AIP programme (a value-added service that helps bearing users to solve bearing problems, reduce operating costs, improve efficiency and profitability), NSK engineers visited the pulp converter and concluded that the best solution to prevent ingress of paper dust, and subsequent premature bearing failure, was to use its Molded-Oil units. These bearings are practically frictionless and also provide protection against dust penetration. Furthermore, the solid nature of the Molded-Oil lubricant minimises the risk of oil leaks and therefore avoids contamination of the pulp and the machine itself.
Following a successful test phase, the new bearings were installed in three converting machines and are still operating 18 months after installation. So, with an outlay of just €1,440, the company has saved €10,560 – the €12,000 annual cost of bearing failure minus the cost of the bearings.
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