The importance of correct bearing installation is paramount in industrial machinery. And this is particularly important where major plant is subject to arduous and continuous use in demanding industries, including food, beverage, primary processing, timber, sugar, mining, energy, and oil and gas.
All these industries cannot afford downtime caused by 16% of all bearing failures, which specifiers attribute to incorrect installation. Maintenance specialists say this is likely to be a big contributor to shorter service life and maintenance safety hazards, says hydraulic tensioning specialist, Technofast Americas.
But an obstacle to eliminating bearing setting problems in recent times has been restricted supply of proven, cost efficient bearing setting equipment, either because it is not available because of production lapses in the industrial gearing up following Covid, or because delivery has been delayed in stretched supply lines, says Technofast Americas Founder and CEO John Bucknell.
In response to these challenges, the company has boosted its capabilities to meet tight maintenance deadlines globally, while also lowering the competitive cost of the wider range of bearing setters it is producing to meet demand for cost efficient proven product.
“The big plus of a specialist and agile company like ours it that we can respond to changing market conditions and needs sooner and better than slower older suppliers. This is winning us more markets for our proven technology, including Technofast EziTite bearing setters, which we can manufacture to all sizes for precisely mounting or dismounting typical elements such as bearings, shaft couplings, through to specialist items such ships’ propellers, and rudder pintles,” says John Bucknell.
“When a new bearing is incorrectly mounted – be it by way of poor fitting, brute installation force, or incorrect tools – it can lead directly to premature and sometimes very swift bearing failure,” says Bucknell. A poorly installed bearing is not only a pending production liability in terms of service life, but also in terms of expensive downtime and the OH&S factors involved in getting the worn part out again when it fails prematurely,” he says.
“Crude approaches may be quick, but they can be nasty and dangerous, risk damage to machinery shafts, and make subsequent bearing failure analysis either difficult or impossible,” says Bucknell, whose safety-engineered and money-saving hydraulic tension solutions are used in time-critical fastening and service applications.
Bearing sleeve withdrawal example
These same qualities of speed, precision and avoidance of downtime while ensuring worker safety were demonstrated in service with a bearing sleeve withdrawal operation when assembling a new mobile crusher and conveyor. It was being commissioned on-site to make road-base gravel for applications such as new highways and worksite infrastructure.
The newly imported machine – purpose-built to be assembled where needed for immediate service – required precision technology that was demonstrably superior to old methods such as using a hand-made jig laboriously fabricated for the purpose, with no way of determining if the process was accurate.
The EziTite ® Bearing Setter employed its high-pressure hydraulic oil feed (at 700 bar) to compactly, powerfully, and precisely to complete the process in a controlled and carefully governed process.
“Use of the EziTite Bearing Setter was simple, with the assembly screwed into place and energized with a pressure pump. The internal pressure generated acted upon the internal annular piston to press against bearing’s inner race, driving the sleeve,” said Bucknell. Once the bearing sleeve operation was complete, the pressure was released, and the EziTite Bearing Setter removed.
Technofast’s EziTite hydraulic bearing setters are available in standard sizes, or they can be produced for custom applications in as little as two weeks, further reducing potential downtime, says Bucknell.
The principle of the EziTite Bearing Setter’s operation is similar in operation to the standard Technofast EziTite Hydraulic Nuts used globally – except the nuts don’t have the mechanical locking ring used on bearing installation tasks, says Bucknell. On these, a standard locking nut and washer are set to maintain correct operating preload.
Technofast’s ranges of EziTite, EziJac ® and CamNut products are proven globally in mission-critical applications where speed, precision and avoidance of downtime are paramount. They are easy to fit and remove with little physical effort, optimising safety, and minimising downtime.
Technofast Industries is a worldwide leader and specialist in Bolt Tensioning, providing innovative and effective technical solutions along with uncompromising customer service.