Most of the mechanical power transmission equipment such as motors, shafts, drives, gearing, and many other associated components mostly relies on bearings for keeping drive trains fully aligned to obtain smooth transmission of power.

However, to achieve that you have to consider proper alignment, lubrication, vibration, proper bearing selection, and also the reliability and quality of the manufacturer. Nowadays, there are many different types of bearings, where each having different functions and characteristics.

Whatever bearing is chosen, the first priority is to practice maintenance because it is crucial for efficient plant operation. Without following proper maintenance practices e.g. vibration monitoring and lubrication, equipment and machinery may sustain further damage.

Teo Nooseng Co., Ltd., who is an authorized SKF distributor (ตัวแทน skf, term in Thai) of the Southeast Asian region, can offer you necessary advice and suggestions about how to use and maintain bearings properly.

The following are the different types of bearings available for motors and shafts:

  • Rolling-element bearings include – ball bearings, roller bearings, etc.
  • Rolling-element bearings of sealing type that includes – sealed bearing, shielded bearing, open bearing
  • Sleeve bearings
  • Vertical motor bearings

The following are few things that are very important for the bearings:

1) Maintaining proper lubrication

The most important part of bearing maintenance will involve administering proper lubrication as recommended by the manufacturer, and you need to maintain a proper schedule too. Also, you must monitor to ensure that no debris or foreign particles including water or any other liquids and solids penetrate your lubricant and the bearing cavity or housing. The reasons are:

  • It can damage the bearing.
  • It will lead to either premature failure or misalignment
  • Cause excessive wear and catastrophic failure.

2) The danger of misalignment

Generally, alignment will take place with a matched driver to whatever it will drive.  Most of the proper alignment will need complex and accurate instrumentation. Any misalignment can cause angular force getting applied to your bearing. Also, incorrect mounting may add to your misalignment that is the common cause of failure of bearing.

  • Consult your product manual for determining maximum misalignment allowable for your specific bearing.
  • Monitor the vibration

3) Bearings selection and replacement

Although bearings are designed to last longer, but often they need replacement. So, you must keep enough stock of bearing of the right type. You have to be a little proactive while replacing the bearing to avoid machine failure.

There are formulas available to predict bearing life that is based on speed, load, and frequency of use. While keeping inventory of bearing, it is necessary to check the operational parameters and also performance characteristics of the bearing.

Also, choose the right manufacturer while buying your bearings.

Developing future strategies for power transmission bearings

Bearings seem incidental for power transmission equipment. They generally run for whole days throughout the years, need little attention.  Also, they are critical for power transmission and can serve an important purpose. Often, they are subject to harsh operating and environmental conditions and that can lead to failure.

You must therefore select good quality bearings and also maintain them with proper alignment and lubrication. In this way, you can build your plant efficiency and improve overall productivity.