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The world’s largest can manufacturer (soft drinks, isotonic drinks, beers, etc.) was experiencing regular, unexpected, production stoppages due to premature bearing failures in their spray head coating machines. This was causing production disruption and high downtime costs. NSK conducted a full evaluation of the application including grease analysis and found that the bearings were seizing due to grease being purged from the bearing by high pressure air that was used in the process. NSK proposed its non-contact VV seals together with a change to bearing geometry resulting in adequate grease retention and a dramatic increase in bearing life.

Key Facts

  • High volume can production line
  • Repeated problems with spray head spindle bearings
  • Bearing seizure resultng in significant downtime
  • NSK applicaiton and bearing analysis showed lubricant purging caused by inadequate sealing
  • Machine design required that air is passed through the bearings
  • NSK proposed VV Seals and C3 internal clearance deep groove ball bearings
  • VV seals offer good grease retention properties while allowing air flow through the bearing
  • Bearing life increased from 7 to 110 days of operation
  • Aluminum Beverage Cans
Deep Groove Ball Bearing, 874x555
  • VV - Sealed Deep Groove Ball Bearing

Value Proposals

  • Investigation of the failed bearings showed failure due to lack of grease
  • An application analysis discovered that the high pressure air used in the process was passing through the bearings and the existing seal (ZZ sheilds) was not retaining the grease
  • NSK proposed a test with non contact (VV sealed) deep groove ball bearings with C3 clearance
  • This proved successful as the VV seal has excellent grease retention capabilities
  • Bearing lifetime was increased from 7 days to over 110 days when routine maintenance took place. Customer benefited from increased productivity and reduced maintenance costs

Product Features

  • C3 Internal clearance
  •  VV Seals
    - This innovative design seals effectively without increasing
       either torque or operating temperature
    - The non-contact lip design reduces drag in the bearing - an
       important advantage where power loss is critical
    - Longer bearing life through superior seal performance
    - Excellent grease retention and effective distribution to maintain performance
  • "E" class (noise level): Reduced noise level class for electrical applications
  • High performance in contaminated environment
  • Low torque bearing design

Cost Saving Breakdown

Before Cost p.a. NSK Solution Cost p.a.
Extended Product Life: 7 days extended to 110 days $159,972
Downtime: Reduction in overall downtime $95,984
Total Costs Before $255,956



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