Industrial gears are used in many different industries and often face dynamic operating conditions coupled with high shock loads in some cases. They are usually located between the drive on one side and the process technology on the other. In this case, industrial gears primarily serve to reduce input speeds and increase torques for the processes in question. Typical applications include power generation and mining.
All industrial gears must be reliable in spite of the dynamic processes acting on them. As higher-performance machines keep emerging, the bearings used for shafts also play a crucial role in ensuring service reliability and are tailored specifically to the relevant application.
For instance, NSK supplies solutions for every stage of the planetary gears used for wind turbines, from the planetary carrier to the generator shaft. Various options are available: traditional locating/non-locating bearings, floating bearings and adjusted bearing arrangements. Material selection is another key consideration. NSK’s Super-TF technology maximizes bearings’ service life, even in operating conditions where conventional bearings would show signs of fatigue damage.
Two key innovations extend the lives of heavy-duty cylindrical roller bearings by up to 30%. First, an increase in the number of rollers reduces the surface pressure on the contact area between the rollers and the raceway, thereby increasing the maximum load. Second, an optimized cage provides sufficient stability despite the larger number of rolling elements.
Electric motors and generator bearings have different demands compared to gears. Knocks and fluctuating torques rarely occur. Different speeds are typically the key consideration when it comes to selecting bearings.
Performance classes vary, however, electric motors and generators in the consumer segment – such as drive motors for washing machines or car alternators – usually have to fit in a very small space and operate under constant conditions. Motors and generators with a higher power density are normally used in industrial plants or to produce power, where considerable load variations are common place.
In electric motors and generators, the shaft bearing often has to be insulated from the housing to prevent damage caused by current conduction. With this in mind, NSK has developed electrically insulated bearings with a ceramic coating suitable for the conditions associated with these specific mechatronic applications.
NSK can supply the right bearings for all operating conditions and applications including extremely compact deep-groove ball bearings which deliver ultra-quiet running as well as optimized low energy consumption with little maintenance.
Some applications are prone to causing bearing damage and premature failure due to electrical corrosion. Electrical corrosion is caused by electrical discharges throught the rolling elements and the raceway. NSK offers a insulated bearings to deal with this problem.