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A steel manufacturer was experiencing regular failures within its Ore Preparation Plant (OPP). The plant utilized housed bearing units installed on a 60mm shaft and ran at approximately 1485 rpm. NSK was informed that the bearing used was failing and requested to perform a vibration analysis on the current condition within the application. An ISO14836-2 qualified condition monitoring engineer visited the site to make an assessment. On replacement of the bearings, initial readings were taken by NSK and subsequent readings were then taken within the following weeks to trend the condition and predict where failures may occur.

Key Facts

  • Dust Extraction Fan
  • Electric motor coupled to a belt drive delivering output speed of 1485 rpm
  • Housed bearing failures
  • NSK Solutions: Condition Monitoring Service (CMS) with vibration analysis on three separate occasions: with the initial bearings, after replacement bearings, and one month in service.
  • After the bearing replacement, the vibration analysis detected an unbalance due to the addition of a metal arm used to detect rotation added to the end of the shaft. The unbalance would have added loads to the system and reduced the bearing and component lifetime. It was corrected by the customer and checked by NSK during another visit.
  • Ore Preparation Plant
  • Condition Monitoring Service (CMS)

Value Proposals

  • NSK Condition Monitoring Service analyzed the current condition to assist and reduce the number of unplanned failures. A bearing problem was detected and bearing replacement was suggested. 
  • After one month, a second visit revealed the bearing condition was acceptable, but some unbalance was present within the application. This was to be corrected by the customer and checked at a third visit a month later.
  • Upon third visit, NSK Condition Monitoring Service detected the unbalance was greatly reduced, but still present. The analysis detected some structural resonance from the base.
  • This was due to the belt tension acting upon the structure revealing a loose bolt on the motor base. The customer adjusted the motor, but did not secure all four bolts correctly.
  • The customer corrected the loose bolts and the application ran without any further problems.

Product Features

  • Live assessment of a machines condition while machine is in operation
  • Predicted life of the critical components inside a machine allowing the customer to plan maintenance more accurately
  • Early warning of problems occurring in machinery. Condition Monitoring is the most sensitive and long reaching method of detecting the signs of machine wear
  • On-site support from NSK Engineers
  • Assurance that NSK as a full range supplier can help with the provision of critical bearing and linear motion spares
  • Performance improvements with additional operational cost savings

Cost Saving Breakdown

Before Cost p.a. NSK Solution Cost p.a.
Cost of replacement and lost productivity from the blast furnaces:
The viral forces upon the housed units would have induced 1 additional failure over the predicted 2 year life time, thus a 20% saving.
Total Costs Before NSK Solution



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