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Introduction

A customer was experiencing repeated bearing failures fitted to roller assemblies on their wire drawing machinery. The failures were resulting in excessive downtime and high maintenance costs. Management was concerned about the increasing cost. A solution was urgently necessary. NSK was called in to investigate and found that there was sealing and lubrication problem. A new bearing and lubrication package was tested and the results showed significant improved the bearing performance. Productivity increased and maintenance cost were reduced. 

Key Facts

  • Continuous wire drawing process with high loads and arduous conditions
  • High bearing failure rates -up to 75 a month
  • Excessive downtime and high maintenance costs
  • Bearing Failure Analysis conducted issues with lubrication.
  • NSK proposed Lithium Complex grease together with a sealed Cylindrical Roller Bearing
  • Recommendations were tested resulting in improved productivity and reduced maintenance costs
  • Wire Drawing Machine
  • Full compliment Cylindrical Roller Bearing unit with seals

Value Proposals

  • A Bearing Failure Analysis showed that the primary cause was poor lubrication
  • A Lubrication Analysis identified the existing grease as graphite based which was not suitable
  • NSK proposed a trial using a specially selected Lithium Complex grease together with a Sealed Double Row Cylindrical
  • Roller Bearing Unit
  • The trial was successful with a 40% improvement in bearing life
  • The customer converted all of their roll assemblies over to the NSK proposed bearing / grease combination
  • There was a significant reduction in downtime and maintenance costs which was documented in a substantial cost saving

Product Features

  • Improved contact seals prevent ingress of foreign particles and water
  • High load rating
  • Increased radial and axial capability
  • Highly corrosion resistant phosphate coating
  • Ease fo regrease: Inner and outer ring re-lubrication holes
  • Bearings pre-greased with Lithium grease
  • Can be fitted with snap rings on the outer ring
  • Can be used in external environments due to coating

Cost Saving Breakdown

Before Cost p.a. NSK Solution Cost p.a.
Constant failure of bearings / 75 Rolls changed per month Significant improved reliability / 45 Rolls changed per month
0.5 hours per change / $6,428 per hour lost production cost / $241,042 per month x 12 months $2,892,504 0.5 hours per change / $6,428 per hour lost production cost / $144,585 per month x 12 months $1,735,020
378 man hours / $14,983 cost per month / x 12 months $179,796 108 man hours / $4279 cost per month / x 12 months $51,348
Technical Support & Engineering Time $2,758 No Technical Support needed $0
Total Costs $3,075,058 $1,786,368

Reference:SS-E-2018

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