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A bearing is repairable multiple times, extending its service life and improving the overall cost of operation

Image: Timken
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Industrial Bearings Reduce costs & strengthen performance with bearing repair

Nov 24, 2017

Bearing repair is a green maintenance procedure, requiring minimal energy input and significantly reducing raw material consumption when compared to manufacturing new bearings. The application story highlights how a bearing re-manufactured can cost from 20 to 60% less than the cost of a new bearing.

When compared to manufacturing new bearings, lead-times are significantly reduced with bearing repair. This is significant as shorter lead times can increase uptime. Our experts affirm that fact that repaired bearings are as good as new.

Depending on the type of repair, research has shown that it is possible to restore the full, useful life of bearings. A bearing is repairable multiple times, extending its service life and improving the overall cost of operation without sacrificing quality.

Maximising value of bearing repair services

One can significantly reduce their overall cost of operation by building a critical spares inventory. With new bearings in operation, the out-of-service bearings can be sent for repair. When it is time to replace bearings, one can install the remanufactured part from the inventory, avoiding stock-outs and costly downtime. As this cycle repeats, you continue to lower your costs and reduce operational downtime.

With each repair cycle, one can save between 20 to 60% of the cost of replacing the bearing. Repairing the same bearing twice could help you to cover the cost of a new bearing.

Specialising in bearing repair, Timken has a dedicated team of bearing repair experts. This team employs strict standards and quality control in the remanufacturing process. In addition, the repaired bearing is backed by a warranty. While some bearing repair methods consist of just a cosmetic honing, the company takes extra steps to help extend the life of the bearing.

Identifying if a bearing needs repair

The repair experts help identify the type of bearing damage, determine the root-cause and recommend the best repair method. Some of the signs or reasons that a bearing may need repair include during routine maintenance, the bearing is deemed ‘ready for replacement’; it exceeds an operating temperature of 200°F (93°C); it has exposure to excessive vibration; it experiences a sudden drop or gain in lubrication; it emits excessive noise and loses bearing seal integrity.

Regardless of the original manufacturer, most types of bearings can be repaired including ball bearings, class 3 precision bearings (all types), cross roller bearings, cylindrical roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, tapered roller bearings, thrust bearings (all types) and triple ring bearings.

Repair methods

Generally suited for bearings with a 12” interior diameter (ID) and larger, our repair methods are comprehensive, methodical and extensive, often using grinding operations to remove damage below the surface and restore bearing geometry. Sometimes, smaller bearings are good candidates for repair, depending on the type of repair needed. Some of our repair methods include:

Recertification (Type 1): Bearing assemblies cleaned, examined, measured for verification of internal clearances, inspected, preserved and packaged. This process is used to recertify a bearing for service – generally applying to an unused product with an outdated shelf life.

Reconditioning (Type 2): Bearing assemblies cleaned, examined, polished, honed or tumbled to remove minor surface defects (primarily rust or corrosion), measured for verification of internal clearances, inspected, preserved and packaged.

Remanufacturing (Type 3): Bearing assemblies cleaned, examined, raceways reground, new roller sets and major components manufactured and replaced as required, internal clearances reset, inspected, preserved and packaged. Regrinding raceways requires the manufacture of oversized rollers to compensate for the removed material and to maintain bearing geometry and clearance where radial internal clearance is critical. When lateral clearance is critical, oversized rollers, new spacers or additional shims are provided.

Typically used for bearings with a 3” – 8” ID (larger, economical quantities required), bearing assemblies are cleaned and polished using the proprietary vibratory process, inspected, preserved and packaged. Special features can be added including advanced coatings to existing or new bearing assemblies to enhance performance, retrofit to special applications or upgrade to the most recent product designs.

Upgrade with ES coatings means that this advanced coating technology will help to prevent bearings from peeling in areas where roller skidding occurs, typically under low load and speed conditions. Skidding breaks through the lubricant film of a bearing, leading to premature damage to rollers and races. This protection can lead to greater uptime and performance.

Standard procedures

As a standard practice, replacement or remanufacturing rolling elements depending on their condition. New rolling elements meet or exceed manufacturer’s requirements for material, geometry and surface finish. Each rolling element is 100% visually and dimensionally inspected and tested in accordance with all applicable OEM specifications. Every bearing, upon completion of repairs, undergoes extensive visual and dimensional inspection in accordance with Timken-approved procedures and OEM acceptance criteria (where available).

Bearing repair is a green maintenance procedure, requiring minimal energy input and significantly reducing raw material consumption, when compared to manufacturing new bearings.

The article is reproduced with courtesy to Timken

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