Solving conveyor failure issues at drinks plant

05 March 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201913564

Engineering Supplies
Food & Beverage

BY changing to NSK Molded-Oil mounted-unit inserts, an international drinks producer has overcome repeated problems of premature insert failures on the drive system of four vital sorting conveyors.

That’s according to NSK, which said the move has improved service life significantly, leading to an annual saving of €5080 (R81 000).

At the beverage plant, cleaning processes comprising a mix of water and chemicals were destroying the bearing seals and washing out the grease pack on the company’s existing mounted units. As a result, the inserts within the mounted units had to be replaced every five to six months and re-greased every three weeks.

Solving conveyor failure issues at drinks plant

NSK was invited to find a solution to this problem in order to improve service life and reduce maintenance requirements. After a thorough review of the application, NSK’s team of engineers concluded that a switch to Molded-Oil mounted-unit inserts would solve the issue.

NSK mounted units comprise two basic components: the insert and the housing. Each unit consists of a sealed single-row ball bearing with spherical external diameter and extended inner ring mounted in a pillow block or flanged housing. The spherical fit accommodates any initial misalignment.

Importantly, the lubricant within Molded-Oil inserts is durably incorporated inside a stable carrier medium, namely an oil-impregnated polyolefin resin. This type of lubricant cannot be washed away by liquids or steam and prevents the ingress of contamination.

Moreover, as the carrier only releases the lubricant slowly, sufficient lubrication is maintained over a long operating period. A further benefit is that the operating environment remains clean as no grease can leak out and no oil refilling is required.

Made from martensitic stainless steel, Molded-Oil inserts are ideally suited to applications which are in frequent and heavy contact with water.

One year on from the refit, the drinks producer has reported no failures whatsoever, while the need for re-greasing has been eliminated.

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