If you own or manage a business that relies heavily on large equipment, the last thing you want to hear is, “The equipment is down.” Not only does this mean that repairs are in order (likely expensive repairs), but it also means that your employees are standing around with nothing to do and production has come to a halt. Every minute your equipment is down is money lost.
There is an old saying that goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the case of large equipment, this translates to: A relatively small investment of money and time can prevent huge headaches and lost profits.
Fortunately, a good amount of equipment downtime can be avoided by paying attention to the bearings in your equipment. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) estimates that more than half of all electric motor failures are bearing related.
When bearings fail, it can be due to a number of causes, such as inadequate lubrication, being subjected to a heavier load than it was designed for, an incorrect fit, or just simple wear and tear. Whatever the cause of the bearing failure, it can have disastrous effects on your equipment.
Bearing maintenance is important—they should be regularly inspected and lubricated—but purchasing the right bearings in the first place is the best course of action, especially for companies that depend heavily on equipment with electric motors controlled by a variable frequency drive (VFD).
With traditional steel bearings, electrical arcing can be a major problem. When a bearing is exposed to an electric current, the bearing can become pitted, creating an uneven surface texture that leads to excess vibration. Small metal fragments can also get into the grease, which causes further bearing friction. When this happens, you will likely notice your equipment begin to run hotter and make more noise. If the damaged bearing isn’t replaced soon, motor failure isn’t far behind.
According to the IEEE, pitting caused by electrical arcing is one of the main sources of damage that leads to reduced bearing service life.
When you go with ceramic hybrid bearings, however, the threat of electrical arcing is eliminated. The silicon nitride ceramic balls used in the ceramic hybrid bearings made by CBR are electrically non-conductive, unlike traditional steel balls. And since they aren’t susceptible to electrical arcing and the related damage, they last much longer—up to ten times longer in fact!
If you haven’t yet made the switch from steel bearings to ceramic hybrid bearings, you should definitely consider it. To learn more or to inquire about pricing, contact us at CBR Bearing. We would be happy to answer any questions and help you find the best ceramic hybrid bearings for your specific application.