Bearing Maintenance: Tricks Of The Trade

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When you work in the industrial and/or manufacturing industry, it's imperative that you properly maintain and care for all of your tools and equipment. Not doing so can lead to accidents, malfunctioning equipment, and other issues, all of which can be dangerous, deadly, and costly. One of the smallest but most important parts of any machine is the bearings. Bearings can break and cause an entire machine to malfunction easily if they are not cared for correctly. Fortunately, caring for them isn't that hard if you know what to do and take care of maintenance on a regular basis.

Lubricate Your Bearings

One of the most important things you can do for your bearings and thus for your machines is to lubricate the bearings on a regular basis. The reason lubrication is so very important is because it creates an oil film over balls, rollers, and other important parts of the machinery that typically undergo a lot of friction and pressure.

This film provides protection - almost like a second layer - for the machinery. It can also help to keep rust at bay and to reduce the heat that is placed on the bearings, heat which could potentially cause wear and breakdowns.

Replace Before Failure

A lot of people make the mistake of working their bearings, quite literally, to the bone. They only replace their bearings when they fail. Unfortunately, this is not a good strategy. Weak and failing bearings can cause serious damage to a machine and reduce its efficiency and lifespan.

It is important to be aware of the lifespan of a bearing and to replace it on a schedule, rather than just waiting for it to fail and then replacing it. Your machines will function better and you won't lose money due to unexpected downtime. You'll save money and a lot of hassle in the long run if you just create and stick to a replacement schedule.

Check Temperatures

Periodically, it is recommended that you check your bearing temperatures. These temperatures are generally quite high when the machine first starts and then stabilize after the machine runs for a while. A variety of factors, such as size of the machine, determine how long it takes for the temperature to stabilize.

If it never stabilizes, however, or if it suddenly starts taking longer to stabilize, this is a sign that something is not right with your machine and that it needs an inspection. Checking on temperature and general performance regularly and getting help right away when something isn't right really is the key to long-lasting, high-performing bearings and machines, like those from Commercial Hardware / Nevada Casters & Material Handling.