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How do you reduce machine downtime?

Cooper Split Bearing Unit

Downtime is costly whether its planned or unplanned, and the last thing you want is a component that is difficult to replace. Changing bearings that are in hard to reach locations, or surrounded by heavy equipment which is time consuming to dismantle, adds to costs and puts staff at risk of injury.

This is especially true for machinery in adverse conditions. Environments with high contamination levels can often lead to bearings needing to be replaced prematurely, causing costs to soar. By reducing downtime we can increase production.

SKF Cooper Split Roller Bearings can make the maintenance process quick and easy. Here's why:

1. Time Saving

Let's say you have a failed bearing that need changing. Your machines have been stopped and it's now time to take the application apart to replace the bearing. This can often take a considerable amount of time (and man power) to make the change, causing a loss in production and not to mention the operations staff who are unable to work productively.

Thanks to the split-to-the-shaft design of Cooper Split Roller Bearings, you could reduce the downtime by up to 88%. For every 16 hours it would take you to replace a standard bearing on your machine, it would take just 2 hours to replace a Cooper bearing, saving your plant essential time. (see fig. 1)

2. Maintenance Saving

If bearings are being incorrectly maintained, this can rack up costs monumentally. This is particularly evident in applications where bearings are inaccessible, making maintenance difficult and sometimes even impossible. Extreme conditions can also make maintenance dangerous, for example within the mining and quarrying industry.

The split-to-the-shaft design of Cooper Split Roller Bearings makes maintenance easy, with minimal downtime even in trapped locations. This is because the bearing splits, meaning it can be disassembled in smaller easier to manage pieces. Surrounding equipment doesn't need to be dismantled, reducing the risk of equipment damage, and improving worker safety.

3. Longer Lasting In Extreme Conditions

In some cases, split bearings can last longer than normal bearings. This is particularly evident in extreme, dirty, wet or abrasive environments, due to the sealing capabilities of split bearings. With normal bearing housings, if the shaft misaligns it creates a space between the around the edge of the seal, creating a space that contaminants can enter, thus reducing the life of the bearing. However, split bearings cartridges allow misalignment to occur outside of the bearing; allowing the seal and cartridge to move as one with the shaft, maintaining seal integrity and keeping dirt and out contaminants out.

4. Cost Saving

When you look at the initial purchase costs of split bearings it may look considerably more than your average bearings and housings. However, split bearings actually reduce overall costs by 50% or more. When potential costs are broken down, including downtime, fitting time, maintenance costs, staffing costs and potential crane rental costs that come along with changing 'normal' bearings, the figures can be monumental. If we compare this to the costs incurred when changing or fitting split bearings, the savings are astounding due to a reduction in all costs that can be incurred in maintenance.


                                                                                                                           Figure One


Split bearings can be used in any environment and on any application that requires housed roller bearings. Even if your application is not in extreme conditions or a trapped location, you can still gain the same benefits and savings from using split bearings.