With predictive maintenance practices intended to help establish the condition of in-service equipment in order to predict when maintenance is required, engineering consumables and components distributor BMG operations manager Rouff Essop explains that predictive maintenance reduces downtime thus reducing costs substantially.
“Predictive maintenance on bearings should be done regularly. BMG supplies all tools related to predictive maintenance and has trained personnel to assist its customers.”
Extensive Bearings Range
Essop points out that BMG has been supply- ing a large number of bearings, available in the NSK range since 1991, to its loyal customers in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. These bearings range from precision minia- ture bearings used in machine tools and electronics applications to giant-size bearings used in the steel and mining industries.
“We believe that the machine tools sector has enormous growth potential in manufacturing and we are optimistic about our future growth in this market in South Africa. A critical factor in the success of a new design is to ensure the best components are correctly used at the onset,” he says.
He points out that the company takes pride in sourcing quality products globally, which are designed and manufactured to meet the rigorous demands of technologically advanced engineering.
Essop notes that NSK’s continuous research and development allows for finding solutions based on industry feedback. NSK’s precise positioning technology fabricates high-precision bearings, which meet and exceed the modern demands of motion and control.
He says there are three types of unique steel used in the manufacture of NSK super-precision bearings to ensure optimum performance and extended service life. Z steel offers extended service life in all-purpose conditions, EP steel is highly reliable under heavy load environments and SHX steel withstands ultrahigh-speed rotation environments.
“Z steel, which is produced by reducing nonmetallic inclusions, such as titanium or sulphur in the steel, offers nearly twice the fatigue life than conventional vacuum degassed steel. This is a standard material for the NSK range.”
Essop says EP steel, which has three times the fatigue life of high-carbon chromium alloy steel, has attained advanced bearing reliability, particularly in intense load environments. EP steel contains smaller particles than vacuum arc remelted or conventionally refined Z steel, which is a low-sulphur steel.
He points out that the improvement of steel manufacturing technology for the NSK range of bearings has significantly reduced contamination and nonmetallic inclusions that would typically cause a flaw in bearings.
“Bearings made from SHX steel enhance component operations and extend service life in high-speed applications. NSK’s special heat-treatment technology extends bearing life by up to four times that of bearings made from SUJ2 – a high-carbon chromium alloy – steel, with a 20% superior speed. Features of SHX steel include heat resistance, reduced friction and indentation resistance – which are ideally suited to ultrahigh-speed machine tool bearings,” he states.
NSK’s hybrid ceramic bearings are also designed for machine tool applications, he says. These high-precision, lightweight ceramic rolling elements are heat resistant, with reduced friction, and enhanced seizure resistance, as well as high rigidity and an extended operating life. Since less heat is generated when the bearings are in operation, ultrahigh-speed rotation is feasible.
Incorporated in the NSK range of high- precision bearings is the standard series high-precision, angular-contact ball bearings, with contact angles of 15º, 25º and 30º. This series is available in two types of cage design – phenolic or polyamide, depending on application requirements.
This range offers the robust, high-performance and angular BNR and BER contact ball bearings, developed for high-speed applications that have a low temperature rise. This series is suitable for ultrahigh-precision machining.
Further, the series’ sealed angular-contact ball bearings are pregreased and sealed to minimise handling setbacks. This series, with bore sizes of between 30 mm and 100 mm in diameter, is suitable for the maintenance of machine tool spindles. This range also includes high-rigidity thrust bearings with contact angles of 30º and 40º, designed particularly for lathe applications.
Essop concludes that BMG has a huge stockholding and can source product from anywhere around the world and have it to customers within a very short period of time.