Thursday, 12 June 2014

SMB, Camera, Action! A case study in bearing lubrication...

We all know that bearings are used in an amazing array of products, but we thought it would be interesting to focus on how important the correct lubrication can be to efficient bearing use (& how the wrong choices can be disastrous for customers' final products).

We asked Chris (our MD & technical wizard) to give us an example:

"A manufacturer of security cameras approached us with an urgent problem.  In certain weather conditions, particularly colder weather, a mist was appearing on the inside of the camera dome, blurring the image.

 After some discussion, we realized that the problem was caused by out-gassing (releasing gas previously trapped in the lubricant) of the bearing grease.  The bearings in the motors that controlled the camera were becoming warm during operation and this was enough for the grease to give off a very fine oil mist which condensed on the inside of the colder camera dome.

The customer needed to solve the problem and ship out products within a matter of weeks.  They were not satisfied with the level of support from their existing supplier and had been quoted long lead times for bearings with non-standard grease (this can often be many months).

They approached SMB Bearings Ltd as bearing re-lubrication specialists and, after researching potential replacement greases with a number of lubricant manufacturers, our in-house re-lubrication facility allowed us to quickly supply samples of different bearing types containing various specialist greases.  With the help of our high precision weighing equipment, we were even able to offer a choice of non-standard grease fills for the customer to test .

In a short time, we were able to identify a grease type and grease fill that cured the oil misting problem and saved the customer weeks of downtime".  Thanks Chris.  So next time you're caught on camera, you can think of our bearings!

If you need any help with bearing or lubrication issues, please contact us & we'll use our years of specialist technical knowledge to help resolve your issues.

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