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Hartford Technologies Blog

5 Tips on How to Recognize the Cause of Bearing Failure

Posted: Jul 24, 2023 3:02:22 PM

Bearing failure is a disruptive force that can wreak havoc in industrial and manufacturing settings, causing chaos and bringing operations to a screeching halt. When crucial components give in to bearing failure, the consequences can be catastrophic.

In this article, we delve into five invaluable tips that will empower you to recognize the causes of bearing failure, allowing you to proactively maintain a seamless and efficient operation.

Tip 1: Detecting Lubrication Failure

Bearings are essential components that require proper lubrication to ensure smooth operation. Similar to the gears in a clock that needs oil for effortless movement, regular lubrication is vital for your bearings. It helps prevent excessive friction and the buildup of heat.

Lubrication failure can occur due to inadequate or excessive lubrication, as well as contamination of the lubricant. Therefore, if you notice your bearings running hot, emitting high-pitched squeals or rattling sounds, it's important to check the lubrication. Regular checks on lubricant levels and quality can help you identify lubrication failure early on, saving your bearings from unnecessary stress and potential damage.

Tip 2: Spotting Overloading

When bearings are subjected to loads that exceed their capacity, they can be pushed beyond their limits and become overwhelmed. This overwhelming overload puts tremendous stress on the bearings, leading to premature failure due to metal fatigue. It is crucial to be vigilant for signs of overload failure in order to protect your bearings and ensure longevity.

If you notice that your machinery is operating with increased difficulty or experiencing excessive vibrations and unusual noises, it serves as a warning sign that the load distribution may need to be reevaluated.

These symptoms indicate that the bearings may be bearing too much weight, compromising their structural integrity. By regularly assessing the load distribution and making necessary adjustments, you can prevent overloading and significantly extend the lifespan of your bearings, ultimately enhancing the efficiency and reliability of your machinery.

Tip 3: Recognizing Misalignment

Like a misaligned wheel on your car can cause a bumpy ride, misaligned bearings can lead to a host of problems with your machinery. These problems can include uneven load distribution and excessive vibration.

Both of these situations can accelerate wear and tear. Then, they can eventually result in bearing failure. A machine that's running roughly or emitting strange noises might be trying to tell you that there's a misalignment issue.

Regular checks for proper alignment can ensure that your bearings are sharing the load in an even way. Your aim is to prevent premature failure and extend their lifespan.

Tip 4: Identifying Contamination

Bearings require a clean operating environment to function properly. Unfortunately, dust, dirt, and other particles often ignore this requirement and can compromise the integrity of the bearing system. When these unwanted particles infiltrate the bearings, it can lead to surface wear, corrosion, and reduced effectiveness of the lubricant.

If you notice any changes in machinery performance or unusual noise levels, it may be a sign of contamination in the bearings. To prevent bearing failure, it is important to regularly clean the bearings and conduct thorough environmental checks. By maintaining cleanliness and addressing potential sources of contamination proactively, you can prevent these particles from causing damage and ensure that your bearings continue to function reliably in the long run.

Tip 5: Noticing Incorrect Installation

Even the highest-quality bearings can face premature failure if they are not installed with utmost care and precision. Improper installation techniques, such as utilizing incorrect tools or rushing through the process, can result in significant damage to the bearings.

Incorrect mounting procedures can give rise to a range of problems, including shaft damage, housing damage, and bearings running loosely within their intended positions. These issues can severely impact the overall performance and reliability of the bearings.

If you observe abnormal operation, an increase in noise levels, or excessive vibration in your machinery, it is crucial to consider the possibility of incorrect installation.

It is essential to prioritize proper installation techniques, adhering to manufacturer guidelines and industry best practices. Taking the time to execute the installation patiently and meticulously can effectively circumvent this common cause of bearing failure, ensuring optimal performance and longevity of the bearings in your machinery.

Bonus Tips

Aside from these top five tips, there are a few more handy pointers to keep in mind. Regular inspections should be part of your routine; a visual check-up can often spot signs of wear, damage, or corrosion.

Don't underestimate the value of a good ear either. Unusual sounds can be the first hint of trouble in the works, so listen for anything that deviates from the normal hum of your machinery.

Another crucial aspect to consider is the bearing's operating temperature. Sudden or drastic changes could suggest potential issues. Just as a fever indicates illness in a person, a hot bearing might signal overuse or a lack of adequate cooling.

Lastly, remember to keep a close eye on the age of your bearings. Nothing lasts forever, and bearings are no exception.

Over time, even with perfect conditions and meticulous maintenance, the structural integrity of your bearings will degrade. Replacing them at regular intervals before the signs of wear and tear become catastrophic can save you from sudden failures.

Sourcing New Bearings: Choose Wisely

When the time comes to replace your bearings, remember, that the quality of the new bearings is as important as the attention you pay to their maintenance. A high-quality bearing from a reputable seller can save you countless hours of maintenance. It can also prevent premature failures.

That's where companies like Hartford Technologies come into play. Known for our stellar reputation in the industry, we provide top-quality bearings designed for durability and optimal performance.

We have a commitment to high standards and excellent customer service. Thus, you can rest assured that you're investing in reliable, long-lasting components that will keep your machinery running as it should.

Prevent Bearing Failure

By incorporating these five tips into your maintenance practices, you can effectively prevent the havoc of sudden machine shutdowns caused by bearing failure.

If you and your team are seeking further guidance or products tailored to your bearing needs, don't hesitate to reach out to Hartford Technologies.

Our team possesses extensive expertise and knowledge in bearings, and we're ready to provide you with exceptional solutions and advice. Contact us today to explore the full range of benefits we can offer.