Reliability significantly increased
A major manufacturer of automotive engines has significantly increased the reliability of its CNC machining centers after equipping the machines with sealed high-precision spindle bearings from NSK. Because these bearings are better protected than open ones, their service life increases and unplanned downtime is reduced. The success is measurable: cost savings amount to almost €191,000 per year.
Processes in the automotive industry are geared to high throughput and top quality. This also applies to engine production. Against this background, unplanned downtime in the production lines is unacceptable. That's why a leading engine manufacturer very quickly turned to NSK when it experienced more frequent bearing failures on the spindles of vertical machining centers.
As part of the Added Value Program (AIP), NSK experts examined the operating conditions of the bearings on site. In the laboratory, the bearings and also the bearing grease were analyzed. The result: cooling lubricants used in the machining process had penetrated the bearings. They had affected the chemical composition of the grease in the bearings and reduced its lubricating effect.
As a solution, NSK recommended replacing the bearings with sealed high-precision angular contact ball bearings. These precision bearings are proven in the spindles of many vertical machining centers and, more generally, in numerous machine tools. They are equipped with non-contact seals that are suitable for the very high speeds reached here, ensuring a good sealing effect while causing no frictional torque.
This protection minimizes the risk of lubricant washing out of the bearing and the entry of cooling lubricants. At the same time, it helps reduce wear on the surfaces of the raceway and rolling elements. In addition, effective sealing increases temperature stability, which is advantageous for a machining process with high accuracy.
Replacing the existing bearings with NSK's sealed high-precision angular contact ball bearings has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of bearing-related failures at the machining centers. The resulting cost savings amount to almost €191,000 per year. In addition to recommending bearing selection, NSK also provided training on optimal bearing mounting at the engine plant and assisted the plant's own maintenance department in designing the associated housing components.