Author Archives: Steve Katz

  1. Food-Grade Stainless Steel Bearings with Solid Lube

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    In sensitive food-grade applications and corrosive environments, selecting the proper bearings is critical for ensuring optimal system longevity and reliability. In these harsh settings, bearings must provide high performance and durability without the need for frequent maintenance or replacement.

    Over the years, bearing manufacturers have developed a range of solutions designed to stand up to the general wear and tear inherent in applications involving constant exposure to corrosive elements or ongoing, high-pressure washdowns.

    For instance, stainless steel bearings, solid lube, and seals and slingers can be used to create unique components that deliver high performance and a long life span while resisting bearing contamination.

    Here at Action Bearing, we’re proud to offer NTN Sentinel Series stainless steel bearings, which are specifically designed for use in these food-grade settings.

    Features and Benefits

    Featuring food-grade solid lube and safety-forward covers, the NTN Sentinel Series bearing units are specifically designed to offer maintenance-free performance, reducing downtime and increasing cost savings.

    NSF H1 food-safe solid lubricant eliminates the need for reapplication after installation and, because these bearings are washdown-resistant, they’re able to stand up easily to the constant cleaning required in hygiene-critical food and beverage applications.

    A seal and slinger combination is used to create a washdown-resistant barrier, which also helps prevent bearing contamination, as does the 100%-stainless-steel bearing construction. Stainless steel also helps prevent chipping and corrosion, which can ultimately result in contamination from bearing part breakdown. Finally, protective covers provide an additional line of defense against moisture and contamination while helping to protect maintenance personnel.

    Allowing for quick, simple installation, these bearings are an ideal replacement for existing, subpar bearing systems.

    Understanding Food-Grade Solid Lube

    A polymer product impregnated with food-safe oil, H1 food-safe solid lube can be used in temperatures ranging from 14°F to 212°F, allowing for use in many food applications. The oil is stored in a porous material that acts like a sponge, ensuring that only the required amount of base oil is released to lubricate components as they move. This allows for a continuous state of lubrication, extending bearing life and reducing the need for maintenance and replacements.

    Since this food-grade lubricant is contained within the sponge-like cavities, it does not come into contact with the high-pressure washdowns that must be done regularly to eliminate contaminants; the H1 solid lube resists these washdowns easily, remaining intact and effective. Plus, the seal and slinger design removes the risk of lubricant leakage that would attract dust and dirt around the bearing.

    Common Applications

    In addition to serving as an ideal solution for food-grade applications, the NTN Sentinel Series is also well-suited to corrosive environments thanks to its unique seal and slinger design.

    These bearings can be used in many sectors that involve direct or incidental contact with food, such as:

      • Conveyors
      • Bottling/canning
      • Dairy processing
      • Seafood and meat processing
      • Cosmetics and pharmaceutical production

    Sentinel bearings are especially well-suited to blending, stirring, separating, cooking, drying, packaging, and wrapping applications within these industries. Difficult-to-maintain or hard-to-access locations can also benefit from these bearings, since they do not require regular maintenance or replacement after initial installation

    Learn More

    For over 50 years, Action Bearing has been supplying industry-leading ball and roller bearings to OEM and maintenance markets throughout the world. In addition to the NTN Sentinel Series, we’re also proud to offer bearings from IPTCI, AMI, Link-Belt, and FYH, among many others.

    Ready to get started on your next project? The expert team at Action will work with you to ensure you select the best bearing for your specific food-grade application. Reach out today to learn more about our food-grade and corrosion-resistant bearing options.

  2. How to Use Split Roller Bearings to Increase Facility Efficiency and Reduce Downtime

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    No matter what the specific application or industry focus, efficiency is key for ensuring optimized operations in industrial facilities. But high efficiency means more than just cutting-edge equipment and comprehensive quality assurance; it also means making use of high-quality, reliable components in all machinery and equipment. Doing whatever it takes to keep the machines running.

    Split roller bearings, in particular, offer great versatility and wide-reaching benefits. Allowing for reduced maintenance and fewer replacements than traditional solid roller bearings, split bearings are used in a range of applications to reduce downtime, save on costs, and increase overall safety. Quick and easy to install and replace, these versatile components are essential for any facility requiring consistent operational efficiency. They are available as direct drop in replacements dimensionally to standard SAF Spherical Roller and Cylindrical Roller units with both metric and inch shaft dimensions.

    The Basics of Split Roller Bearings

    Pillow Block Split Roller Style Bearing.pngThese components are typically used in applications requiring the use of bearings in difficult-to-reach places along a line shaft; split bearings have a split-to-the-shaft feature, which allows them to be fitted without access to the shaft ends. This, in turn, allows for convenient, safe assembly around the shafts, reducing overall downtime and labor needs.

    Because split bearings are delivered in two halves, they are very easy to install, inspect, and replace. In fact, split bearings can often provide a 90% reduction in fitting time. Offering the standard features of solid roller bearings but with the convenience of easy assembly around a shaft — and without the need for costly special designs or tooling — split bearings serve as versatile solutions in many types of facilities.

    Common Split Roller Bearing Applications

    Although split bearings are used in a wide range of applications, they’re particularly useful for bulk handling activities. Chemical and food processing, for example, make frequent use of split bearings. Iron and steel manufacturing sectors also rely heavily on split roller bearings, as do the oil, petrochemical, marine and power generation sectors.

    These components are used in various other fields as well, such as water treatment and pulp, paper, and sugar processing. Virtually any industry can benefit from the convenience offered by these components.

    The Advantages of Split Bearings

    In many cases, working with split bearings is an obvious choice. They reduce operational costs, allowing for significant cost savings; they reduce the downtime required for moving equipment or changing bearings; and they free up personnel and resources, allowing for increased focus on other important tasks.

    Split bearings’ single-piece cage clip design enables accurate cage alignment and simple installation. They can be designed with a wide range of standard supports and housings, and feature high radial load and speed capabilities. These versatile components also allow for flexible sealing, self-alignment options, and easy interchangeability between different brands’ designs. And during bearing inspections or maintenance, equipment can be maintained without the need to accommodate different bearing types, couplings, gears, and so on.

    Assembly is also simple; equipment and machinery don’t need to be disrupted, and markings are included in all split bearing designs to assist with part positioning and orientation.

    Learn More

    As an industry-leading provider of various types of bearings, Action Bearings is proud to offer split bearings from trusted brands including Timken Revolvo, Craft, and FAG. To learn more about split roller bearings or discuss how they can benefit your overall facility efficiency and safety, contact the team today. Our experts are on hand to answer any questions you may have.

  3. A Closer Look: Cam Follower Bearings and Yoke Rollers

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    Cam followers and cam follower bearings are essential components in many industrial operations involving conveyors or process transfer lines. Used in a wide range of industries including power generationmetal processing, packaging, food processingtransportationautomation, and recreation, cam followers are able to be easily mounted and are well-suited for many cam or track roller applications with moderate loads and shock.

    Proper use of cam follower bearings helps ensure optimized performance and longevity. Developed to replace the standard bearing and bolt configuration, this type of roller bearing is designed to be more efficient, more reliable, and considerably easier to maintain than their predecessors. At Action Bearing, we have the expertise to walk you through the process of choosing the right bearings for your specific needs.

    So What are Cam Follower Bearings?

    Cam follower bearings are a specialized roller bearing or needle bearing designed to follow cams or tracks in a wide range of motion systems. As a type of anti-friction needle bearing, their construction consists of a heavier outer ring that includes needle rollers, which allow for cam followers to work smoothly in a given application. The bearings are also sealed to help prevent contamination and retain lubrication. Cam follower bearings offer high dynamic and static load carrying capabilities in a compact design.

    Camm Follower.jpgWhen choosing a cam follower, there are many options to consider based on what sort of job they’ll be used for and the specific weights and speeds required. The two major types are yoke rollers and stud rollers. Yoke rollers are typically used in applications with heavier overall loads, where standard conditions exceed the capabilities of stud type cam followers. They do require clevis or shaft-mounted installation, which provides support on both sides of the cam follower and permits use of a high-strength pin.

    In contrast, the other popular style of cam follower, the stud style, allows for the convenience of a threaded stud for mounting and relubrication. Both the stud and yoke style are available in standard or heavy-duty varieties. They also are available with the added option of crowned outer rings, which compensate for small amounts of misalignment between the cam follower and the track or cam, preventing corner loading of the roller and reducing thrust load on the bearing. For both stud and yoke rollers, the roller bearing style offers the same envelope dimensions as older needle roller designs but allow for higher speeds and the ability to handle axial loads and greater misalignment. Most importantly, they are extremely durable while remaining easy to maintain. Each of these styles is available in stainless steel and with ‘solid blue’ where traditional chrome is not optimum.

    Learn More

    Whatever the needs of your company, Action Bearing’s engineers can guide you through each of the various specifications and capabilities of the various products available in order to find the perfect design and material for your purpose. Action Bearing is the go-to source for cam follower bearings for some of the industry’s most trusted, well-known brands, including Durbal, Carter, Hub City, Koyo, and RBC.

    Contact us today to learn more about how we can help supply high-quality, reliable cam follower bearings for your next project.

  4. Ball Bearings: Cost-Effective Quality

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    Throughout the years, ball and roller bearings have seen significant reductions in price while quality has improved. Several factors have played a role in this, but production process changes and material quality improvements have most significantly changed the face of the industry.

    Higher Quality, Lower Prices

    Ball Thrust Ball Bearing.pngPrior to universal quality standards, the production process for ball bearings was frequently subpar; surface defects would occur due to issues in the steelmaking and rolling processes. Steel would often contain high amounts of non-metallic inclusions, disrupting the structure of the steel. Rolling defects were caused by various circumstances, such as poor-quality input billets. Inspection processes were often not sufficiently thorough. But since the introduction of industry-wide regulations and improved quality assurance processes, the ball bearing production process has seen major improvements, and products are of much higher quality.

    The advent of universal bearing grades and quality standards has also played a major role in improving the overall value of bearing products. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, for instance, before the introduction of standard specifications and guidelines, manufacturers employed their own testing procedures and quality standards. With each mill following its own guidelines, product uniformity was hard to achieve and quality varied greatly.

    Today, two main standards serve as the benchmark for ball bearing quality; steel balls are manufactured to the precision requirements set forth by ANSI/ABMA Standard 10A, while ceramic balls adhere to standard ASTM F2094. Manufactured under these standards, balls have to meet specified limits for ball diameter, roughness, and spherical form.

    With more uniform quality across the industry, purchasing and procuring agents can now easily obtain reliable, quality ball bearings at competitive, cost-efficient prices. Cheap ball bearings no longer mean poor-quality ball bearings.

    Quality Control at Action Bearing

    At Action Bearing, we take pride in supplying top-quality ball bearings for a wide range of industries, and we only carry products that adhere to strict industry guidelines. The bearing manufacturers we partner with ensure optimal product quality through rigorous physical testing, which is repeated with every change in design, material, or finish.

    For over 50 years, we’ve been providing OEM and maintenance markets worldwide with the highest quality ball and roller bearings available. To learn more about our selection of ball bearings, or to discuss the advantages of using ball bearings in your next project, contact the team today.

  5. Thin Section and Miniature Precision Bearings in Robotics

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    Bearing Basics

    With a constant cross section, thin section bearings allow for significant space savings and overall system weight reduction — ideal advantages when designing sophisticated and critical-application products. The cross section, which is usually square, remains constant even in bearings with large bore diameters. Often used when space limitations or specific design configurations prevent the use of conventional bearings, thin section bearings allow for versatility in many applications and come in a range of contact angle designs, including radial contact, angular contact, and four-point contact.


  6. Introducing Our Super Precision Bearings

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    At Emerson Bearing, we are pleased to announce that we now carry the new Super Precision product line, which includes both roller bearings and ball bearings. Comprised of over 200 bearings across nine different product lines, this is a truly exciting addition to our catalog.


  7. 3 Severe Environments that Call for Special Bearings

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    Generally speaking, the majority of bearings, cam followers, and other rolling elements are manufactured from AISI 52100, a degassed low-alloy chrome steel blend with significant concentrations of chromium and carbon. AISI 52100 has high hardness ratings and excellent resistance to wear and deformation. (more…)

  8. Type E Bearings: Toughness and Economy

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    Almost every industry uses bearings, but sometimes designers need tough, heavy-duty units that operate reliably in the harshest environments. Type E bearings are a perfect fit for these conditions, rolling smoothly in spite of debris, dirt, water, chemicals, and high temperatures.

    The other key benefit is that the rolling elements are Timken Tapered Roller bearings which can accommodate  high radial and thrust loading.

    At Action Bearing, Type E units are among our top sellers for their cost-effective, efficient design. The key is the housing: these units protect their bearings with sturdy steel, cast iron, or other rugged materials — providing exceptional performance throughout the life of the bearing.

    Two Main Types of Units

    There are two primary designs for Type E bearings: standard style and split housing. Standard units feature a single, solid shaft-ready housing while split units consist of two separate housings, providing better flexibility in difficult settings

    • Standard Type E Style Mounted Units —Tough material construction makes these units an excellent choice for high-capacity applications, with specialty bearings available to accommodate temperatures up to 350°F.

    All standard Type E bearings come pre-lubricated and completely assembled, ready to take on radial, thrust, and shock loads. Advanced applications and industries like mining, water treatment, mills, and shredders demand such strong bearings.

    • Split Housing Type E Mounted Units — The split construction style of these units allows them to accommodate misalignment up to ±4°. They are available in expansion designs for overlong linear shafts, ensuring maximum positive contact and exceptional performance.

    Split housing units minimize downtime with drop-in replacements inserts, allowing for fast, easy maintenance while keeping the housing base fixed and aligned. Available in iron or steel, split housing units thrive in applications for the toughest industries such as forestry, marine, fans and blowers, and cement.

    Check Out Our eBook

    After 50 years spent providing the finest roller and bar bearings in the industry, Action Bearing is well-versed in every type of bearing solution. Our latest eBook on Type E mounted bearings outlines additional details about standard and split housing styles, as well as vital information about mounting, lubrication, shelf life, and more.

    To learn more, download it for free today or contact us directly for more information about Type E or other Action Bearing products.

  9. Extension of Service Life – The Role of Sealing

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    Bearings are fundamental to operating machinery across a diverse array of sectors, ranging from mining, electric motors, and machine tools to transportation, power generation, and robotics. Ensuring their longest possible service life is essential to preventing excessive wear; such wear can lead to system failures, often resulting in costly downtime to rebuild equipment.

    Engineers can use a standard bearing lifespan expectation to calculate the likely longevity of their bearing supplies. Known as the L10 life (or also known as B90 or C90 life), the theorem explains that 90% of bearings will meet or exceed a particular number of revolutions when employed in particular work environments. However, this expectation is not guaranteed; bearing failure in real-world applications is actually much more common and significantly more complicated, affecting most systems long before the end of their predicted lifespan.

     Though many factors can maximize bearing service life, the most important consideration is proper sealing — recent studies indicate that the majority of bearing failures are caused by contaminated bearing oil. By using the best quality seals available, engineers can prevent or substantially lessen contamination, extending bearing life significantly while improving equipment uptime and protecting against system breakdowns.

    Two Principal Sealing Systems

    To protect bearings, seals help to reduce excessive temperatures by efficiently retaining lubricant, which reduces wear. Perhaps even more importantly, seals keep foreign debris from entering the bearings, preventing damage that can worsen bearing performance and eventually cause them to stop working entirely.

    The two most common sealing arrangements are known as radial lip, or rubbing contact seals, and labyrinth, or non-contact seals. Both sealing systems help to protect bearings and extend service life. Individual designs vary according to application and ultimately determine the level of protection these seals provide.

    Rubbing Contact Seals

    Early rubbing contact seals were built to consistently maintain contact with the sealing surface; today’s models maintain maximum protection with a more efficient design by using specialized shapes and geometries to create a hydrodynamic effect. This design allows the seal to reduce friction and abrasion by recirculating lubricant into the bearing system from under the lip of the seal — creating an advanced process that increases longevity and efficiency.

    There are a number of rubbing seal designs that provide premium performance for a slightly higher cost, such as a face seal with spring elements that provide automatic adjustments or a seal featuring two collars surrounding a grease trap with automatic grease refilling. In addition to these options, the next best cost-effective options include collars that are regularly or occasionally greased and renewed from the bearing. The least expensive options include collars that are not renewed, felt rings that are occasionally renewed, and felt ring rings that are never renewed.

    Non-Rubbing Seals

    Non-contact seals continue to grow in popularity. The most common type is the labyrinth seal, which is designed with complex pathways that retain lubricants and fluids while blocking the entrance of contaminants. Another option is a hybrid design, which incorporates centrifugal force, drain back design, and other methods of retention and exclusion to provide the best possible sealing performance.

    The most efficient (and costly) labyrinth sealing arrangements include multi-passage models with either automatic or otherwise regular replenishment of grease. Multi-passage labyrinths with occasional grease replenishments from the bearing are the next best options, followed by seals with run-in simple Nilos rings and long gaps. More economic models with shorter service lives include short gap, Z shielding, and open bearing non-contact seals.

    Seal Solutions from Emerson Bearing

    At Emerson Bearing, we have led the industry in providing seals, ball bearings, and roller bearings for more than 50 years. Working with suppliers throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe, we strive to offer products that meet our customers’ exact specifications at some of the industry’s most competitive prices.

    For more information about oil seals and how to increase the lifespan of your bearings, check out our Bearing Failure Analysis guide. The eBook outlines bearings deterioration over time and highlights the best methods to remedy such equipment failures. If you have further questions or would like to request a custom quote for your particular bearing needs, contact us today.

  10. Avoiding Bearing Failure with Rapid Speed Changes

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    Speed Changes Bring Fatigue

    Like any industrial part, hardworking bearings are subject to fatigue from a number of different sources. One important factor to keep in mind for bearings is the effect of rapid speed changes on bearing service life.

    If companies do not use bearings that are engineered specifically to withstand high speeds and rapid changes, these speed changes can cause slippage in the rolling elements and raceways of bearings, in addition to increased wear and degradation of cage guiding faces.

    Detrimental Impacts on Bearings

    fireRapid speed changes occur across a broad array of industrial applications, from wood milling machines and reversible blooming mills to motor vehicle clutches and beyond. Almost all machinery and various types of motors undergo speed changes at some point during manufacturing processes. Results of such rapid velocity changes may include:

    • • Cage Damage — While cage damage can be the result of many different factors, one of the primary causes is a rapid change in speed. When subject to excessive acceleration and retardation, pressure can rise considerably between the contacting surfaces. This often results in stress and fatigue, potentially causing costly bearing failures.

    • • Broken Retainers — When used at higher speeds, inertial forces within bearings increase. Frequent stopping and starting combined with inadequate lubrication leads to high forces between the retainer and the rolling elements, resulting in crack in the retainer.

    Solutions to Extend Service Life

    To avoid the damage caused by rapid speed changes, it is essential for engineers to choose the most appropriate bearings for the given application and provide proper lubrication throughout the life of the bearing.

    • • Proper Bearing Selection —  Selecting the ideal bearing suited for your specific project need ensures that your bearing will be prepared to handle the application without premature degradation. For example, bearings with smaller rolling elements and cross-sections can help reduce the mass of rotating bodies. This provides optimal adaptation to harsh conditions like rapid acceleration and retardation.

    • • Proper Bearing Lubrication — Lubrication acts as a cushion between a bearing’s rolling elements and cage. The increased stress caused by rapid speed changes increases the need for re-lubrication to diminish the risk of bearing damage over time.

    At Emerson Bearing, we maintain a complete array of solutions for virtually any bearing need. To learn how to prevent costly downtime and other results that occur from bearing failure, check out our Emerson Bearing Failure Analysis guide. The guide will help you to choose the best bearings for your applications, maximize efficiency and prevent bearing failure in the future.