They may not be in the same league as urban myths about alligators in the sewer or dogs dried in a microwave, but there are several myths surrounding ball bearings. Custom bearings, to be precise.
"There are three main myths surrounding custom bearings: they have high cost, long delivery times, and require large minimum orders," says Scott Anderson, marketing manager at SKF USA Inc. of Norristown, PA.
Custom bearings are often required in severe applications, those that have special requirements or even when special lubricants are required. SKF can make custom bearings that often provide substantial benefits over those that came with the equipment.
Anderson describes a paper mill that had key equipment with bearings that wore out in less than a year, with a $40,000 price tag to shut down the line and replace the bearings. SKF designed a bearing that costs only $2,200, shipping it in just 14 weeks. Though how long it outlasts the original product is still unknown. "It's been running more than three years, but we can't convince them to shut down the line so we can see how it's performing," Anderson says. Delivery times can sometimes be measured in days, not weeks, he adds.