King of Prussia, PA —Sick and tired of having fingers pointed at bearings as the leading cause of machine downtime and failures, bearing manufacturer SKF recently asked some engineers in its failure and analysis lab to scour through years of field data to debunk the myth. What they discovered surprised even SKF's own management, and should help design engineers and maintenance workers to extend bearing life and eliminate unexpected bearing failures. Among the major findings:
In more than one third of the cases, downtime is the result of using a bearing in the wrong environment.
Failures in rotating machines are often due to misalignment of bearing shafts.
Improper lubrication accounts for 36% of all bearing failures.
One in every five bearings is installed or handled improperly.
How a bearing is removed is just as important as how it is installed.
It is now possible to detect bearing damage—and pinpoint its root cause—while the equipment is running.