Predictive maintenance experts say that up to 70% of all ball and roller bearings result in machinery mechanical failures. These bearings are like tires on a car. As they go through a given number of load and speed stresses and the steel in the bearing begins to break down. There are many other contributing factors that cause these stresses resulting in most bearings NOT lasting their rated lifespan.

Bearings usually fail due to external causes including:

  • Too much or too little lubrication
  • Foreign matter in the bearing
  • Heat
  • Dirt
  • Excessive load
  • Improper removal and or installation of the bearing
  • Leaking Oil Seals allow foreign material to enter or allow lubrication to seep out of the bearing

If bearings are in an enclosed case and one bearing is failing, the particles and containments from that bearing can spread to the lubricant of the other bearings and begin to contaminate them as well. In these scenarios, it is important to consider the cost of replacing one bearing at a time versus the cost to replace the entire unit. In most cases the latter is the most economical way to go. The cost of disassembly, replacement of the failed bearing and downtime is often more than the cost of the new unit.

When using reliability and vibration analysis to predict the failure models for bearings it is important to understand that manufacturers change bearing suppliers frequently and the bearing that is actually in the machine may be a different manufacturer than indicated. The ability to view vibration frequency data for multiple manufacturers for same bearing and their varying configurations allows you to quickly and easily see the frequencies in a snapshot view and better apply that information to your specific analytics. The Bearing Experttm provides that bearing data for the most popular bearing manufacturers and bearing sizes at a glance.