NSK spindle bearings help machine shop save €24,000

When a manufacturer of heat exchangers was experiencing frequent production stoppages due to bearing damage on the spindles of its horizontal machining centers, the company turned to NSK for a solution. After comprehensive analysis, NSK recommended fitting its sealed, high-precision, angular contact ball bearings, a move that is helping the facility to save €24,000 per annum in replacement bearings and labor costs alone. Horizontal machining centers are used frequently in the production of industrial heat exchangers.


When first experiencing the repeated failures, the operations manager at the heat exchanger manufacturer asked NSK to conduct a detailed failure analysis. Within the framework of NSK´s AIP Added Value Programme, company experts examined the failed angular contact ball bearings, as well as the quality of the lubricant and the operating environment conditions.

It was discovered that coolant and metallic particles – both by-products of the machining process – had penetrated the bearings. The result was deterioration of the bearing lubricant, which consequently caused the bearing units themselves to fail.


To overcome the issue, NSK proposed the use of its sealed, high-precision, angular contact ball bearings, which are deployed widely as spindle bearings in the machine tool industry. These bearings have contactless seals that are designed to deliver exemplary resistance to the penetration of contaminants without causing friction to increase, or spindle performance to drop.

To help accommodate the increased axial loads exerted on spindles often present in horizontal machining centers, a further suggestion from NSK was the installation of bearings with a higher contact angle. As a result of adopting this recommendation, the heat exchanger manufacturer has been able to increase the operational life of the bearings: after fitting NSK bearings to three of its horizontal machining centers, spindle bearing operating life increased on average by a factor of 12.
Switching to sealed, high-precision, angular contact ball bearings is saving a heat exchanger manufacturer €24,000 a year


Based on the previous cost of replacing bearings (as well as labor costs for installation), the heat exchanger manufacturer is realizing annual cost savings of €24,000 as a direct consequence of switching to NSK´s sealed, high-precision, angular contact ball bearings. Moreover, this figure does not include the costs incurred from any previous lost productivity or production downtime.

Along with significantly increased operational life, further benefits of NSK bearings being enjoyed by the customer include reduced noise and vibration in the drive train, as well as far quicker installation in comparison with standard bearings without seals.

About NSK
Established 100 years ago, NSK (Nippon Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha) is a Japanese-listed company that has evolved from a regional ball bearing supplier to a roller bearing specialist and automotive supplier with a global market presence. Today, NSK employs more than 31,000 employees in 30 countries. As per March 2015 NSK achieved a turnover of 975 billion Yen. This result has been driven by ever-increasing investment in research & development, enabling the company to continuously improve the quality of its products and services. This investment supports NSK´s objective of »No. 1 in Total Quality». In addition to a complete rolling bearing portfolio, NSK develops and manufactures precision components and mechatronic products, as well as systems and components for the automotive industry, including wheel bearing units and electric power-steering systems.
In 1963, NSK´s first European subsidiary, Düsseldorf, Germany, was opened and in 1976, the first European production facility in Peterlee, England. Today, NSK Europe supports pan-European sales with production locations in England, Poland and Germany, logistics centers in the Netherlands, Germany and England and technology centers in Germany, England and Poland. In 1990, NSK purchased the UPI Group including the renowned European bearing manufacturer RHP, with its factory in Newark (UK). Additionally, NSK has developed a comprehensive network of authorized sales distributors. NSK Europe is divided into application-based business divisions: Industry rolling bearing technologies & linear and precision technology (EIBU) as well as bearing modules and steering systems for the automotive industry (EABU & ESBU). In this organization, NSK Europe’s 3,500 employees achieved a turnover of over 1,000 million Euros as per March 2015.
For more information, visit www.nskeurope.com


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NSK Deutschland GmbH
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Nathalie SIMON
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