NSK’s cost-reduction program has achieved a major success with a customer in the food processing industry, achieving annual cost savings of €437.839 per year on a battered fish processing line as a result of replacing bearing inserts with NSK’s innovative Molded-Oil bearings.

The bearing problem on the fish processing line centered on a conveyor which is used in the process of adding batter to fish products. The harsh nature of the process meant that the 25-millimeter-in-diameter bearings on the conveyor were lasting just four weeks on the line due to the ingress of contaminants and frequent washdowns.

Engineers from NSK’s AIP cost-reduction program were called in to give advice. The AIP cost-reduction program is a value-added service that helps bearing users to improve reliability, reduce operating costs, and improve efficiency and profitability. These objectives are achieved by delivering tangible savings to assets, such as equipment and machinery, and also by improving the working knowledge of maintenance and engineering personnel.

NSK engineers visited the process and identified the problem. They suggested a solution using NSK’s Molded-Oil Bearings, which they were certain would prolong bearing life.

Molded-Oil bearings employ a special solid lubricant to positively transform the performance of machinery in environments exposed to high humidity, corrosion and contamination. The bearings achieve improvements in performance and reliability by offering more than twice the operating life of grease lubrication in water-contaminated environments. The solid lubricant technology also means that operating environments are kept free of grease; and there is no need for refilling of lubricant, as Molded-Oil provides a continuous supply of lubricating oil.

Sample Molded-Oil bearing inserts were fitted to the conveyor and trailed over an extended period of six months. Impressed with the dramatically extended bearing life, the customer began replacement of the existing conveyor bearings with Molded-Oil units. In addition to providing improved life, these bearings are also saving the customer the considerable cost of regreasing of bearings, estimated at €4.680 per annum. For more information on NSK products and services, visit the company’s Web site at www.nsk.com.