Mood, Industries, 1600x230


A specialized metals machining company was experiencing continuous performance problems with their horizontal machining centre. Bearings were prematurely failing causing unplanned down time and significant production problems. NSK performed a detailed analysis of the machine spindle, including a failed bearing investigation and grease condition review, and found that both cutting fluid and machining debris were entering the bearings. Contamination caused the lubricant to fail and resulted in premature bearing failure.

NSK proposed implementing a  sealed super precision bearing with a higher contact angle to improve the bearing arrangement (high axial load)  which also counteracted the entrance of debris. Lifetime was increased from 15 days to 6 months.

Machine tools, horizontal drilling
  • Heat Exchanger End Plate
  • Sealed Super Precision Bearing

Key Facts

  • High axial loading
  • Machining center performance issues
  • Contamination from debris and cutting fluid
  • Analysis found grease condition the root cause of failures
  • Prosed use of NSK Sealed Super Precision Bearings
  • Increased contact angle for maximum axial load capacity
  • Lifetime increase from 15 days to 6 months

Value Proposals

  • Bearings failure analysis and grease condition inspection showed that cutting fluid and debris were causing bearing failure
  • NSK suggested the use of Sealed Super Precision Angular Contact Bearings
  • Application review also revealed that a larger bearing contact angle would maximize axial load capacity
  • Trials were run on 3 machines. After testing, bearing life increased from 15 days to 6 months
  • With these results a subsequent cost saving was presented and signed by the customer
  • Increased productivity and reduced maintenance costs were realized on his machining center

Product Features

  • Non-contact seals provide valuable protection. They reduced raceway and ball surface wear, reduced noise and vibration as well as lubricant breakdown
  • Time saving: Bearing mounting time 4 x faster & contamination through poor handling eliminated
  • No speed reduction due to non-contact seals
  • Improved spindle performance
  • Operates in horizontal and vertical positions
  • Prevent grease migration in vertical spindles, promote temperature stability while providing higher accuracy
  • Extended grease life by 50% 
Cost Saving Breakdown
Before Cost p.a. NSK Solution Cost p.a.
Costs of lost production: Bearing life – 15 days Costs of lost production: Bearing life – 6 months
Bearing Costs: Original bearing × replacements / year × brgs. / spindle
$29,037 Bearing Costs: Sealed bearing × replacements / year × brgs / spindle $3,328
Total Costs $29,037 $3,328