NSK develops and supplies railway vehicles with a wide variety of bearings in wheel axles, drive units, and traction motors. These bearings feature high performance, high reliability, and long periods of maintenance-free service to support rail companies in their mission to provide quick, safe, and dependable transport.
Our bearings have a long history in Japan’s Shinkansen bullet trains, from the first 0 series right up to the latest sets. We supply Shinkansen trains with bearings using oil-bath lubrication and grease-sealed bearings. Since axle bearings are instrumental to train safety, we have equipped bearings with condition-monitoring sensors and put these into practical use.
In addition, our proprietary high-reliability tapered roller bearings have a long track record. Because drive units face harsh vibrations, these bearings undergo soft nitriding treatment to increase cage strength and feature specifications that improve seizure resistance on the rib face.
NSK is also highly sensitive to needs in the industry. Trains are getting faster and faster. To maintain reliability at high speeds, we are developing cylindrical roller bearings with ribs specially designed for drive units that use double helical gears. In addition, we’ve developed specialized cages with excellent grease replenishment capabilities to meet requests for longer periods without maintenance. Damage caused by electric erosion is another big maintenance issue, yet here too we deliver solutions in the form of ceramic and resin insulated bearings.
We aim to provide trusted quality in all our products. We continue to be certified by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and in 2018 obtained ISO/TS22163 (prev. IRIS) certification for business management system requirements for rail organizations.
NSK Experience & Technology
NSK strives to thoroughly grasp the actual conditions and environments where bearings are used and faithfully recreate these in evaluation testing. We work tirelessly to establish advanced measurement technologies and improve on simulation technologies.
We painstakingly measure the motion of the rollers in cylindrical roller bearings used in actual Shinkansen trains and the distribution of load on the rolling elements when the axlebox is deformed. With these advanced measurements and feedback from the results, we have created sophisticated analysis and design technologies. In the future, we aim to create simulation technology that can accurately reproduce real-world operating conditions.
NSK’s technical developments in railways are not limited only to bearings. With safety and value as top priorities, we continue to challenge ourselves to establish and utilize varying technologies in pursuit of bearing condition monitoring systems. By also developing and bringing vibration control actuators to market, we contribute to a smoother ride by reducing the sway of railway vehicles during operation.