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Precision bearings and condition monitoring

NSK develops insulated bearings for inverter motors

Applicable for use in all general industrial machinery applications, NSK has developed a new range of ceramic-coated bearings. These insulated bearings have been designed to help support the growing adoption of inverter-controlled motors, which are becoming increasingly popular as plants look to reduce electricity bills. All common machinery parts, including pumps, compressors and fans, are set to benefit from this new development.NSK´s ceramic-coated bearings for inverter-controlled motors overcomes the issue of electric corrosion.

Although the use of motors with inverter speed control is expanding, there has been an increase in reports that bearings used for such applications are prone to a specific type of damage called electric corrosion. When an electrical current passes along the contact point of bearing races and rolling elements during bearing rotation, sparks are generated in the thin lubricant film, causing the surface to be fused locally into an irregular shape.

One way to prevent electric corrosion is to use non-conductive ceramic balls in the bearings. However, this can have a negative effect on productivity. Another option is to deploy an insulated housing in the motor, but this requires special parts and assembly processes. To overcome these problems, NSK has developed a new ceramic-coated bearing that is insulating, highly productive and compatible with all standard inverter-controlled motors.

An aluminum ceramic material is used to coat the exterior surface of the outer ring, and by combining optimised additives, insulation performance is improved typically by a factor of around 10. In addition, the coating provides excellent heat dissipation, while durability is also improved as a result of a three-fold improvement in film impact resistance due to enhanced bearing elements.

NSK is offering ceramic-coated variants in both deep groove ball bearing and cylindrical roller bearing ranges, encompassing bearing bore diameters from 50 to 110 mm.

NSK in profile
Established almost 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 30,500 employees in 29 countries. As per March 2014 NSK achieved a turnover of 6,2 billion Euros. 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 centres in the Netherlands, Germany and England and technology centres 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 authorised 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 organisation, NSK Europe's 3,500 employees achieved a turnover of over 900 million Euros as per March 2014.

For further information, view website: www.nskeurope.com 
Refer to page 146

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