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Split bearing solution cuts conveyor maintenance costs and risks

30 June 2020

For companies and employees in the mining, mineral processing and cement industries, maintenance and replacement of conveyor bearings may come at a very high price.

Clive Jennings, SKF Cooper Split Bearings Product Manager at SKF, presents a way of reducing safety risks as well as material and downtime costs.

According to some studies, 43 percent of accidents and 24 percent of fatalities in these sectors happen while maintaining conveyors. A key danger often lies in the need to hoist heavy couplings and gearboxes to access bearings. If the process of replacing a bearing could be made quicker and simpler, and if bearings were made to last longer, everyone would benefit. Workers would be safer, maintenance would be less expensive and loss of production would be minimised.

Harsh challenges

The challenges SKF has overcome to make this possible are considerable. First, there are the extreme temperature, heavy loading and contamination conditions faced by rotating machinery and their bearings in plants which handle minerals and cement. 

The conveyors typically use standard open (unsealed) pulley bearings, which are vulnerable to contamination. These have a relatively short service life (usually less than that of the pulley lagging) and require large amounts of grease to purge contaminants.

Read the full article in the July issue of DPA.

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