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Is industry ready for bearing simulation software?

Author : Chris Johnson, SMB Bearings

08 March 2021

Bearing buyers often request bearings with a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours of operation. While the bearing manufacturer has done its own testing to validate the lifespan against different loads, this doesn’t paint the whole picture of how a bearing will endure the buyer’s specific application.

Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explains how sophisticated bearing simulation software can be used to support application-specific bearing design and analysis processes.

Bearings can be plagued with numerous causes of failure across their lifespan, including misalignment, reverse loading, false brinelling, overheating, contamination and lubrication failure. The sheer number of variables in a given bearing application can make bearing failure difficult to predict. For example, a bearing used in a robotic application may outlive the equipment in which it is installed. Yet, the same bearing used in the same robot in a high-temperature application could fail, due to unsuited lubrication.

More positively, approximately 90 percent of bearings outlive the equipment in which they are installed and only 0.5 percent of bearings are replaced due to damage or failure. So, how can simulation software help to predict and counteract this small percentage of failures that cause havoc on processes?

Read the full article in the March issue of DPA.

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