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New bearing proof load testing machine offers outstanding accuracy & flexibility

14 December 2021

How we listen and respond to customer feedback can sometimes result in the development of important new products or subtle variants of existing products which help to improve manufacturing processes.

A good example of this is a new bearing proof load test machine recently introduced by UNASIS International Ltd, the specialist custom bearing and tool manufacturing division of the CARTER MANUFACTURING group of companies.

Initially developed for the aerospace industry for load testing spherical plain bearing applications on airframe structures, landing gear, door systems and engine mounts, the machine enables users to control the amount of load applied to bearings with incredible accuracy to satisfy the most demanding process specifications. The traditional method of using a hydraulic bench press has its limitations, the most important of which is its inability to control the ramp-up and ramp-down rates which are becoming standard in OEM process specifications. 

The bearing proof load machine can precisely increase the axial static loads applied to bearings at a rate of 1% per second and generate highly accurate data with an accuracy of +/- 0.1% of the full scale with a displacement resolution of +/- 0.01%. This ensures a much more accurate and reliable system for users to validate the integrity of their bearing housing assemblies. 

The new test machines are designed to be an integral part of mass production processes providing users with the benefits of optimum repeatability, minimised risk and significant time savings. Following the development of the customer’s program supported by Carter Manufacturing and accompanied by operational training with a step-by-step instructional video, the machine can be quickly utilised by a low-skilled worker. 

This is important in view of the current supply chain issues affecting global manufacturing as it means users have more control of their operations by having a proven and incredibly accurate testing capability in-house. 

In addition to proof load testing, the machine can also be programmed to operate as a precision tensile testing machine, so it offers the flexibility of being a multi-functional system that is highly adaptable for other applications such as bushing installations and strain measurements.

The success of the system and its ability to meet the exacting aerospace specifications for which it was initially developed, by satisfying the demands of the major manufacturer’s Boeing and Airbus. For example, conforming to Boeing’s BAC5435, NAS0331 specifications, Airbus’s AIPS and AIPI03-03-012 and Bombardiers’s BAPS 175 range, in addition to many other recognised specifications. 

This machine also aligns perfectly in the motorsport industry, with critical suspension bearings and is also proven critical for validating bearing assemblies for space exploration vehicles and other spacecraft systems. 

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