Split spherical roller bearings from SKF Cooper
Groundbreaking new bearings help reduce maintenance, save money and improve worker safety
MOST advances in split-bearing technology have been incremental improvements over the last 100 years. However, with the introduction of the SKF Cooper split spherical roller bearing, a new level in product quality and precision engineering is said to have been achieved by combining SKF’s spherical roller bearing and SKF Cooper’s split bearing expertise.
Manufactured at SKF Cooper in the UK, the new split spherical roller bearing range allows customers to significantly reduce downtime by the replacement of solid bearings in situ.
The SKF Cooper range of split spherical roller bearings is currently available in the 231 series for shaft diameters from 240mm to 450mm, which are typically used in mining conveyor and stacker/reclaimer applications. Later this year, however, smaller sizes will be introduced that are suitable for the quarrying sector.
‘Split bearings are ideal for use in the ‘trapped’ bearing position of machines,’ said Richard Law, product line and sales manager for SKF Cooper split bearings at SKF. ‘By using split bearings, it means that, for example, the drive coupling and gearbox do not need to be dismounted during bearing replacement, limiting unwanted costs and downtime.’
The new bearings, which are available in open (unsealed) and sealed versions, are said to offer many advantages including much shorter mean time to repair (MTTR), as they can be replaced in situ. They also offer a reduced maintenance burden, reduced production losses from planned and unplanned downtime, and, consequently, improved worker safety.
The sealed version increases reliability due to improved exclusion of dirt and allows for lower grease consumption, thus reducing the environmental impact. The new bearings also offer a superior shaft fit and run at lower noise and vibration levels.
The superior performance of SKF Cooper split spherical roller bearings is said to result from several innovative design features, including ductile steel clamped for more secure positioning, and wire-cut inner and outer rings for superior raceway geometry. In addition, a precision-manufactured ‘saw-tooth’ joint on the outer race of the bearing boosts axial alignment and allows for a reduced outer ring section.
In mining, the key advantage is that MTTR is typically reduced from 24h to 8h in conveyor systems. Also, by reducing the number of maintenance steps, such as the overhead lifting of heavy in-line equipment, the risk to workers is reduced. The new bearings can also be applied in other industries such as mineral processing and cement, and as the size range widens applications will expand into other process industries and auxiliary equipment, such as industrial fans.