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A concrete-pipe manufacturer has achieved an annual cost saving of EUR38,400 by utilising Molded Oil bearings from NSK.

This has been achieved by reducing failures on the blade support roller of a concrete pipe-slotting machine, replacing the original bearings, which were lasting two to three months on average, with the Molded Oil bearings.

To date, NSK said these bearings have operated for 12 months with no failures.

The problem on the original bearings, according to an NSK applications engineer, was the ingress of concrete dust.

This is said to be a common problem in the industry; the dust combines with bearing lubricant to produce an abrasive mixture that causes premature bearing failure.

In this instance, the dust-contaminated lubricant was causing failures four times per year, with each failure resulting in eight hours of downtime, at a cost of EUR1,200/hr.

As a means of overcoming the problem, the NSK engineer recommended using bearings equipped with Molded Oil, a solid lubricant technology developed by NSK for bearings used in remote locations, and/or where oil- and grease-absorbing dust is produced.

Molded Oil, according to NSK, has been proven to transform the performance of bearings used in machinery and equipment – in terms of reliability, maintenance-free intervals and operation – in environments exposed to contamination.

It also enables plant operators to make cost savings by replacing existing, and often costly, methods of lubricating machine parts.

An effective lubrication method, Molded Oil differs from other oil-impregnated plastics – where the oil content is a mere few percent by weight – by offering a lubricating oil content of more than 50 per cent by weight.

This enables the material to always maintain a good lubrication regime, helped by the mechanism of oil discharge from the matrix, which is temperature dependent – therefore the higher the heat generation, the higher the oil discharge rate.

Operating temperatures are normally limited to 60C.


NSK, a global leader in motion and control products, has developed and continuously upgrades four core technologies: tribology, material engineering, analysis technology and mechatronics, to provide the platform for the company’s innovative product developments. This technology platform provides the basis for the design of NSK’s rolling bearings, automotive components and precision parts. In addition, by integrating these advanced technologies, NSK is able to respond quickly and effectively to customer requirements across all key sectors.

NSK is a driver of new technology developments, with a full line-up of products spanning general industrial, automotive and precision parts industries. These include bearings for mechanical and electrical machinery, IT and aftermarket; innovative automotive products such as electric power steering (EPS) automatic transmission components, steering columns and other steering related products; and precision linear motion components such as linear guides, ballscrews, X-Y tables, mechatronic products and Megatorque motors.

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