Extending bearing life with NSK’s sealing solutions

Down in the Southern Riverina region of New South Wales, it is nearly ‘go time’ for harvesting most crops, which for the most part consist of cereals, legumes, oilseeds, hay and a growing cotton industry.

The team at Marshall Ag Repairs, an agricultural machinery and parts reseller and repair business based in Finlay, have been busy servicing balers and other agricultural equipment for their customers. The shop also stocks a large range of earthmoving machinery parts and agricultural equipment to help its customers with their machinery maintenance.

Troy Marshall, the man behind Marshall Ag Repairs, has been working with BSC to source a wide range of chains, bearings, seals, hoses, and other agricultural parts for his business.

“I’ve been personally working with BSC for about five years, that is since I purchased this business, but they’ve been supplying products to the existing business for over 20 years now. BSC offers the biggest range of supplies for all products that we need. Whatever we need, we just tell them, and they supply,” says Troy.

Troy’s recommendation to his customers is to always use reliable bearings when they service their balers and combine harvesters to avoid unnecessary failures and downtime. In his own store and workshop, he only stocks one brand for bearings and that is NSK products.

“We don’t stock any other bearing in our shop. NSK bearings are all that we provide to our customers and we have always used the bearing successfully for our customers. Whenever we repair combine harvesters or balers for farmers, if we find that they are using poor quality bearings, we steer them towards changing to NSK bearings for more reliability,” says Troy.

BSC’s Product Manager for Industrial Bearings, Tony Tormey says baling can impose very heavy loads on machine components, which is why it is essential that the bearings can sustain these stresses.

“The process of converting windrows of crop into bales from picking up the crop, compacting it and pressing inside the bale chamber, and ejecting the completed bale. Multiple bearings are required to produce an effective and precise baling process,” says Tony. “NSK’s range of DDU sealed deep groove ball bearings are designed to withstand the demanding conditions of agricultural applications ensuring the machine is crop ready.”

Where a machinery owner is looking to extend the bearings’ service interval, for example in farming applications with excessive dust and contamination, Tony suggests adopting one of NSK’s sealing configurations to extend the service life of the bearings.

As David Healey, NSK Australia Sales Engineer, explains, NSK offers three types of maintenance-free sealing options, with the most common and the highest-in-demand being the ‘DU’ seal configuration.

“The unique ‘DU’ seal developed by NSK is the most effective seal arrangement giving maximum protection against all contaminates,” says David. “The composition of the seal is an environmentally-friendly Nitrile Butyle rubber incasing a metal support. The working temperature range of this seal is -30˚ to 110˚ Celsius. The patented triple lip mechanism consisting of two labyrinth seals and a contact seal, giving excellent protection against dust and water entering the bearing whilst maintaining good grease retention.”

David says the DU seals are best suited to low-speed and low-temperature applications where maximum sealing is critical. Where higher speed limits are required, NSK offers the ‘V’ seal.

“The patented ‘V’ seal gives excellent seal performance without friction between the bearing inner ring and the seal by only having two labrynths. The non-contact lip configuration reduces the drag in the bearing. Therefore, the bearings have less heat build-up and can rotate faster,” says David.

“Another popular seal is ‘Z’ shield. Like the ‘V’ seal, it is suitable for higher speed limits and provides superb performance through a wide temperature range. They protect bearings from large contaminants but do not prevent the entrance of small particles. Like the ‘DU’ and ‘V’ types seals, this shield also has two labrynths,” he adds.

According to Troy, the NSK sealing configuration are a good complement for NSK bearings.

“If any of our customers need to extend their bearings’ life, then we recommend one of NSK’s sealing options and it adds that extra protection that they need to bring down their maintenance costs,” he concludes.

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