Using chrome bearings to reduce emissions

Bearings 04-11-2019


Reducing your carbon footprint is like a marathon: dedication and discipline will only get you so far. To get first place, you will need to be efficient in every step you take. Similarly, businesses must strive to be efficient to meet tighter goals to reduce CO2 emissions. Here, Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings, explains how industry can use advanced chrome bearings to go green and, at the same time, reduce electrical consumption.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), around 30 per cent of global electricity is consumed by electric motors in industry. Furthermore, motors are the asset that consume the most electricity in manufacturing, accounting for 70 per cent of global electricity in the industry. From this, we can calculate that an around 0.1 per cent reduction in industry consumption could save enough electricity to sustain the UK for almost a month.

ABB Group has found, using IEA data, that 51 per cent of all motor failures are related to their bearings. The common causes for these failures include exceeding recommended load ratings, vibrations and overheating. Choosing the right bearing for a motor can not only reduce the change of failures; it can also bring down a business’s emissions and maintenance costs.


No universal fit

There is no one-size-fits-all for bearings. AISI-440 grade stainless steel small motor bearings can sustain temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius, which makes them ideal for machinery that operates under high heat. However, the same process that allows the stainless steel to obtain these properties will also soften the metal. This makes the internal components more susceptible to physical damage.

Chrome steel small motor bearings are not only less expensive, but are also better suited for most applications. They have low-noise and low-vibration properties that make them less wasteful in applications below 150 degrees Celsius. While some situations may require the superior anti-corrosion properties of stainless steel, most industries will benefit from the more efficient chrome steel alternative.

Vibration and noise can also be caused by exceeding the recommended payloads of a motor. Fortunately, chrome steel has 20 per cent higher load rating than 440C grade stainless steels so these symptoms of failure less likely to occur. Higher load ratings are also associated with longer life cycles, and therefore lower maintenance costs.


Win-win scenario

Choosing chrome steel bearings is not only likely to be more effective than 440C stainless steels, it is also less expensive in the short and long term. The energy converted in noise and vibration is lost, resulting in further wasted time and energy for downtime and motor repairs.

Electricity wasted on poorly-matched motors and bearings prevents your company from being environmentally-friendly. That’s why selecting a bearing that can sustain the loads it is subjected to can drastically increase the product’s lifetime while reducing the energy that is thrown away. In the long run, we will need to be as efficient as possible about energy consumption.

Just like in marathons, dedication and effort alone will not get you the best time. Efficiency is key, which also applies if businesses are to help save the climate and also reduce costs. If you’d like to be a leader in industry by reducing your carbon footprint, while making the best of your machinery, then get in touch with SMB Bearings.

Our determination to remain specialised gives us a high level of product knowledge, providing bearing and lubrication solutions to existing or potential customers, whether individuals or large corporations. We don’t just sell bearings, we help to solve your problems. - Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings.