When SKF South Africa was approached by a leading South African coal producer to quote on a traditional solid Spherical Roller Bearing (SRB) to replace an obsolete unit on one of their bucker wheel feeders, the global bearing specialist came up with a far better solution that will enhance worker safety and deliver substantial cost savings.
“The customer faced two primary challenges with the traditional solid SRB namely limited accessibility and prolonged downtime during maintenance,” explains SKF’s Territory Sales Engineer (Central & Eastern Gauteng), Lisa Binzani. “But of bigger concern was the fact that the nature of the application arrangement for the free end was posing a safety risk to maintenance personnel. Statistics have shown that up to 43% of accidents in the mining and cement industry occur during maintenance work or when personnel conduct checks on conveyors. We therefore recommended the SKF Cooper Split SRB which offers safety and cost advantages over the solid SRB unit.”
Thanks to its special design, the SKF Cooper Split SRB can be easily replaced in situ, requiring very few changes to the shaft alignment or driveline. As there is no need to dismount the drive coupling or the cantilevered drive to replace the bearing and thus avoiding realignment, Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) is reduced by two-thirds. In addition to enhancing the safety of maintenance personnel, in situ bearing replacement in the trapped position on the SKF Cooper Split SRB also increases production uptime and shrinks maintenance costs.
Furthermore, the wire cut inner and outer ring manufacturing technique and sealed versions of the SKF Cooper Split SRB extend service life or longer Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) compared to other split bearings. Binzani also points out that increased machine availability and performance and subsequent uptime have a direct and positive influence on productivity and production levels.
SKF Cooper leads the market in the field of split bearing technology and is the only bearing manufacturer to offer split cylindrical, taper and spherical roller bearings in addition to the new sealed split spherical roller bearings.
The SKF Cooper Split SRB is suitable for a wide range of applications including conveyor pulleys, rope sheaves, bucket elevators, stackers/reclaimers, hoists and winches, horizontal grinding mill pinions, mixers and agitators, jack shafts and fans.
“We highly recommend conversion of the traditional bearing units to the SKF Cooper Split SRB to any customer that requires bearings that can be easily replaced in situ with little disturbance to the shaft alignment or driveline. The tremendous value the SKF Cooper Split SRB unit adds speaks for itself,” concludes Binzani.
The SKF Cooper Split SRB is currently in production with delivery to the coal plant expected in early Q3 2021.
SKF’s mission is to be the undisputed leader in the bearing business. We do this by offering solutions that reduce friction and CO2 emissions, whilst at the same time increasing machine uptime and performance. Our products and services around the rotating shaft, include bearings, seals, lubrication management, artificial intelligence and wireless condition monitoring. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2020 were SEK 74 852 million and the number of employees was 40,963. www.skf.com
® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.