16 September 2010
Precise savings from bearing improvements
Leicester-based high precision machining firm AETC has cut maintenance costs by several thousand pounds, just by correctly specifying and fitting machine bearings.
The company, which makes components such as high-precision turbine blades for the aerospace industry, was replacing high numbers of bearings in its CNC machines. The bearings were constantly failing, leading to unplanned downtime and the cost of replacement products.
MRO specialist Brammer came in to assess the problem and, along with supplier Timken, analysed the bearing failures. They found failures were typically due to poor fitting and inadequate lubrication. Technical experts from Brammer and Timken were able to diagnose problems caused by running different brands of bearing simultaneously within one machine.
Bearing installation and maintenance had to be improved, so Brammer ran training sessions for AETC's managers and engineers on best practice in bearing specification and maintenance.
Andrew Pimm of AETC said: "A greater understanding of the reasons for bearing failure has helped to adjust our attitude to the way we service and monitor our equipment here. With significant increases in operational efficiency and cost savings on replacement bearings alone, the training has given us a lot more confidence in replacing our bearings. We know what to look out for and what products to specify when replacements are needed. Crucially, there is an understanding among management and engineers that even the smallest bearings need to be correctly specified to ensure optimum efficiency of our machines."
Cost savings are already materialising and AETC expects to spend £5,000 less on replacement products.
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