SKF helps coal mine double conveyor bearing life and cut operating costs

The challenge

An open cast coal mine with 250 km (155 miles) of conveyors struggled with failures caused by contaminants entering open bearings. The conveyor transported materials to and from the mine 365 days a year, and had literally hundreds of bearings requiring huge quantities of grease for lubrication.

Along with soaring maintenance costs, the mine faced excessive lubrication and disposal expenses. Looking to cut operating costs and extend bearing replacement intervals to match other conveyor maintenance activities, the mine looked to SKF.

The SKF solution

SKF suggested replacing the open bearings with sealed spherical roller bearings. Mine management agreed, and SKF installed sealed spherical roller bearings, filled all of the housings with appropriate grease, and added PosiTrac Plus labyrinth seals.

The results

Average bearing service life more than doubled from two years to more than four years, ultimately resulting in substantial savings on grease purchases and disposal costs, as well as less downtime and higher productivity.

The life cycle extension also enabled the mine to reach its goal of matching bearing replacements with other maintenance activities, freeing up its maintenance team for other tasks.
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