Potato chip production line reduced unplanned downtime and cut maintenance costs with SKF fryer bearings

The challenge

SKF fryer bearings for potato chip production
A potato chip producer was experiencing frequent failures of a housed bearing unit, with each replacement bearing lasting less than 6 000 hours. The paddle bearing position inside the fryer, located just above the oil level, was constantly exposed to vaporized and splashing oil during the potato chip frying process.

Every six to eight days, the process fryer was stopped, the potato chip oil drained and filled with caustic solution. A boil out was performed for several hours. This washed out the grease from inside the bearing units and prior to starting the potato chip frying process, each bearing needed to be relubricated.

The SKF solution

The potato chip producer switched to SKF fryer bearings, which allow cooking oil to act as the bearing lubricant.

The results

The innovative SKF fryer bearings required no maintenance and met materials requirements for food and beverage manufacturing in corrosion resistance. As a result, the potato chip manufacturer more than doubled the bearing life, and gained more than 16 000 hours of reliable performance
with no unplanned stops.

Summary over 2 years:
  • Elimination of unplanned downtime (16 000 hours of operation, 24/7):  €8 000
  • Savings in parts and labour:  €400
  • Return on investment:  8 months
Note: All numbers are rounded off and based on customer estimates. Your particular cost savings may vary.
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