SKF conveyor solution cuts costs and extends bearing life

The challenge

A sand and mineral processor was using 11 vertical and 11 horizontal conveyors to move 35 000 000 kg of sand annually to its processing facilities. Each conveyor had four open spherical roller bearings, for a total of 88 bearing positions.

The open bearings were exposed to contamination from sand and grit that damaged bearing seals and reduced service life. The bearings needed to be replaced every nine months, the housings every 18 months. Downtime for planned maintenance took two hours, or four hours if a bearing failed unexpectedly. Costs for parts replacement, lost production and manpower were difficult to control.

The solution

SKF specialists tested an SKF conveyor solution with a sealed spherical roller bearing to protect against contaminants. The test compared the cost and performance of three options: the open bearing currently used, an open bearing equipped with a Taconite seal, and an SKF sealed spherical roller bearing.

The result

Over a 24-month period, the unsealed bearing failed every nine months. The open bearing with the Taconite seal and the SKF sealed roller bearing both registered zero failures. However, the SKF sealed solution offered lower costs and trouble-free operation without the expensive, environmentally harmful grease the Taconite seals required.

Cost for 88 bearing units over 24 months (22 conveyors at 4 bearing positions each)
Open bearing€ 46 112
SKF sealed spherical roller bearing€ 22 880
Cost savings of SKF conveyor solution€ 23 232

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