Inspection and condition monitoring
SKF housings and roller bearing units should be inspected regularly for damage and lubricant leaks. SKF also recommends a visual inspection of the seals, plugs, bolts and housing joints. The frequency of these inspections depends on the operating conditions and potential downtime consequences but should be done as part of a regularly scheduled maintenance program.
Where oil bath lubrication is used, the oil level should be monitored regularly. During operation, the oil level may drop below the minimum level. If that should happen, and oil needs to be added while the machine is running, keep the oil level well below the maximum oil level on the indicator or overfilling can result.
For additional information about inspection techniques and corrective maintenance actions, refer to the SKF bearing maintenance handbook.
SKF also recommends monitoring the condition of all bearings on a regular or continuous basis to detect early signs of bearing damage. Trending the condition of the bearing makes it possible to analyze the root cause of an impending failure, and plan for corrective action. Trending can also eliminate unplanned downtime. The most reliable way to do condition monitoring is through vibration analysis.
Many SKF housings are prepared for condition monitoring and are supplied with drilled and tapped holes to accommodate sensors. For other housings, dimples indicate the position where sensors can be located. For information about the condition monitoring possibilities for a particular housing type, refer to the relevant product section.
SKF has a comprehensive assortment of vibration detection, analysis and diagnostic products, from light hand-held instruments to fully integrated monitoring systems. For additional information, refer to Condition monitoring.