SMB Bearings

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SMB Bearings articles

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Should remanufactured bearings become the norm?

Should remanufactured bearings become the norm?
According to SKF, it takes approximately 100 process steps to produce a new bearing, compared to roughly ten for a remanufactured bearing. It’s no surprise, therefore, that there has been an increasing demand for remanufactured bearings in heavy duty industrial applications. Here Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explores this attractive alternative to bearing replacement.
21st May 2021

Radial and thrust forces in bearings

Radial and thrust forces in bearings
Where accuracy is required, it is important for engineers to consider the forces acting on a bearing. Because a bearing typically supports the free motion of a shaft about an axis of rotation, two forces normally act on the bearing: a radial load and a thrust load. But, what is the impact of these forces? Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains.
6th April 2021

Ceramic bearings for medical environments

Ceramic bearings for medical environments
Back in 2000, scientists discovered zircon in rocks that showed life might have started 500 million years earlier than previously thought. This incredible compound has made a huge impact, as has its oxide, zirconia (ZrO2), used to make full ceramic bearings. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explores if the increased costs are really worth it in medical applications.
24th March 2021


The myth surrounding hybrid ceramic bike bearings

The myth surrounding hybrid ceramic bike bearings
Choosing the right bicycle bearings is an important decision for both competitive and leisurely cyclists. While many cyclists associate switching from steel to hybrid ceramic bearings as a performance upgrade, there is another party who simply believe hybrid ceramic bearings are based on clever marketing hype and a waste of money. Here Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explains the crucial difference between good quality hybrid ceramic bearings and cheap hybrid bearings.
18th March 2021

Ten tips for proper bearing maintenance

Ten tips for proper bearing maintenance
What do clocks, skateboards and industrial machinery have in common? They all rely on bearings to maintain their smooth rotational movements. However, to achieve reliability, they must be maintained and handled correctly. This will ensure a long bearing service life, preventing many common issues that can result in bearing failure and costly down time. Here Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explains ten top tips for optimal bearing maintenance care.
24th February 2021

Keeping the food production wheels turning

Keeping the food production wheels turning
With 13% of bearing failure attributed to lubrication factors, bearing lubrication is a fast-evolving area of research, supported by academics and industry alike. Here, Chris Johnson Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains how new innovations in polymer-based lubrication could increase lubrication life, while reducing maintenance needs and contamination risks for food production plants.
16th February 2021

The buzz around drones in the oil industry

The buzz around drones in the oil industry
A bee can travel over five miles and then remember its way home, despite possessing a brain the size of a pinhead. Scientists have been putting them in virtual reality simulators to help improve Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone technology. While the honey bee currently has the edge, drone technology is catching up. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explains the potential value of drones for maintenance inspection of oil pipelines and cooling towers.
9th February 2021

Understanding the internal geometry of ball bearings

Understanding the internal geometry of ball bearings
The humble bearing has many geometric factors such as radial play, axial play and the contact angle which are interlinked and must be carefully considered to ensure the optimal performance of the component. Here Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings explains what design engineers need to know about radial play.
27th January 2021

Navigating the bearing selection process

Navigating the bearing selection process
There are a huge number of variables you need to weigh up when selecting the right types of bearings for your project. There is no doubt things can get confusing, particularly if your project is non-standard. Here, Chris Johnson Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explains one of six important bearing selection considerations.
12th January 2021

Is all bearing surface damage troublesome?

Is all bearing surface damage troublesome?
Up to 40% of a vegetable crop can go to waste due to the aesthetic requirements of some supermarkets. While a wonky vegetable may not be the most visually pleasing, it possesses the same nutritional value as its perfectly proportioned counterpart. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains why not all bearing surface damage should cause alarm and future headaches for offshore oil and gas plant managers.
5th January 2021

Is industry ready for bearing simulation software?

Is industry ready for bearing simulation software?
Bearing buyers often request bearings with a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours of operation. While the bearing manufacturer has done its own testing to validate the lifespan against different loads, it doesn’t paint the whole picture of how a bearing will endure the buyer’s specific application. Here Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings explains how sophisticated bearing simulation software can be used to support application specific bearing design and analysis processes.
10th December 2020

Riding the wave: bearings and their role in ocean energy

Riding the wave: bearings and their role in ocean energy
Estimates show that wave power could supply ten percent of the global demand for energy by the year 2050. If true, this would be a significant boost to a greener future, but currently, this renewable energy source is still in development. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains how bearings will be a key enabler of ocean power.
27th November 2020

Making the most of down time

Making the most of down time
Injuries in sport are inevitable, but the greatest sporting comebacks haven’t been achieved by simply accepting the circumstances and waiting for recovery. The same philosophy can be applied to factory shutdowns. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings explores the factory maintenance opportunities gifted by an unexpected pause in production.
4th November 2020

Top tips for maintaining a secure supply of quality bearings

Top tips for maintaining a secure supply of quality bearings
It has become a cliché to say that the coronavirus pandemic is posing an unprecedented challenge to global supply chains. Bearings are vital to the effective functioning of so many applications that supply chain management cannot be neglected for those who rely on them. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explains how best to ensure your supply chain delivers the bearings you need.
12th October 2020

Bearing specialist publishes steel bearings guide

Bearing specialist publishes steel bearings guide
To counteract confusion over the many steel bearing variations available, SMB Bearings has published a new steel bearings guide to provide a helpful resource. The guide, Steel bearings: an essential guide to this essential workhorse, also provides practical application advice when choosing a steel bearing, which can be downloaded for free on the SMB Bearings website.
5th October 2020

Do you know your ZZs from your 2RUs?

Do you know your ZZs from your 2RUs?
Knowing the suffix code for your preferred bearing closure may make you look like a bearing whizz. However, asking the right questions to ensure that you’ve selected the most suitable option for your specific application environment is the real smart move and will extend your bearing’s service life in the long run. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, explains three questions you should ask when choosing between a bearing shield or seal.
16th September 2020

The advantages of ultrasound for condition monitoring

The advantages of ultrasound for condition monitoring
Pierre Langevin patented the first technological application of ultrasound during World War One by inventing a device to detect submarines. Like Langevin, maintenance engineers and plant managers can also use ultrasound for detection. Either by itself or as a companion technology, ultrasound can be an excellent part of condition monitoring for your bearings. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings, provides an introduction into some of the benefits of this technology.
3rd September 2020

Let your bearings grow old gracefully

Let your bearings grow old gracefully
It’s easy to believe that something made of steel will last forever. However, no matter how well you care for bearings in your plant equipment, they will eventually wear and need to be replaced. This is because they have what’s known as a fatigue life. Here, Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings, explains how to avoid shortening their lifespan.
20th August 2020

Navigating bearing retainer design options

Navigating bearing retainer design options
In mathematics, Pascal’s triangle is an arrangement constructed by summing adjacent elements in preceding rows. It has applications in algebra, probability and is a useful model for calculating combinations - commonly referred to as 'n choose k'. Here, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, explains how to navigate the seemingly endless choices in the bearing retainer design process.
19th August 2020

Smart bearings: The demise of slow-comotives

Smart bearings: The demise of slow-comotives
According to the TUC, the average rail commute in the UK takes an average of 2 hours and 11 minutes, each day. Also add to the equation that, in 2018, more than one third of trains failed to arrive at stations on time due to technical faults, and you’re left with one very miserable commuter. Chris Johnson, Managing Director of SMB Bearings, considers the future adoption of smart bearings and their impact on Industry 4.0 and the UK.
22nd July 2020


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