A production line can only move as fast as the parts used to support it, whether it’s a conveyor system, a belt, or a sorting bin. A recent case study highlights this.
After a temporary shutdown to improve production and maintenance, Johannesburg-based laminating and coating factory, Arthur Dowson, decided to replace Teflon and nylon with Vesconite Hilube support bearings. Vesconite Hilube has a lower friction coefficient and requires less lubrication compared to nylon.
The polymer bearings’ friction coefficient (0.10) is less than half that of nylon. This allows for a higher PV factor (load × speed). Adding external lubrication or water to the equation will lower friction even further, and the resultant PV factor. It also has a much higher load capacity compared to nylon and Teflon.
According to Vesconite Bearings mechanical engineer Juan van Wyk, the decision to use the Vesconite plain support bearing design was two-fold: simpler removal and resultant easier operation, as well as easy cleaning and maintenance – Vesconite is resistant to many acids and alkalis, including acetone, paraffin, and turpentine.
Arthur Dowson maintenance manager Roy Rodgers reports that the material coating company lubricated the previous support bearings to reduce wear, and is likely to continue doing so with the Vesconite replacement. Wear issues become particularly important on the support bearings at the end of the production line, as the coupling of the drive-end attachment and material shaft require tight tolerances.
The company is confident Vesconite’s introduction to the workflow will extend the life of the fabrication line and minimize future maintenance cycles.