Mounted ball and roller bearings are two of the most widely used products in North American industry. Contamination, improper lubrication and installation are the primary causes of premature failure in these products.
There is a wealth of information available on preventing contamination and proper lubrication practices but installation is often overlooked as a potential root cause of premature mounted bearing failure.
Installation issues can be caused by lack of training or proper tools and very often result in the bearing coming loose on the shaft. When this situation goes unobserved the bearing is doomed to early failure and will frequently cause additional damage to the machine shaft and other components.
A simple trick can be used to help maintenance personnel see if a mounted bearing is beginning to come loose on its shaft. At the time of installation, make two brightly colored match- marks on the inner race of the bearing and the shaft using enamel paint. These match -marks should be between 90 and 180 degrees apart. When the machine is in an off state, the maintenance staff can quickly observe any mounted bearings where the match mark on the bearing has begun to move away from the match mark on the shaft. This will quickly show where a problem is beginning and give the maintenance staff plenty of time to correct it.