When a tyre manufacturer was enduring frequent failures of the ball screw within the air drum of its tyre building machine, the company turned to the expertise of Tokyo-based bearing manufacturer NSK and its HTF series ball screw. By adopting this high-speed, high-load solution, the tyre plant was able to reduce its replacement ball screw purchases by two-thirds, delivering annual savings of €99,128. ($104,929.67).
Manufacturing for the automotive sector, whether for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket customers, is highly demanding with little or no margin for downtime. Faced with ongoing failures of the ball screw within the air drum of its process-critical tyre building machine, the manufacturer knew it had to act. The problem was proving extremely expensive, with increased maintenance and lost production impacting output.
To commence the project, the company called upon the expertise of linear motion specialist NSK. As part of a proposition designed to provide the customer with significant added value, experienced engineers at NSK conducted a failed ball screw analysis and machine application review. The team found that the quality and specification of the existing ball screw was not sufficient for the loads exerted by the tyre building machine.
To remedy the situation, NSK recommended a trial of its HTF series high-load, high-speed ball screw, which proved highly successful and led to full technical approval.
NSK HTF series ball screws feature a special groove profile and a grease-retaining A1 seal that avoids any contamination of the immediate environment with lubricant. As a further innovative feature, these ball screws can be equipped with SRC (Smooth Return Coupling) for fine screw leads or an end deflector recirculation system for medium leads, accelerating feed speed and reducing noise. Any company using HTF series ball screws will benefit from maximum allowable dynamic load and maximum service life due to proper load distribution.
By introducing the tyre manufacturing plant to its HTF series ball screw, NSK managed to extend service life by 50 per cent and increase uptime and efficiency. By requiring fewer ball screw replacements, the company is saving €99,128 per year. The tyre manufacturer is also benefiting from reduced unplanned failures and, in turn, lower maintenance costs.
NSK Europe Ltd. is the European organisation of the Tokyo-based bearing manufacturer NSK, which was founded in Japan in 1916 and today employs nearly 30,580 people in its worldwide operations. The products and solutions provided by the industrial and automotive supplier can be found wherever things move. In addition to nearly all types of rolling bearings, the company’s portfolio includes housed bearings, linear technology, wheel bearing units, transmission and engine bearings and steering systems. The company is oriented to perfection in all of its business activities. Its aim is quality leadership in its industry, which it strives for through a continuous process of improvement, excellent product development, optimised production processes and customer-oriented service processes. In fiscal year 2021, the more than 4,250 employees of NSK Europe Ltd. generated sales of over € 818 million.