One of the reasons that bearing heaters are important for installing and dismounting bearings into rotating equipment is it will cut down on operating costs. The bearing heaters are designed to heat the bearings and virtually eliminate the pounding and hammering process that takes place with cold-mounted bearings. The heating of the bearings also de-magnetizes them, reducing any possible risk to the operator from torches, oil baths, and flames.
Why do you need to heat the bearings?
The heating process allows the bearing to be precisely aligned and placed on the shaft without any risk of damage. When a cold bearing is placed on a shaft, the bearing has a tendency to become misaligned, requiring the operator to pound it into place. If the bearing is not precisely placed on the shaft, it would only take a misalignment of 0.001″ to reduce the life of the part by up to 50%. Not only does heating the bearings save money in parts, but also it will save money from having to pay the operator to make the replacement sooner than the recommended specs on the part.
Why Should You Use a Bearing Heater?
The heating of the bearings is an important process in the installation and removal of the parts because heated bearings are easier to place into the equipment. The bearing heater provides both even and clean heat, allowing the operator the ability to place the part into the equipment precisely, extending the life of the parts because of less friction and wear. Compared to messy alternatives like forging or oil baths, the bearing heater is the most efficient of all bearing preparation methods. Processes like forging can create uneven heating surfaces, causing hot spots that will change the bearings metallurgical properties.The 5 Things to Look for in a Bearing Heater
The 5 Things to Look for in a Bearing Heater
Before you simply choose the most affordable bearing heater, consider some of these important aspects of the process so that your heater can provide convenience and efficiency to the projects.
- Being Portable. Consider a bearing heater that is portable and can be brought to the area of the shop where the work is taking place. Larger heaters that are extremely heavy can not be moved around the shop, requiring the operator to bring the bearings to where the heater is installed. This will become an inconvenience over time, especially when you work in a busy environment and are trying to get more than one thing done at a time.
- Flexible Heaters. If your maintenance shop makes use of a bearing heater, there are going to be a variety of sized bearings that you will be working on throughout the year. Choose the right bearing heater that can accommodate a variety of sized bearings. Many heaters can handle different sizes from the small, medium, light-duty, large to heavy-duty bearings.
- Reduction of Magnetization. When your facility uses induction heaters to treat the bearings, a surge of electricity runs through the bearing to cause it to heat. This process can often magnetize the entire bearing, resulting in a much shorter lifespan for the part. Consider a bearing heater with a cone-shape design, heating the inner race of the bearings without the use of the electrical surge, eliminating any magnetization from the bearing heating process.
- The Thermostat. In a busy shop, the operator often does not have the time to stand idly by watching and waiting for the bearing to properly heat up. Consider a bearing heater than is equipped with a thermostat, ensuring that the bearings will be able to reach and maintain the desired temperature until the installation process is ready to begin. The thermostat will allow the operator to increase productivity and ensure the bearing is the appropriate temperature each and every installation.
- Ease of Usage. The heating of the bearings should not require a degree in rocket science. Consider a heater that is made of high-quality components and put together by skilled workers. Choose the manufacturer carefully, looking at their track record and the guarantee they place on their equipment. In order for your facility to remain efficient, the bearing heater must operate without malfunctions and problems every day. The unit should be easy to use, provide consistent results each time, and allow any worker in the company to operate easily.Properly heated ball bearing units are a vital process in the installation and dismounting of the bearing within rotating equipment. Not only will the bearing heaters provide a more evenly heated part, but also the process will go faster, and the parts will last longer. Over the course of a year, the time and money saved by using these heaters is substantial.