NSK increased Bearing Performance and saved Cement Manufacturer more than $200,000!

Cement SAF Housing

Contamination is a leading cause of bearing failure.  Heavy industrial applications are susceptible to even higher levels of contamination compared to others.  In order to combat against contamination and improve bearing performance, NSK applied AIP to suggest product changes that resulted in over $200,000 in savings.

A hammer mill application was using a competitor’s SAF pillow block and bearing that was failing after only 4 months of operation.  Upon inspection, NSK determined that debris had entered the block.  Excessive change-outs were causing significant financial strain in lost production and maintenance cost.

NSK proposed changing from a standard labyrinth LER seal to a NSK Spherical Roller Bearing inside a SAF Pillow Block (SAF22538) with Taconite Seal TER155OS.


TER-OS Taconite Seal


The TER-OS taconite seals are designed to prevent entry of contaminants in severe service conditions.  Each seal is equipped with a shaft contact spring-loaded oil seal, grease-charged channel, felt shaft seal and O-ring seal in the housing labyrinth to form an impenetrable barrier and provide a tight, yet flexible fit.  The use of this seal protected the spherical roller bearing within the SAF housing to achieve longer life.  The NSK solution provided over 2 years of service life compared to 4 months service life from competitor’s product.

Cost Savings Breakdown:

Competitor Product

Bearing Installation: 5 installs @ $2,981  = $14,905

Maintenance Cost: 40 hrs x 2 personnel @ $150 per hour = $12,000

Lost Production: 500 tons @ $90/ton x 5 failures = $225,000

Total:  $251,905

NSK Solution

Bearing Installation: 1 install @ $2,981  = $2,981

Maintenance Cost: 8 hours x 2 personnel @ 150 per hour  = $2,400

Lost Production: 500 tons @ $90/ton x 1 install  = $45,000

Total:   $50,381

Total Cost Savings:  $201, 524

Visit our website to download this success story and multiple others from different industries.

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Posted in AIP, Bearing Case Study, Bearing Repair & Maintenance, Bearing Repair and Maintenance, Bearings for Industrial Machinery, Cost Savings, Increased Efficiency | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NSK Wins “Outstanding Achievement in the field of Environmental Reporting” for its 2015 CSR Report

At NSK, we strive to develop products that not only make the world turn, but encourage innovation for each new era to continue the quest for zero energy loss.  To help our customers, stakeholders and community follow NSK’s progress; a Corporate Responsibility (CSR) Report is published annually.   The 2015 CSR Report details the governance, social and environmental initiatives of our company.

NSK sustainability image

Our 2015 CSR Report was recognized for “Outstanding Achievement in the field of Environmental Reporting” for the second consecutive year by The Environmental Communication Awards.  Launched in 1998, the Japan Ministry of the Environment & Global Environmental Forum established the Environmental Communication Awards recognizing companies’ who communicate and report environmental initiatives.  For more information, download full press release.

Five core principles which include governance, quality assurance, good labor practices, local community and environment are communicated within this report.  The 2015 CSR Report highlights areas in which we can build a stronger business foundation, contribute to the well-being and safety of society, protect global environment and establish our 2026 Vision.

November 8, 2016 marks NSK’s 100th year anniversary.  And while this is cause for celebration, it also demands NSK to look ahead and determine how we will continue to set the future in motion.  To view our entire CSR report, visit our website.

Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to get the latest product and industry news related to bearings, linear motion and steering products required in automotive and industrial machinery applications.


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NSK’s NH Series Linear Guide Increases Throughput for Automotive Supplier

An automotive supplier, who produces aluminum transmission housings, was experiencing issues with its transmission leak testing equipment.  The facility was experiencing a 20% failure rate once its transmission housing reached the test phase.


Aluminum Transmission Housing

When a failure occurred, a new test had to be administered leading to reduced throughput.

It was determined that the bushing system used to transport the transmission housing into the test area was the leading cause of the issue.  The bushing system didn’t deliver precise movement or protect transmission housing against contamination.

NSK proposed that the installation of NH Series Stainless Steel Linear Guides with K1™ Lubrication Units be used in replacement of the bushing system.

NH Series Linear Guides are known for offering maximum precision, high load ratings and smooth linear motion.  This product line is used for a wide variety of applications and has proven success in medical technology, semiconductor, machine tool and automotive industries.

Adding K1™ Lubrication Units provides long-term maintenance-free operation by allowing fresh, continuous oil to flow onto rail during operation.  This innovative solution is ideal for environments where grease replenishment is undesirable or in areas where grease is easily washed away.

New Linear Guides

NH Series Linear Guides with K1 Lubrication Unit


Once NH Series Stainless Steel Linear Guides with K1™ were installed in the facility, the failure rate was reduced to 6% which significantly improved throughput and decreased cost per piece produced.

Cost Savings Breakdown:

Bushing Method

Production Cost: 810 parts per month: $75,632 x 12 months = $907,584

NSK Solution

Production Cost: 940 parts per month: $64,273 x 12 months = $771,276

Total Annual Savings

Total Cost of Bushing Method minus Total Cost of NSK Solution

= $136,308 total cost savings!

If you’d like to receive more information about NSK linear motion products, please contact us or visit our website.  Stay tuned to our Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages to get latest NSK news!

To access more NSK success stories and learn about AIP, visit our website.

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Best Practices for Storage, Removal and Transportation of Bearings

Proper handling and storage of bearings is important to assure the best in bearing performance. Improper storage and handling can damage a bearing and/or create unnecessary contamination which can lead to bearing failures.


To ensure optimal bearing performance, bearings should always be stored flat, indoors, in low humidity and in original packaging.

NSK recommends that the Bearing Storage Area be:

  1. Clean.
  2. Dry.
  3. Kept at a consistent temperature.
  4. Kept away from vents or windows that might alternate temperature.
  5. Humidity less than 75%.
  6. Free from vibration.

If the bearing has been in use and removed from equipment, refer to these guidelines for storage after removal;

  1. Coat with LPS3 (or other corrosion inhibiting oil).
  2. Tightly wrap the bearing with VCI wrapping paper.NSK Bearing
  3. Lay bearings flat, not on end.
  4. For large bearings, lay flat on a wooden pallet.
  5. For smaller bearings, place flat in cardboard boxes.
  6. Always remember to follow 6 storage criteria from list above.


When a bearing needs to be removed from equipment, follow the guidelines below:

  1. Flush the bearing grease before final shutdown to remove as many contaminants as possible.
  2. Perform a visual inspection of the housing, neck and bearing before cleaning.
  3. Thoroughly clean bearing with a petroleum based solvent.
  4. Immediately apply rust preventative oil to avoid corrosion after cleaning.
  5. For spherical bearings, oil should be applied while rotating the inner ring to reduce potential scratching.
  6. Align ring and support all rolling elements.
  7. Handle with care.


Follow these guidelines to transport bearing only:

  1. Clean the bearing.
  2. Coat with LPS3 (or other corrosion inhibiting oil).
  3. Place O-ring material next to the sides of the rolling elements to avoid false brinelling.
  4. Tightly wrap bearing with VCI wrapping paper.
  5. Cover with heavy plastic bag or wrap with tire wrapping.
  6. Lay flat on a wooden pallet base and secure with blocks to prevent movement.
  7. Strap everything down to pallet.

If you need to transport assembled bearing in its housing, we recommended a few modifications for safer transport:

  1. Flush housing with new grease or oil.
  2. Rotate shaft to spread the lubricant.
  3. Secure the housing to the transport surface using the housing mounting flanges if possible.
  4. Secure the rolls with straps to the transport surfaces to reduce possibility of false brinelling.
  5. Cover the assembly with tarps and strap everything down.

Following these guidelines will help reduce bearing damage during storage and transportation.

Stay tuned for more bearing maintenance tips and best practices to optimize bearing performance.  For more information, visit our website and follow NSK on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and YouTube.


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NSK Welcomes the New Year and Celebrates Centennial in 2016.


As we begin the New Year, looking forward to new opportunities in 2016, NSK proudly recognizes its centennial.  Established November 8, 1916 – NSK products have contributed to industrial development – Setting the Future in Motion.

In honor of our 100th year anniversary, NSK has established a 2026 Vision.

We bring motion to life,

to enrich lifestyles,

and build a brighter future.

Dedicated to uncovering society’s needs,

we set ideas in motion

to deliver solutions beyond imagination.

We’re NSK.

And, we’re setting the future in motion.

Over the past 100 years, NSK has established a reputation for outstanding quality.  In the next century, we hope to establish a reputation for executing exciting new ideas, technology and innovation.

For more information and events related to NSK’s centennial, visit website.  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In!

NSK logo

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Season’s Giving

Tis the season for giving!

At NSK, we proudly acknowledge our employees who dedicate their time, money and enthusiasm to support local charities. One of NSK’s core principles is to contribute to the communities in which we operate.

Throughout the year, NSK supports United Way, Relay for Life, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity and Food Gatherers.  We’re proud to report that more than $40,000 was raised for Relay for Life – Ann Arbor in 2015, achieving “Top Fundraiser” status.  And more than $50,000 went to United Way which placed us within the “Top Ten Fundraising Companies” in Washtenaw County.  Outside of Ann Arbor, NSK plant and distribution facilities also support local charities including United Way and Relay for Life within their community.

Relay for Life

Generosity is valued and appreciated year round; but during the holiday season, it’s especially nice to help a family in need.  Three local organizations that NSK has chosen to work with are Community Action Network (CAN), Magic of Christmas Adopt a Family Foundation and Peace Neighborhood Center.

Community Action Network (CAN) provides programs and services to families living in Ann Arbor neighborhoods.  The organization helps create brighter futures by offering educational support to children and youth, provides housing stabilization services for adults and families and instills positive community building activities for neighborhoods.  Winter coats and Christmas gifts were donated by NSK to support CAN.

Giving Tree

Magic of Christmas Adopt a Family Foundation has been providing holiday gifts to children and families since 1996. The program sends toys, clothes, winter coats and other necessities to 350 Ann Arbor public schools.  The foundation works with churches, foster care facilities and hospitals to identify families in need.  530 children will receive gifts through this organization this year!  NSK is proud to be one of the 40 businesses who participated in this program.

All proceeds from NSK’s Holiday Luncheon and Raffle will be donated to Peace Neighborhood Center.  Its mission is to provide programs for children, families and individuals.  Peace helps discover specific problems, enhance individual skills, and help influence better choices leading to self-sufficiency and positive community involvement.  More than 16,000 people have been helped in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County since 1971.

To learn more about these local Ann Arbor organizations visit website links provided below.

Community Action Network (CAN)

Peace Neighborhood Center

Would you like to get involved and volunteer within your own community?  But don’t know where to start.  Here are three different websites you can use to search and contact nonprofit organizations for volunteer opportunities.

  1. VolunteerMatch
  2. Idealist
  3. HandsOn Network
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As the FDA passes more laws focused on benefiting the health and welfare of its consumers, the Food & Beverage industry must adapt.  In 2015, four major issues were at the forefront:

  1. Ban on partially hydrogenated oils
  2. New 2015 Dietary Guidelines
  3. National policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO)
  4. Greater transparency with end consumer regarding manufacturing process, quality, sustainability, effect on environment, etc.

In certain cases, these changes may have required a manufacturer to completely re-formulate its production process.    In addition to these major issues, the food & beverage industry must ensure that their processing facilities deliver quality product efficiently.

As in the case with one beverage manufacturer, their bottle labeling machine wasn’t running efficiently.  The bearings within the machine were failing every 3 weeks, causing excessive down time, maintenance and replacement costs.  NSK visited the facility and performed a bearing inspection.  They found that poor lubrication and contamination were the leading causes of the bearing failure.

NSK Deep Groove Ball Bearing with Solid Lube

NSK Deep Groove Ball Bearing with Solid Lube

NSK recommended upgrading to an NSK Deep Groove Ball Bearing with Solid Lube along with use of a Double Contact Seals (6004DDU).  NSK Solid Lube is a solid lubrication mixture of polymers, oils and additives that can be customized to meet specific lubrication requirements.  Its porous structure fills the space between the rolling elements and raceway preventing entry of foreign objects.  Continuous oil lubricates the bearing surface; therefore, no additional lubrication is needed during its bearing life.  Solid Lube is available in H-1 and H-2 formulas which meet USDA and FDA standards.

DD-DDU seal

Double Contact Seal

The use of Solid Lube not only lubricates the bearing; but also helps minimizes the entry of contaminants.  To provide maximum protection against contaminants, NSK recommended a double contact seal (DDU).  The seal is patent pending and features a triple lip mechanism this is ideal for highly contaminated environments.

Upgrading to NSK, the customer’s replacement interval increased from 3 weeks to 6 months resulting in annual savings of $10,680.

If you’d like to receive more information about NSK seals and/or lubricating solutions, please contact us or visit our website.   And don’t forget to follow us on Linked-In, Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on NSK product news related to the Food & Beverage industry.

Free download of NSK case study.

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