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The small part that plays a big part

If you are looking for ways to optimise the reliability of your assets and enhance the sustainability of your operations, you may be looking for the big, obvious wins. But what if you could achieve more by taking smaller, less obvious initiatives? Your choice of bearings for instance...

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The small part that plays a big part

Although they’re often a relatively small part, bearings are found in countless assets and can play a big part in optimising sustainability, reliability and efficiency. Especially when they are bearings from NSK.

That’s because true sustainability doesn’t start at the factory gate. Every part of your supply chain needs to be as environmentally responsible as possible to make a real difference. Then, if these ‘greener’ products and services also help your assets to be more reliable and efficient, you’re not only well on the way to being more sustainable yourself. You also have the added bonus of reduced costs.

Aligning with efficiency

The wide range of energy-efficient NSK bearings can help businesses to save money by reducing machine running costs while cutting carbon emissions – contributing to more sustainable industrial operations overall.

Also, NSK’s advanced laser alignment tools for shafts and belts can help eliminate misalignment and deliver savings.

Research suggests that 50% of equipment and machinery is running out of alignment at any given time.

Misalignment usually occurs when couple shafts are positioned so that their gaps or offsets are beyond acceptable limits. The consequence is that shafts run off-centre, causing high loads, generating excessive heat and leading to greater energy consumption.

Telltale signs of misalignment include increased temperature, high vibration, loose coupling bolts or excessive lubricant leakage at bearing seals. Machines or systems showing these symptoms will almost certainly be using more power than they would if correctly aligned to run efficiently. NSK’s laser alignment tools have helped customers to identify savings of up to 17%.

In addition, correct alignment not only cuts power consumption but also reduces wear on important machine components such as seals and couplings.

Optimising the efficiency of assets in this way is a win-win situation. It helps to mitigate the impact of high energy costs, and it benefits the environment by reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

For example, NSK deep groove ball bearings produce up to 60% less friction compared with conventional deep groove products using a steel cage, and 80% less when they use plastic.

Add in NSK’s EA7 grease, and internal friction is further reduced, while lubricating properties are enhanced when microvibrations are present. This low-viscosity, friction-reduced lubricant is the ideal solution for any manufacturer wanting to reduce torque, minimise power loss and cut carbon emissions.

Three NSK deep grove ball bearings

Positive about neutrality

As a manufacturer, NSK has its own ultimate goal of carbon-neutrality.

Recent initiatives towards that end have included the introduction of new gas-fired boilers at the Kielce plant in Poland, to replace old coal-fired boilers. This investment alone is expected to save up to 2,500 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.

Meanwhile at the NSK European Distribution Centre (EDC) in Tilburg, in The Netherlands, a successful contract negotiation with its energy supplier has resulted in the Centrebeing supplied exclusively with 100% certified ‘green’ electricity. This initiative will save 400 tonnes of annual carbon emissions.

Alongside these improvements in energy use, the company is also taking steps to reduce water consumption and waste generation. The Kielce plant has lowered its water use by 500,000 litres a month by changing to a recirculating system for cooling the site’s remediation pumps.

And a UK NSK plant in Newark, Nottinghamshire, has installed the company's first rainwater harvesting unit, which has been estimated to have saved 200,000 litres of mains water in its first twelve months of operation.

NSK rainwater harvesting unit in Nottinghamshire

So when you choose NSK bearings, you can be sure that you’re not only doing your best for the sustainability, reliability and efficiency of your own operations. You’re also playing your part in protecting the planet.

Check out the NSK bearing range on our webshop or for more information on Bearing Solutions and to get in touch with one of our ERIKS Specialists, please contact your local ERIKS Service Centre, who will be happy to discuss your options.

#NSK #ERIKS #LetsMakeIndustryWorkBetter #Bearings #Alignment #Sustainability #Efficiency

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