Machinedesign 1653 Smart Bearings 0 0

Save time with smart bearings

Aug. 4, 2008
Each month, our Time Saving Technology department introduces new products and ideas to help you work more efficiently and become a more effective problem solver. This month, we take a look at some of the latest smart bearing options.

Smart bearings on the rise

The importance of advancements in bearing technology is stressed in the latest “Bearing Brief” from The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA), Glen Ellyn, Ill. The brief discusses Smart Bearing Technology, highlighting components that integrate bearings and sensors to monitor bearing performance.

Proper bearing analysis is key to keeping equipment running efficiently, reliably, consistently, and cost effectively. Manufacturers use “smart” bearing technology to monitor bearing operation. Smart bearings are instrumented with sensors to provide information about their surrounding environment, including speed, direction, temperature, vibration, load, levels of debris, and other factors. Once smart bearings gather the data, they feed it to a control unit that is used to monitor the particular bearing operation.

In industrial applications, data collected by smart bearings is matched with condition monitoring programs where being aware of temperature and vibration levels is essential to preventing bearing failures. Smart Bearing Technology considers bearing types, sensors, and condition monitoring. Read the bearing brief at BSA_Smart_Bearing_Brief.

Hydraulically-assisted bearing simplfies installation and removal

Dodge hydraulicallyassisted ISAF bearing from Baldor Electric Co., Fort Smith, Ark., is designed for use on large bulk handling conveyors. It is easy to install and remove, features two sealing systems, and has housings and inner units made of ductile iron for added strength.

It uses a built-in, hydraulically-assisted, adapter-mounted installation and removal system. To install, simply slip the bearing on the shaft and apply hydraulic pressure to position the bearing on the adapter sleeve. Instead of the time-consuming process of mechanically rotating a lock nut, the hydraulic system quickly and easily pushes the bearing into position. Once installed, the full shaft contact reduces or eliminates fretting corrosion. To remove, simply apply pressure to the dismount piston to push the bearing off the adapter sleeve. No feeler gauges or specials tools are needed for installation or removal.

Dual sealing systems ensure long bearing life by reducing contaminants. A triple lip inner-bore seal and a regreasable LOR aluminum outer seal with an O-ring ensure that contaminants can’t penetrate the bearing cavity. It can replace SAF pillow blocks and is available in sizes from 8 to 15 in. For more information, visit

Rotating torque sensor stands up to high loads

Series 01367 rotating torque sensors feature a bearing system that allows the structure to be exposed to very high radial loads without damage. Most standard torque sensors require their housings to float to minimize any extraneous loading other than the torque applied to the shaft. This sensor allows for extraneous loads to 9,000 lb; overturning moments to 18,000 in.-lb can be reacted through the housing.

Its use allows the operator to eliminate pillow block bearings and reduce overall torsional inertia, thereby increasing overall stiffness of the driveline. It is ideal for measuring components that are subjected to these loads such as steering columns, pulleys, and universal joints. Sensor family features digital non-contact signal transmission with high frequency response, high sample rate, and high-level analog output as standard features. An optical encoder to measure angle and speed is available as an option.

By incorporating extra bearings in the design, standard development time is shortened, and because it has less parts, it requires less setup time. For more information, visit

Sponsored Recommendations

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Medical Device Manufacturing and Biocompatible Materials

May 1, 2024
Learn about the critical importance of biocompatible materials in medical device manufacturing, emphasizing the stringent regulations and complex considerations involved in ensuring...

VICIS Case Study

May 1, 2024
The team at VICIS turned to SyBridge and Carbon in order to design and manufacture protective helmet pads, leveraging the digitization and customization expertise of Toolkit3D...

What's Next for Additive Manufacturing?

May 1, 2024
From larger, faster 3D printers to more sustainable materials, discover several of the top additive manufacturing trends for 2023 and beyond.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!