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Material handling equipment must have high quality bearings
The materials handling industry covers a wide range of materials, applications and processes. Materials handling combines a variety of automated, semi-automated and manual equipment to move, protect, store and control products used in different facilities, including manufacturing plants, warehouses and distribution centres. The equipment ranges from forklifts to conveyor systems to automated guided vehicles. Efficient material handling leads to better customer service, reduced inventory, streamlined deliveries and reduced costs. To ensure optimum performance and functionality, material handling equipment and machinery must have high quality bearings.
What bearings are commonly used in the Material Handling?
There are 4 types of bearings that are commonly used throughout the material handling industry. These include：
Mast Guide Bearings
Sometimes called mast roller bearings, these bearings are used as guide rollers for telescoping masts in forklifts and other heavy machinery. Like all industrial bearings, the bore of the mast guide bearing is fitted. However, the outside diameter of the bearing acts directly on the mast rail. Mast guide bearings can withstand high thrust and radial loads as well as high intermittent shock loads, they are suitable for high load and low speed applications.
Cam Follower Bearings
Cam follower bearings are mounted on studs and are able to follow a track or a cam. These bearings are made of high hardness shafts and are suitable for intermittent shocks and heavy loads. Professionals in this industry rely on cam followers to withstand undue stress without breaking under their weight.
Double Row Bearings
Double row bearings can be identified by their deep raceways, which makes them suitable for handling radial and axial loads. The extra rows and high contact design in the bearing make it possible to increase load carrying capacity compared to single row options.
Leaf chain bearings are manufactured for heavy loads and slow speed non-linear applications. They are especially useful when paired with reciprocating lifts such as forklift masts. This bearing type is usually supplied in specific lengths and they conform to ASME/ANSI B29.8 American Standard.
What Are Some Common Applications for These Bearing Types?
- Heavy duty cranes. The harder a heavy-duty crane works, the more likely it is that a rotating component will fail. This makes it more likely that the crane will fail, resulting in unnecessary downtime. Additional load factors must be taken into account when selecting bearings for these applications, and the equipment must have a strict and regular maintenance schedule.
- Conveyor belts. Bearings are used in conveyors to move particularly heavy items, such as coal, ore, concrete and iron. To ensure continuous operation, conveyor systems need to be extremely durable and able to resist failure under harsh conditions.
- Escalators / lifts. From airports to offices, escalators and lifts rely on bearings to move people quickly and efficiently. Systems that fail in the middle of traffic can cause more than just inconvenience.
- Forklifts. Factory floors or distribution centres rely on forklifts to move pallets and goods efficiently. Mast rails and plate chain bearings ensure that forklifts run smoothly throughout the day.