The support bearings of many machines, located at or near the ends of the shafts, are often far less secure than they need to be. To give the machine the added support it needs and to ensure alignment flexibility, pillow blocks (occasionally referred to as ‘plummer’ blocks) are often used, particularly on conveyor guides, mining equipment, and fan gear. While pillow blocks will certainly aid in extending the life of your equipment, they won’t last without proper maintenance and care.
As a professional bearing supplier, we’ve listed a few steps you can take to extend the life of your pillow blocks:
Lubricate with Clean Oil
To function correctly, pillow bearings need to be lubricated, using either liquid oil, oil mist or a type of grease. Not enough lubrication can cause a host of issues but research into bearing failures shows that most are a result of using contaminated oil. Make sure that the oil you use is clean and replaced when necessary.
Add Protector Seals
Investing in protector seals, either non-contacting or contacting, is a smart way to protect your bearings from the most common causes of premature bearing failure – lubrication loss and contamination ingress. A non-contacting protector keeps the pillow block from coming into direct contact with its surroundings, minimising scratches, as well as general wear and tear. The more common contacting option provides protection but doesn’t block contact. With the right seals, you can increase the reliability of your bearings.
Regular Bearing Inspections
Inspecting your bearings should be common practice but it is often an overlooked procedure. Regular inspection is the only way to ensure that your bearings are lubricated sufficiently and are functioning correctly. It also gives you the opportunity to resolve any unforeseen issues before they cause significant damage.
Following these three simple steps should greatly increase the life of your pillow block bearings, saving you from costly replacements and unnecessary downtime.
We can assist with your maintenance needs! Browse our wide selection of quality maintenance products, designed to increase the life of your equipment.