A key purpose of vibration analysis is to detect bearing problems before bearings fail and damage is done. This, of course, means that bearings will need to be replaced. Proper bearing extraction and installation is important to extending the life of bearings as well.
First, it is important to know when you need to replace a bearing. The following is a list of circumstances in which bearing replacement is necessary:
Mechanical pullers and presses can be used to safely and efficiently remove damaged bearings with the least negative impact to the machine. If you are applying force to the outer ring of the bearing, rotate the puller as you remove the bearing—this should ensure that force is evenly distributed through all the rolling elements of the bearing. Another method for removing bearings is to raise or lower the temperature of the bearing, shaft, and/or housing within specified limits.
Next, you will want to ensure that the replacement bearing(s) has been properly stored and is in good condition before installation. Your new bearing should be:
You will also want to ensure that the shaft and other components where you are installing the bearing are clean and free of scratches and scrapes. Replacing bearings is a great time to take a few extra minutes to clean the machine and its components from dust, grime, etc.
The new bearing should be the exact fit for the needed replacement. You can check for a part number or conduct measurements with a Vernier micrometer. It should also be noted that there are different types of fits:
You will want to know which one the particular replacement bearing requires.
Important things to remember when installing new bearings:
It is also important to note that, after a bearing has been removed, it should be analyzed for the cause of failure if the cause is not already known. To learn more about bearings and how to detect potential bearing issues before they cause extensive damage, see our blog post on Machinery Vibration Problems – Part 4: Bearings.
Our next post will be the final post in this Data Center Maintenance series and will go over HVAC systems.
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