• NSK ‘Green Engineering’ programme achieves up to 47% cut in power consumption for bearings used in domestic appliances

    Rolling bearings are indispensable to machinery and equipment; their function is crucial in the role of transferring rotational energy with minimal energy loss: i.e. energy conservation. At the same time bearings can play a major role in the preservation of natural resources by providing enhanced operating life, and also through downsizing as a result of the combination of improved materials and optimised design.

    Because of their widespread use, rolling bearings are a key factor in the global industry drive to increase efficiency and reduce energy/power consumption. NSK is meeting these demands with its constant bearing improvement programme. The programme, a synergy of materials, design, lubrication and sealing technology, has achieved a 30% improvement in efficiency for NSK’s standard deep groove ball bearings, and an even larger 47% saving for domestic appliance bearings: both compared to conventional ball bearings of the same size. These major savings are helping to reduce energy use in high consumption equipment as electric motors, air conditioners and domestic appliances.
    The constant improvement programme is a graduated initiative, which started with standard deep grooved ball bearings. The first focus area in this improvement process was bearing material. Through its developments in the materials technology for ball bearings, NSK has proven that improvements in steel cleanliness (principally reducing the number of non metallic inclusions in a steel) strongly correlates with an improved fatigue limit of bearing steel.
    NSK acted upon these results, improving the steel making process and operating conditions to reduce impurities substantially, thereby achieving a decrease in oxides. The resulting long-life Z Steel is now the standard material for NSK’s ball bearings. Bearings manufactured from Z steel have a significantly extended service life when compared to conventional vacuum degassed steel: up to 1.8 times longer. In addition, Z steel also benefits from more uniform response to heat treatment, a process that ensures good hardness and excellent wear resistance.
    Building upon the life and wear improvements achieved through new materials technology, NSK developed its surface optimisation process – a key factor in achieving increased efficiency. However, surface optimisation goes further by reducing the energy-consuming friction that impairs efficiency and ultimately leads to wear. A good surface geometry aids optimum oil film formation, while the machining processes ensure good compressive stress levels and high resistance to abrasion and excessive wear. The raceways of NSK’s ball bearings are specially honed to reduce operating friction and to reduce noise. In addition, the better lubricant distribution that results from this operation also ensures longer operating life.
    In addition to new materials technology and surface optimisation, NSK has also achieved incremental improvement in the efficiency of its ball bearings with improved low torque seals and lubricants – in particular, greases. NSK’s experience with electrical motors, and the automotive industry, which has had a historic requirement for low torque bearings to ensure efficient cold starts, has proved pivotal in the lubrication area.
    Grease, of course is retained within bearings by seals or shields; and these units also play a role in energy conservation: a seal that is too tight a fit will lead to friction in a bearing and consequent energy loss. The challenge in the bearing market has been to develop high- speed seals, which minimise bearing friction. This has led NSK to develop its V type seal. The V seal is a design innovation that seals effectively without an increase in torque or operating temperature.
    It has better sealing capability than a shield, and a speed capability comparable to that of a shielded bearing. The non-contact lip of the V design reduces drag in the bearing – an important advantage where power loss is critical, as in small electrical motors.
    Following its improvement programme for general ball bearings, NSK implemented a two-stage second phase development focussed on improving the efficiency of grease-lubricated ball bearings used in domestic appliances.
    Such appliances account for a vast amount of the world’s energy consumption – and the market for them is growing fast; hence the urgency to provide lower torque bearings that consume less power, yet sacrifice nothing in terms of operating life and noise and vibration reduction.
    In the Stage 1 development, NSK optimised the raceway radius of 6202 ball bearings and then tested a preloaded unit at 18,000rpm to determine the resultant reduction in friction. The test revealed a nearly 5- times reduction in contact frictional power loss.
    NSK then enhanced the design further, with a modified cage design, which improved lubrication flow, and an optimised grease fill. In subsequent verification and endurance tests, the bearings delivered up to 47% reduction in power consumption compared to standard grease lubricated deep groove ball bearings, while providing uncompromised life and silent operation at 18,000rpm.
    Following on from this development, Stage 2 realised further reductions in power consumption as a result equipping bearings with polyamide cages and lubricating them with special greases. Dynamic torque tests conducted on these bearings showed that the new grease reduced bearing torque by approx 15%, and the polyamide cage by over 5 times that amount. Further improvements were also registered in temperature running tests, the new grease reducing running temperature by 7% and the polyamide cage by 40%. In addition, the polyamide cage demonstrated its friction and torque- reducing qualities by increasing motor run-down time by over 100%.

    From eurekamagazine Wednesday, November 23, 2011
  • HEIDENHAIN’s New Sealed Rotary Encoders for High Loads Now Offered Globally

    HEIDENHAIN is expanding its range of incremental sealed rotary encoders for high loads with the introduction of the new ROD 620 and 630 models of the ROD 600 series. The sturdy design of these encoders’ mechanics opens up broad fields of application in machine tool, plant construction, and in position feedback systems for controlling asynchronous motors.

    These ROD 600 encoders have been especially well received in the Japanese market for many years now, and with these two new models, are now being officially offered globally. Also, the newly integrated EMC design of the encoder series now complies with the requirements of the CE Directives for European markets.

    In addition to their sturdy housing, the rotary encoders of the ROD 600 series are characterized primarily by an improved reinforced bearing with a high axial and radial load capacity, a large and stable shaft diameter of 15 mm and a solid flange socket connection which allows for connection in the radial or axial direction. The electrical output with TTL (ROD 620) or HTL (ROD 630) output signals permits connection to many standard subsequent electronics. HEIDENHAIN also offers multiple couplings for interfacing the encoder with the rotating mechanism.

    >>For more information, click here.

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    From automationworld Thursday, September 22, 2016
  • Oriental Motor: High-Torque 1.8° Stepping Motor

    By using a high-torque motor, a torque increase of 1.2 to 1.7 times the company’s standard type motor of the same (max. holding torque) has been achieved. This contributes to downsizing of equipment while also reducing power consumption and heat output. Also included is the new Spur SH geared type lineup which guarantees backlash accuracy and is effective for reducing speed, increasing torque, achieving higher resolution and reducing vibration, and offers a broader permissible speed range than conventional models. For improved mounting precision, the new geared type comes with a machined face. The motors are available in 20 mm (0.79 in.), 28 mm (1.10 in.), 35 mm (1.38 in.), 42 mm (1.65 in.) and 56.4/60 mm (2.22/2.36 in.) frame sizes and are available with encoder option.

    >>For more information on this product, click here

    Oriental Motor USA

    From automationworld Tuesday, January 22, 2013
  • ifm Electronics’ Microwave Sensors Provide Accurate Level Measurements in Various Medium

    The advanced efector gwr microwave sensing units from ifm electronics offers high-quality operations and is ideal for variety of application purposes.

    The three innovative series of the level sensing device is sensitive and can be installed without any complications, hence can be deployed for measuring the levels of various cleaning solutions, aqueous media, oils or coolants. ifm electronic provides the efector gwr systems with optional analogue and switching output (LR3000) or with two (LR700) or four (LR8000) switching feedbacks.

    Efector gwr microwave sensors

    The latest sensor unit features a sense head, coaxial pipe and a probe. The microwave radiations are communicated to the probe by means of the sensor head. When the microwave radiation collides with the target medium it gets scattered and thus analyzed by the sensing unit. The device can be integrated in the tank and the probes can be shortened based on the requirement for fitting them independently between 100 mm and 1600 mm. The coaxial pipe in the device facilitates its operation in low dielectric states.

    The arrangement is carried out using a suitable guideline and the updated level can be monitored constantly from the four-figure alphanumeric display.

    From azosensors Friday, October 1, 2010
  • Pepperl+Fuchs’ Economical Mounting Brackets Aid Industrial Applications

    Pepperl+Fuchs has launched the MH01-M18 mounting brackets for use with the company’s M18 cylindrical photoelectric sensor series and also for ML17 series.

    Mounting Brackets

    Related StoriesOMH-RL31-06 Mounting Brackets to Align Photoelectric Sensors in Automation ProcessesPepperl+Fuchs Launch Photoelectric Sensors

    These economical and improved mounting brackets facilitates the mounting of photoelectric sensing devices and offers industrial-standard M18 threading applications in material handling, packaging, and common automation purposes, providing multiple-axes arrangement requirements.

    In contrast to the standard right angle installable brackets that are intrinsically rigid, these novel half-clamp modeled brackets permit the sensing device to activate rapidly on different axes for quick adjustments to fluctuating multiple-axes arrangement requisites. They are fixed on a 12 mm or 0.5 in diameter rod or bolt that have been commonly used in packaging and material handling devices. Upon installation, this half-clamp can be swiveled at 360° around the rod or bolt for proper alignment of the sensing device in order to meet unique application necessities.

    From azosensors Wednesday, December 22, 2010