Schaeffler UK has extended its X-life range of high performance, premium quality rolling bearings, plain bearings and linear guidance systems. The latest additions to the X-life range include a toroidal rolling bearing with angular adjustment capability, as well as radial insert ball bearings and housing units.
Since launching the first X-life bearings in 2003, the company has continued to develop and expand the range, which now includes almost all bearing types. The X-life range now includes axial and radial spherical rolling bearings, tapered rolling bearings, angular contact ball bearings, cylindrical rolling bearings, radial insert ball bearings and housing units, machined needle roller bearings and axial angular contact ball bearings for wind turbines.
On the linear side, linear recirculating ball and roller bearing guideway assemblies, as well as hydrostatic compact guidance systems are now being produced in X-life quality. In the plain bearing range, X-life large spherical plain bearings are now available.
New X-life toroidal rolling bearings
At the Hanover Fair in April, Schaeffler launched the latest in its X-life range, the FAG TORB toroidal rolling bearing with angular adjustment capability. This single row rolling bearing has long, slightly spherical rollers, which enables it to combine the angular adjustment capabilities of a spherical roller bearing with the axial displacement capabilities of a cylindrical or needle roller bearing.
FAG TORB toroidal roller bearings are available in two versions: as full complement bearings or as a caged version. When the design envelope is restricted, the caged bearing provides very high radial load carrying capacity, even when skewing or axial displacements need to be compensated for. The full complement bearing offers a particularly high load carrying capacity.
X-life radial insert ball bearings
Radial insert ball bearings and housing units are also available in X-life versions. For harsh applications such as food processing, packaging machines and agricultural machinery, these bearings benefit from a 15% increase in bearing life, an expanded application temperature range of -40°C to +180°C and a high level of anti-corrosion protection via the use of the Corrotect® N coating. An improved locking collar design also means higher clamping forces, resulting in improved seating on the shaft. Reliable seals keep the high quality bearing grease inside the bearing, preventing the ingress of contaminants and moisture. This increases the durability of the bearing and extends the operating life of the machine.
Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
Users of bearings are increasingly aware that the purchase price of a bearing is one of many criteria that should be considered when selecting a suitable bearing. Rating life and service requirements, as well as possible bearing failure, are also important factors. In practice, this means users are more likely to choose higher quality bearings that offer longer rating and operating life, increased reliability and extended maintenance cycles, as machines fitted with these bearings will offer a competitive advantage.
The design envelope or footprint of a machine is also important. For an OEM or machine builder, a more compact design can improve the competitiveness of a machine. At the same time, power density and performance requirements of machines are increasing. This, in turn, has resulted in increased stress on machine parts, including drive components and bearings.
Due to their increased basic dynamic load ratings, X-life bearings provide significantly longer rating and operating life. X-life bearings therefore enable machine designs to be optimised by using smaller bearings that still offer the same load ratings, but which save space and weight, resulting in increased overall efficiency of plant and machines.
Energy efficient bearings
The desire for increased energy efficiency is still a key development priority for many users. Manufacturers have targets for reducing energy consumption in their production processes. There is a growing focus on efficiency classes for electric motors ("IE") and other energy efficiency labelling. Low friction bearings can help to optimise energy usage or the efficiency of drive systems.
X-life quality rolling bearings, plain bearings and linear guidance systems are matching trends in drive technology. Under the same operating conditions, the operating life of X-life bearings is significantly longer. Alternatively, higher loads can be applied while maintaining the same rating life values.
By using new production technologies for rolling bearings, Schaeffler is able to optimise the contact faces between rolling elements and raceways. As a result of increased raceway accuracy and more uniform surfaces, there is also a significant reduction in the stress conditions present on the rolling elements and raceway under the same load conditions. This produces a higher dynamic load rating, a longer nominal rating life, less friction and lower bearing temperatures, as well as a reduction in the strain placed on the lubricant. As a result of reduced friction, there is a simultaneous increase in the energy efficiency of the bearings, while energy consumption and operating costs are also reduced.
The development of new steels with fewer non-metallic inclusions, for example, is helping to optimise bearings for specific operating conditions. Rolling bearing performance can be further optimised by using powerful calculation and design tools such as Schaeffler’s Bearinx software.