Many manufacturers choose standard, off-the-shelf bearings for their equipment because they are replaceable and affordable. However, standard bearings were not designed with your equipment in mind which can lead to issues with sizing, ease of maintenance, and operational longevity. Just because it’s standard does not mean it will be the right fit or as inexpensive as expected. Choosing a custom bearing over a standard bearing affords the engineer more freedom for design innovation and will likely save you money in the process.
Custom Fitted Bearing Housings and Assemblies
When mounting precision bearings into equipment housings, it is important that the dimensions of the bearing and the housing are specific enough to ensure there’s sufficient clearance for the bearing to operate freely. A poorly-sized housing will compress the raceway and preload the bearing, preventing it from turning.
One of our clients was having this issue with their equipment assemblies. They came to Lutco seeking a solution. After reviewing the customer’s design, we determined the best option would be to produce a custom housing and install a radial bearing to make a custom assembly. By combining these the customer would avoid multiple extra operations, eliminating additional costs, and guaranteeing a proper fit.
This capability to make the housing and ensure the integrity of the whole assembly, with a perfectly mounted bearing, is one of Lutco’s greatest assets. Mounting and sizing the bearing are done as one single operation—reducing cost and labor, saving time, and ensuring a higher quality product.
Custom bearings can be integrated with other components of an assembly to simplify the overall design. Standard bearings are made to standard sizes. A bearing that requires you to design the product around it can increase costs unnecessarily. Many applications require a radial bearing that falls between two standard sizes. Lutco can produce custom bearings that have a unique ID, OD, width, or other features in order to provide the best solution for the application. Standard bearings are typically machined, heat-treated and ground. In many cases, other manufacturing methods can be used to produce a custom bearing more economically. Unground components can be a cost-efficient alternative in low-load or low-speed applications.
The Benefits of Choosing Custom Bearings
- Custom bearings can make the design and assembly process much easier.
- They reduce the number of product components, thereby reducing the number of SKUs that must be stocked. This eliminates extraneous steps in the assembly process and dramatically shortens assembly time. The end result is usually a considerable cost-savings.
- Custom bearing assemblies also improve quality and functionality if done correctly.
If your goal is to design a user-friendly product for a competitive market, or if reducing assembly time and costs are important considerations in your design, custom bearings just might be what your product needs.
Learn more about the possibilities of developing custom bearings and assemblies. Contact the experts at Lutco, and put our experience and creativity to use.