Everyone loves a bargain. So when a customer buys a new bearing unit, they often pay extreme attention to the purchase price, especially if they work in procurement. This can be misleading when the real cost of running and maintaining the equipment where the bearing unit will be installed actually determines how much a bearing will cost your company in the long run.
Here’s one real-life example of how much an unplanned bearing failure can cost. It comes from a case story published in 2019 by Tetra Pak about a dairy customer in Spain. The separator is a critical part of the line in any dairy processing plant. If the separator is not performing as it should, it can cause a stoppage. Due to the high utilisation of separators that can be around 6,000 hours on a yearly basis, it was important for the Spanish dairy to avoid unplanned stoppages. If the bearing fails unexpectedly, the Tetra Pak separator needs to be dismantled and reassembled which requires 48 hours of downtime. In this case, it was estimated that by avoiding a single unexpected bearing failure, the customer could save €45,000 in spare parts, labour and lost production. That’s a lot of Euros! (Incidentally, Extreme Bearings are not used in Tetra Pak separators)