Wednesday | 25 July, 2012 | 1:29 pm

Solvent scrap

By Gretchen Salois

Roller bearings engineered in halves allow for easy installation in metal shredders

July 2012 - After looking into the qualities companies felt were lacking in the shredding industry, Boston-based Emerson Bearing Co. devised a strategy. “A lot of shredders we talked to felt local suppliers didn’t understand their needs concerning critical items such as lubrication systems, mounting and dismounting of bearings or making sure housings were properly specified (steel versus iron),” says Steven Katz, president.

“Over the years, we’ve started taking a different approach to fulfilling customer needs,” Katz continues. “Rather than other companies who have more of a hardware store mentality where customers are expected to, ‘Come here and visit,’ we try to have a wide-range inventory and have a deep understanding of what the customer needs.”

Katz says minimizing downtime and having multiple solutions to problems, including providing technical backup, has helped it establish its business. “We offer split bearings where the whole bearing has been split in half,” he says. “What used to take two days to change after taking it apart and reassembling now requires workers to only raise it 1/16 inch and wind it up—in two hours.” The amount of time needed to replace the bearing is greatly reduced, and companies are able to get operations back up and running in a timely manner.

Richard Furtado, marketing specialist of Emerson Bearing’s Metal Recycling division, assists customers with finding which technologies are best suited for their business’ needs, taking into consideration concerns such as maintenance, bearing life and wear resistance.

Inventory offers opportunity
With the ultimate goal to keep machinery running, Katz says Emerson Bearing looked at the 15 to 20 most popular bearings available on the market and defined the most critical issues, focusing on metal shredding because “metal shredding issues are a bit more severe and dramatic,” Katz says. The hydraulic adapter sleeve and nut Emerson Bearing offers has the ability to push a 500-pound bearing up the shaft of a metal shredder.

Emerson Bearing is able to hold customer specific products on the shelf, giving customers peace of mind should their machines require maintenance. “Customers will tell us they believe over the next year they will need certain bearings and they can’t afford to wait for parts to come in,” Katz says. “We can have our providers hold that product on the shelf for us to use later.”

“We’re not smarter. We just looked at the industry and how people can get the machine running properly and efficiently through proper use of these split bearings,” Katz says, noting an added benefit is Emerson Bearing’s website, which has multiple photos and videos depicting different situations to help customers troubleshoot problems.

Bearings need to be able to handle high shock loads. Emerson Bearing offers customers split cylindrical and spherical roller bearings, which are assembled easily around a shaft. The bearings, split into halves, allow for easier installation and inspection as well as replacement without dismantling the entire shredder. Emerson Bearing also offers mounted units, ball bearings, roller bearings, roller chains, hydraulic cylinders and pumps, belts, oil seals, spherical bushings, conveyors, and rod ends.

Technical videos available online explain the bearing number system and technical issues associated with it. “It’s been really helpful because people can view them at their leisure, anytime,” Katz says. Customers can then either email or call Emerson Bearing with any questions or part orders.

Katz says recently the company helped a shredder get prompt delivery on a conveyor chain to keep the company up and running. “It’s just another service we provide,” he says. “We do all steel housings as well, which is extra strong, particularly for heavy shredding so there are no failures from heavy shock loading.”

When dealing with shafts 10 inches to 14 inches around, “how do you mount a bearing that weighs hundreds of pounds?” he asks. “We use hydraulic sleeve adapters and also hydraulic nuts, allowing for very easy mounting of the bearing.”  Hydraulic pressure passes through the nut, pushes the sleeve to the bearing without putting any undue additional pressure on the bearing. “We let the pump do the work and get a better fit and mounting,” Katz adds.

“It makes for a simpler operation,” he continues. “Workers can control the internal clearance of the bearing. If it’s done improperly, it can greatly reduce the life of the bearing.” MM


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