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Equipment/Tools / Maintenance
February 2014 Maintenance Matters

What Preventative Maintenance Provides

Early inspection and repair can stop a series of cascading events.

February 03, 2014
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Bearing Failure Cause Tree

        Cause Tree Step

Preventative Maintenance Step

Dirt enters bearing.

Clean to get rid of the dirt. No replacement needed.

Dirt mixes with grease.

Lubricate and replace grease that is deteriorated. No replacement needed.

Grease becomes less slippery and even hones the balls and race.

Lubricate and replace grease that is deteriorated. No replacement needed.

Vibration.

Inspect. Sometimes cleaning and replacement of grease will provide adequate life. Otherwise replace longest interval before failure.

Heat is generated.

Inspect and detect the heat from added friction. Initiate corrective repair; there is a long interval before failure.

Heat cooks the grease/dirt degrading grease even more. Possible loss of oil film protecting the bearing.

Inspect, replace soon.

More heat (in some cases enough to start a fire).

Inspect, replace very soon.

Bearing steel changes (maybe softens).

Inspect, replace — could be catastrophic failure at any time.

Bearing goes out of round or allows greater movement between race and balls. Makes noise.

Inspect, replace — could be catastrophic failure at any time.

Greater movement makes vibration, accelerates deterioration and loosens fasteners.

Inspect, replace. If it is a wheel bearing, take unit off the road until you can replace it.

 

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