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Industrial Origami Develops Bearing Retainer
July 23, 2014
Industrial Origami, Inc. (IOI) has developed a high performance bearing retainer made exclusively from folded sheet metal. Thin sheet metal retainers improve bearing performance and extend bearing life in the most demanding applications. Using proprietary metal forming technology, IOI specializes in producing complex metal parts with precise geometries. Utilizing partnerships with world class bearing engineering teams, IOI has produced high performance retainers from thin sheet metal instead of machined and formed from thick metal plate.
Sheet metal retainers use optimized geometries, including hollow cross sections and multiple roller to retainer contact surfaces, to improve roller positioning and control. Through improved roller control and light weight designs, high performance sheet metal retainers dramatically reduce the forces between the roller and retainer during operation. Reduced forces allow retainers to use up to 50% less material resulting in lower torque and over all bearing weight. These benefits are available in multiple bearing types including tapered, spherical and cylindrical roller bearings.
Reduced material content and retainer forces have the added benefit of reducing the physical space in the bearing occupied by the retainer. The result is the option to add rollers to the same diameter of bearing helping to satisfy the ever increasing demands for load capacity and improved grease distribution. Depending on the application, a sheet metal retainer has the ability to add up to 7 percent more rollers in the same bearing. At the cost of a traditional bearing, the additional load capacity can approach that of ‘pin’ type retainer. Custom operation and maintenance features, such as inspection ports, can also be designed into a retainer.
IOI retainers are suitable for low to medium volume applications because sheet metal retainers require minimal tooling and capital investment to produce and to final assemble in the bearing. These innovative retainer designs require no welding or fasteners in assembly and enable qualified service maintenance in the field. Further facilitating final bearing assembly in most applications, the rollers are safely retained during assembly within the IOI retainer. Ed's Note: This complete product news item will be featured in the August issue of Power Transmission Engineering (PTE).