BSA Releases First Bearing Brief

Gen 3 hub unit bearing with speed sensor (courtesy of The Timken Company).

Gen 3 hub unit bearing with speed sensor (courtesy of The Timken Company).

July 21, 2011—

The Educational Services Committee of the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) has identified its Bearings Brief on Smart Bearing Technology as the first in a series of Bearing Briefs of the Month. Smart Bearing Technology considers a technology that integrates bearings and sensors to monitor bearing performance. Proper bearing analysis is the key to keeping equipment running efficiently, reliably, consistently, and cost effectively. Preventing costly bearing damage can enhance productivity, ensure peak performance and ultimately affect the bottom line. The technology has become particularly valuable in today's economy where cost-containment and maintenance are priorities.

BSA is launching the Bearing Brief of the Month educational campaign to highlight the series of single-topic publications of technical information designed by BSA distributor members and participating manufacturers to deliver expertise designed to meet the needs of the end user as well as bearing industry professionals. Over the last several years, the association's Educational Services Committee has published twenty-five Bearing Briefs, all of them available as free, downloadable PDFs.

Smart Bearing Technology examines manufacturers that use "smart" technology to monitor bearing operation. Smart bearings are instrumented with sensors to provide information about their surrounding environment, including speed, direction, temperature, vibration, load, levels of debris and other factors. Once smart bearings gather the data, they feed it to a control unit that is used to monitor the particular bearing operation. For example, smart bearings used in automotive wheel applications collect speed data used to operate anti-lock brakes.

In industrial applications, the data collected by smart bearings is often matched with condition monitoring programs where being aware of temperature and vibration levels is essential to preventing bearing failures. Specific applications include, but are not limited to: automotive wheel speed and direction feedback, machine control, robotic control, printing industries, paper converting, web processing, wood processing, chemical production, textile, agriculture machinery and food. Smart Bearing Technology considers smart bearing types, available sensors, and conditions monitoring.

Bearing Briefs are just one of a variety of education and training programs and publications provided by the Association. BSA is the "must belong to organization for authorized bearing distributors." An international service and educational organization of distributors representing a total of almost 100 companies distributing factory-warranted ball-, roller-, and anti-friction bearings and invited manufacturers of bearings and related products, the association's mission says, "BSA is the forum to enhance networking and knowledge sharing and promote the sale of bearings through authorized distributors."

Copyright BSA 2011

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