Industry Outlook: Maximizing Performance

EP Editorial Staff | August 16, 2010

0810outlook7As NSK customers focus on working to full capacity and ensuring their facilities operate at optimum efficiency, equipment that is reliable and cost-effective to maintain is more important than ever. Motion and control products play a vital role.

In fact, how these systems are selected, installed and maintained can dramatically affect overall efficiency, reliability and performance. We work to ensure that our customers not only have world-class products, but the services they need to help them identify areas of failure risk, the causes of premature failures and ways in which they can avoid them.

Innovative thinking and proactive attention to an entire machine—rather than just its components—is saving companies across the country hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars each year. In many cases, identifying the correct motion and control product for an application can make a significant difference in productivity levels. It can also substantially reduce maintenance costs.

For example, when a concrete-floor manufacturer was experiencing excessive downtime due to recurring bearing failure on manufacturing cassettes, a situational analysis by NSK engineers identified a combination of contributing factors. These included the wheel design, the bearing selection and contamination. Thinking beyond the scope of just the NSK component involved, our solution prescribed a new wheel-hub design, combined with a new specification for the bearing and on-site training in re-lubrication and operating practices. The result was dramatically improved productivity, reduced maintenance and significant cost savings.

Preventive maintenance programs are another proactive way to reduce the risk of unscheduled downtime due to bearing failure. Yet, in many facilities these types of programs are not in place. At NSK, we understand that when production time suffers, so do profits. We work with our authorized distributors to show customers correct maintenance techniques that will maximize bearing service life and reduce the risk of failure. We also help them design preventive maintenance programs that lower risk, improve productivity and dramatically reduce costs. This was the case for a U.S. steel manufacturer that realized considerable cost savings, thanks to an NSK-recommended preventive maintenance program.

Machinery and components aren’t the only areas where being proactive can maximize productivity and efficiency in production environments—training is another key element. Knowledgeable staff plays a pivotal role, and it is important to continually build employees’ technical expertise. Doing so empowers employees to identify issues, and address them, before downtime occurs. NSK works with our distributors and customers to provide training on areas such as best practices in bearing fitting, bearing removal, bearing diagnostics, etc.

For customers looking to improve productivity and efficiency to maximize performance, NSK’s comprehensive Asset Improvement Program (AIP) is a vital resource. AIP helps companies achieve significant improvements in profitability through technical, consulting, analytical and commercial value-added services.

NSK works with our customers to improve machine reliability, increase the knowledge of engineering and maintenance personnel and reduce working capital. That translates into improved market competitiveness and profitability—exactly what every company needs to build for the future. MT

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