Bearings are vital to friction management in all types of machinery – from pumps to power generators. With so much thought put into sizing and selecting the bearing itself, how come so often we ignore the actual installation of the bearing? It may seem like a minor task but the truth is that as much as 29 percent of premature bearing failures are caused by improper bearing installation. Improper installation methods such as blow-torching, oil baths or simple brute force can damage not only the bearing but the shaft as well.
To help ensure the proper and safe mounting of bearings, alternative methods such as induction heaters should be used. Induction heaters can ensure a safe and thorough heating of the bearing in a controlled environment, which helps prevent overheating. In most cases, induction heaters are faster than alternative heating options. In addition, they are cleaner and require less power consumption, thus helping shops to become more energy efficient.
When choosing a bearing induction heater it’s important to keep a few points in mind:
· Induction technology uses an electrical current which magnetizes the bearing during the heating process. Always be sure to select a heater that will “demagnetize” the bearing at the end of the process.
· Identifying the Minimum Bore, Outer Diameter (OD), and weight of the bearing helps ensure that you’re selecting the right heater for a particular bearing size.
· Some heaters only come with a select number of yokes, so make sure that your heater has a yoke that is suitable for the minimum bore of your bearing.
· Make sure that the heater you’re selecting operates with the particular voltage for your shop or the location where you’ll be using it.
· Check to see if your heater comes with a plug already installed. Some models do not come with a plug and will require you to have a certified electrician install one for you.