Bearing Repair, PdM Program Address Downtime at Gallatin Steel

The Timken Company

When your rolling mill equipment has an emergency, calling a vendor is like calling the paramedics. Timken recently helped bring Gallatin Steel, a flat-rolled carbon steel producer in Ghent, Ky., back to life after a period of downtime. The Gallatin site avoided further costly downtime in its rolling mill operations as the result of an emergency bearing repair and the installation of a predictive maintenance program.

Gallatin Steel employees heard an unusual noise coming from a shaft on a rolling mill stand that was critical to the mill’s productivity. With assistance from an on-site Timken representative, the noise was identified as a broken bearing cage, which was the result of high speed and impact force upon a competing brand’s two-row tapered bearing.

Figure 1. On the floor of the Gallatin Steel mill in Ghent, Ky.

The bearing, which had been in service since the plant opened 11 years ago, was removed and inspected. The cage was welded in the six places where it had fractured, and the gearbox was re-assembled. Timken also corrected the bearing clearance and made several other modifications to minimize any wear patterns that could occur after the assembly was mounted back in place.

To help Gallatin avoid future emergency repairs, Timken installed a StatusCheck condition monitoring device on the bearing to measure overall vibration. StatusCheck, a wireless system designed to detect and monitor excessive levels of vibration and temperature, now alerts Gallatin’s pulpit operator to vibration changes, indicating potential problems in the mill drive train. The results can then be evaluated with Timken’s on-site technical team and further diagnostic testing may be required to understand the severity of the situation.

“Timken is an integral part of our overall preventive and predictive maintenance programs and has played a very valuable role in helping us identify potential problems before they actually became problems,” says Don Daily, president of Gallatin Steel.

For more information, visit

Subscribe to Reliable Plant