Process and control today | Agriculture Industry Can Improve Transmission Reliability With NSK Bearings


Transmission solutions for vehicles and machinery in the agricultural industry must meet a variety of performance requirements that typically focus on high torque and high loads. Bearings for transmissions, differentials and transmission shafts must therefore offer the highest levels of reliability and service life. NSK, based on decades of experience in providing bearings for automotive powertrains, has successfully transferred its knowledge and experience to agricultural industry applications, bringing a number of distinct advantages to OEMs and users. final.

There are many emerging trends in the agricultural sector, which is now starting to follow the lead of the automobile. For example, there are growing demands for increased levels of downsizing to improve fuel economy, while EU legislation on CO2 emissions steadily tightens. However, by purchasing bearings that offer features such as high load capacity and low friction operation, it is possible to meet these challenges head-on.

Specific requests
While the automotive experience is advantageous, there are a number of important differences when it comes to applications for the agricultural sector. While road vehicles demand good acceleration / speed performance and travel on smooth surfaces, agricultural vehicles have to deal with rough terrain and carry / pull high loads, which means high torque replaces the high speed as the main requirement of the transmission.

There are many pitfalls that can arise if powertrains use poorly specified or poorly selected bearings. Common transmission bearing failures include chipping, friction, cage damage, and creep, all of which have unwanted consequences. With modern agriculture so dependent on high productivity through maximum vehicle uptime, the potential costs and lost operating hours due to a faulty bearing are hardly catastrophic. For the OEM, this could mean warranty calls and damage to professional reputation.

In drive trains, spalling occurs when fragments of rolling material flake off the smooth surface of the raceway or rolling elements due to bearing fatigue, subsequently creating regions with a coarse texture. This failure mechanism can result from a variety of sources, including excessive loading and ingress of foreign objects.

High load bearings
To overcome the potential for chipping, NSK solutions include high load HR series bearings, which provide excellent performance in transmission applications for the agricultural sector. Offering a higher load capacity and longer life not only prevents chipping, but adds value through its ability to support downsizing initiatives. HR series taper roller bearings use tapered rollers guided by a rear face rib on the cone. These bearings are able to withstand high radial and axial loads in one direction as the rollers are larger in size and number.

The HR series is also available as a deep groove ball bearing, which offers a higher dynamic load capacity of 7-19% and an increase in ISO L10 life of 22-68%.

To help counter the ingress of contamination, which is another common cause of spalling in transmission bearings, the NSKTM Series is proving popular. The seal is particularly effective in vehicle transmission systems for agricultural applications, where it can facilitate 2.5 times longer life than open bearings.

The innovative design of the sealing lip structure prevents contaminants such as gear dust from entering, while simultaneously allowing the passage of lubricating oil. In addition, the sealed grease has a strong affinity for transmission oil to facilitate initial lubrication. Poor lubrication or poor lubrication is another factor in chipping.

Advanced materials
Other ideal NSK solutions for gearbox manufacturers in the agricultural sector include NSKHPS spherical roller bearings and HST thrust ball bearings. The former use advanced hardware technology suitable for applications requiring high loads.
In fact, being NSK’s strongest spherical roller bearing (25% higher), it is possible to reduce the size in some applications.

HST High Reliability Cage Thrust Stops are specially designed for applications in Static Hydraulic Transmissions (HST), commonly found in agricultural machinery / vehicles. The bearing provides twice the life of conventional thrust bearings, in part due to the use of EP steel backed by a special heat treatment that resists fatigue beneath the surface of the inner and outer rings.

Added value
NSK not only offers a wide range of products proven for drivetrain applications in the agricultural industry, but can also provide value-added solutions for initiatives that include downsizing, reducing friction and reducing carbon emissions. CO2. Through innovations such as special materials, advanced heat treatments and innovative manufacturing processes, NSK has benefited the automotive industry with its expertise in transmission bearings for many decades, with a growing number in agriculture also benefiting of this industry proven resource.

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